Accotink Reservoir - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip
Submitted by: thinkpolicy
My wife and I enjoyed a very peaceful morning away from the kids on Accotink reservoir. We put in on the sand beach and headed away from the marina and the nearby railroad bridge. Staying along the right shore, we quickly began having a nice nature experience. There were plenty of geese and ducks, and some curious beavers kept popping up around our kayaks.
We continued up the reservoir and followed Accotink Creek up as far as we could go. About a mile and a half away from the Marina, up the creek, there's a sand bar in low water. We could have quickly portaged over it, but decided to turn back at that point. Another half mile or so up the creek we would have seen the footbridge for the footpath used by hikers and mountain bikers.
The creek was the most enjoyable part of our little outing, it was plenty wide enough for our two boats and while you can hear some of the activities of the neighborhoods through the woods, you can't see them. So considering this lake is in the middle of Springfield, it was a good way to get away from it all for a few hours.
The reservoir is managed by Fairfax County. A great family location with LOTS of amenities for families. Electric fishing motors are allowed and sailboats smaller than 15 ft. Unlike Burke Lake Park, recreational kayaks are encouraged on this reservoir. If you ever wanted to share kayaking with a friend who doesn't have a boat, this is a good opportunity, because they rent kayaks right on the beach.
The Lake is wooded all around it, with good wildlife. Although wooded and scenic, there are homes not too far back into the woods, and you can hear lawn mowers and leafblowers, depending on the season. Also, there is a well-used mountain bike and hiking path around the lake. So, at times you will see these other recreationists.
This is a nice reservoir for a half day outing. It's not really large enough to spend the entire day on unless you're fishing, or participating in some of the shore activities at the park. There is picnicking but no camping facilities.
The Marina has restrooms. Depending on the season, they have miniature golf, a snack bar, playgrounds, and even merry go round. The marina has a sand beach for a put-in.
The web site says there's a $2 launch fee at the marina. I didn't know that and just launched for free. Oh well.
From I 95 take Old Keene Mill Road west, then right on Hanover Avenue, then left on Highland Avenue, then right on Accotink Park Road.
From where I live I prefer the back way. It takes you to a neighborhood parking lot and requires you to carry your boat down a path to the marina:
Traveling East on Braddock rd turn right on Queensberry right before you get to I 495. Then turn right on Henning, then Right into parking area for the park.
I recommend checking it out on Google Earth, although the Google Earth picture is taken in the winter, at low water level, and before a major dredging project was completed.
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