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Weekend Getaways

The ten Largest Lakes in Virginia

Virginia is a stunningly lovely state, famend for its picturesque surroundings and nestled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Yearly, throngs of vacationers go to Virginia’s breathtaking panorama to see the wineries, mountains, seashores, and quite a few lakes scattered all through the state. Many individuals are unaware that there are simply two naturally-formed lakes in Virginia. However that doesn’t imply the others aren’t value seeing!

Whether or not you get pleasure from fishing, boating, swimming, or just gazing on the tranquil reflections dancing over the water, a trip or day journey to certainly one of these Virginia lakes is a should. Climbing, mountain biking, horseback using, and birdwatching alongside the shorelines and within the lovely woodlands and terrain surrounding the lakes and reservoirs are potentialities for landlubbers. When you ever make a visit right here, these are the ten largest lakes in Virginia you shouldn’t miss.

The ten Largest Lakes in Virginia

    10. Philpott Lake

Stretching over three counties, Philpott Lake has a floor space of two,880 acres and is the tenth largest lake in Virginia. Sean Board

Philpott Lake stretches over Virginia’s Franklin, Henry, and Patrick counties and is a wonderful sight to see. It’s a 2,880-acre (11.65 km2) reservoir with an irregular form that runs alongside the border of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands and Southern vacationer districts. Guests can get pleasure from boating, fishing, climbing, picnicking, and tenting alongside the tons of of miles of shoreline. Like boat ramps and viewing platforms, many facilities can be found at Philpott Lake to make your journey extra handy and enjoyable. There isn’t any residential growth alongside the lake’s shoreline, however a number of services comparable to boat landings, campgrounds, picnic areas, seashores, and climbing paths abound all through the lake. Anglers pursuing largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye may have a very good likelihood of fishing on the lake.

    9. Lake Chesdin

1653781233 927 The 10 Biggest Lakes in Virginia - August 9, 2022
Often known as the Chesdin Reservoir, Lake Chesdin was established in 1968 and it provides water and energy to the Area.

Artwork Anderson / Artistic Commons – License

Lake Chesdin, positioned solely 10 minutes from Colonial Heights and Petersburg and half-hour from Richmond, provides a few of Virginia’s finest freshwater sports activities, fishing, and outside enjoyment. This 3,100-acre (12.55 km2) lake, often known as the Chesdin Reservoir, was established in 1968 as a ingesting water provide reservoir by damming the Appomattox River.

The lake is definitely accessible and provides a wide range of outside actions comparable to boating, wonderful fishing, kayaking, swimming, climbing, mountain biking, tenting, and golf. The lake is thought for its largemouth bass, making it a preferred fishing web site. Crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, and walleye are just some different species. The Lake Chesdin Campground additionally includes a kids’s playground and a sandy seaside for a enjoyable day within the solar. It is a wonderful weekend getaway from Richmond for those who’re trying to find a detailed however enjoyable spot!

    8. Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond Virginia
Lake Drummond is positioned between Virginia and North Carolina.

This freshwater lake, positioned between Virginia and North Carolina, is the state’s solely different freshwater lake. However, Lake Drummond has so much to supply guests, together with canoeing and kayaking on its 3,142 acres (12.72 km2) floor space. Households like going out on a ship to discover the lake and benefit from the quite a few fowl watching alternatives. The lake’s low pH limits the forms of fish that stay there, however that doesn’t cease eager anglers from profiting from the lake’s choices.

One of the interesting facets of Lake Drummond is its location within the coronary heart of the Nice Dismal Swamp! Black bears, river otters, white-tailed deer, pigs, crimson foxes, bobcats, bats, and squirrels thrive within the Nice Dismal Swamp, however preserve an eye fixed out for Nice Dismal Swamp alligators!

    7. Leesville Lake

 Leesville Lake VA
Measuring a floor space of three,400 acres, Leesville Lake is without doubt one of the largest lakes in Virginia.

The Leesville Lake, which stretches alongside the border of Virginia’s Central and Southern tourism districts close to Altavista in Pittsylvania County, is a 3,400-acre (13.76 km2) fishing and outside leisure reservoir. It’s a part of the Smith Mountain Lake hydropower technology venture, used for water storage tasks.

Boating, fishing, swimming, crusing, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing are just some of the leisure actions accessible on the lake, which additionally has boat ramps for launching crafts, picnic websites for enjoyable, and marinas for anglers and boaters. Bass, catfish, and sunfish concentrations within the backside half are much like these in surrounding reservoirs. Nonetheless, the upstream portion of the lake has a poor fishery, with white perch, bluegill, and redbreast sunfish dominating.

    6. Claytor Lake

Claytor Lake Virginia
Positioned in Pulaski County, Claytor Lake is a 4,500-acre lake surrounded by gorgeous shale rock.

