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Lake Anna is the second largest fresh-water inland lake in Virginia, with over 250 miles of shoreline (public and private combined) and some 13,000 surface acres of water. Conveniently located an hour and a half from Washington, DC, Lake Anna has become Central Virginia's premier choice for water sports and fishing. Initially known as a vacation community, the number of full time residents has grown steadily since the lake was created in 1972 and Lake Anna State Park opened in 1983.
Lake Anna offers swimming, sailing, boating, world-class fishing, and multiple annual triathlons. Surrounding attractions include vineyards, antique shopping, golf, historic sites, theme parks, and hiking. To get the most out of the lake, one can rent a boat from various local marinas and businesses. Sailboat enthusiasts will prefer the more open, wide water appeal of the southern end of the lake (note: the lake's several bridges, including the main 208 bridge, are too low for a sailboat to pass beneath). Water sports junkies tend to enjoy the mid-lake area, while the fishing crowd has lots of hot spots in nooks and crannies of the northern "on Golden pond" end. Anglers fish for over 30 species of fish including large mouth bass, striped bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, bluegill and white and yellow perch. Weekly fishing leagues keep our full time and local residents happy while sanctioned tournaments bring visiting anglers from afar.
The lake acts as a cooling system for the Dominion Power's North Anna Power Station formed by a dam on the North Anna River. Dominion Power owns all of the Lake Anna shoreline up to an elevation of 255 ft above sea-level (approximately 5-10 ft above normal Lake Anna water level). The water discharged from the plant is usually about 14 degrees warmer than the intake water.
The park also has a beach area with snack bar, docks, an exhibit center showing how the lake was created, and miles of hiking and horse trails. One can tour the remains of Goodwin gold mine and pan for gold. The original plantation house still stands in ruins and a hiking trail leads to it. The state park offers rental cabins for overnight lodging. Visitors also can stay at waterfront hotels, or in any of dozens of available vacation rental waterfront homes.