Claytor Lake is a 4,500-acre (17.66 km2) impoundment of the New River that runs over 21 miles in Pulaski County in southwestern Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands area. Claytor Lake is a wonderful place to go to for those who get pleasure from watersports like energy boating and crusing. Due to the number of fish that make the lake dwelling, fishing can be a preferred interest. However fishing isn’t the one water sport accessible; many individuals get pleasure from wakeboarding, scuba diving, crusing, and rowing right here.

The Claytor River is surrounded by gorgeous shale rock, which solely provides to its splendor. Claytor Lake State Park options many actions, together with tenting, cabins, lodges, a gathering facility, nature and historical past packages, miles of climbing trails, and a customer middle. The vegetation is primarily that of mature oak-hickory-poplar woodland, and reforestation is in full swing. Raccoons, squirrels, and different animals comparable to white-tailed deer are frequent. 

    5. South Holston Lake

Sunset over South Holston Lake
Though the South Holston Lake reservoir is predominantly in Tennessee, its portion in Virginia nonetheless provides anglers greater than 1,600 acres of water.

Savanna Woods/

The South Holston Lake reservoir is predominantly in Tennessee, though a portion of it’s in Virginia, close to the cities of Bristol and Abingdon. This magnificent lake, protecting 7,580 acres (30.68 km2) floor space, provides breathtaking vistas and is good for tenting, fishing, and boating. Due to the big variety of ecosystems, there’s ample wildlife and a number of other alternatives for wildlife fans.

The Virginia Creeper Path passes by way of broad meadows and rolling hills surrounding South Holston Lake, the place indigo buntings and japanese kingbirds sing. Within the swampier parts of South Holston Lake, wooden geese, muskrats, inexperienced herons, and painted turtles thrive. It’s a unbelievable place to catch black bass, crappie, bluegill, and walleye. Moreover, there are quite a few fishing and boat racing occasions all through the summer time, so for those who want spending time on the water, you’ve are available the proper path.

    4. Lake Anna

Take at Lake Anna VA
Measuring a floor space of 13,000 acres, Lake Anna is without doubt one of the largest inland reservoirs in Virginia.


Lake Anna is a freshwater inland reservoir in Northern Virginia, between Washington, D.C., Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and Richmond. Lake Anna is Virginia’s fourth-largest lake, that includes 9,600 acres (38.85 km2) of sandy seashores and leisure areas for picnicking, tenting, fishing, and boating. There are round 30 distinct fish species within the lake, and plenty of anglers want largemouth bass, striped bass, walleye, catfish, and crappie. You would possibly even see an alligator or two whereas enjoyable by the lake. With a lot to do at Lake Anna, it’s simple to see why households and adults of all ages get pleasure from cooling down right here throughout the sizzling summer time months.

However, Lake Anna has extra copperhead bites than anyplace else in Virginia. Many consultants declare it’s as a result of riprap shorelines present a really perfect habitat for various snakes.

    3. Lake Gaston

Lake Gaston
Masking an space of 20,300 acres, Lake Gaston is the third largest lake in Virginia.


Lake Gaston is certainly one of three lakes shaped by dams on the Roanoke River, and it spans two Virginia counties and three North Carolina counties. Many individuals from all around the state go to this picturesque lake on the border of Virginia and North Carolina. Boating, snowboarding, and different water sports activities are splendid within the huge open waters, protecting 20,300 acres (82.15 km2).

Greater than 150, 000 folks stay within the surrounding areas, with South Hill and Clarksville on the Virginia aspect close by. For the reason that Seventies, the agricultural ambiance and exquisite surroundings have made it a preferred retirement vacation spot. There aren’t any gators or sharks right here, however the copperhead, cottonmouth, and timber rattlesnake are three harmful snake species that may nonetheless be present in or close to Lake Gaston.

    2. Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Lake
Created in 1963, Smith Moutain Lake is the second largest lake in Virginia.

Tangie Marie Bush/

Smith Mountain Lake often is the reply for those who’re searching for a water paradise. Smith Mountain Lake is named the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge,” with topaz blue waters, emerald inexperienced shoreline, and hovering surrounding mountains. It’s the second-largest and maybe the most well-known lake in Virginia. The lake’s 20,600-acre (83.37 km2) floor space gives huge open water areas wonderful for a fun-filled water expertise. Smith Mountain Lake provides a wide range of water-based actions, comparable to a seaside for sunbathing and swimming, boat leases and ramps, and a public fishing pier.

    1. Kerr Lake

Kerr Lake Virginia
Measuring a large space of fifty,000 acres, Kerr Lake is the most important lake in Virginia.

Rui Serra Maia/

Kerr Lake (formally John H. Kerr Reservoir) is a reservoir in the US sitting on the border of North Carolina and Virginia. It’s Virginia’s largest lake, comprising 48,900 acres (200 km2) and offering wonderful swimming and leisure alternatives all through the summer time.

Fishing aficionados go to Kerr Lake to seize a wide range of species, with some utilizing the boating ramp’s 24-hour entry to catch catfish late at night time. This lake is often known as Bugg’s Island Lake, named after the Bugg household, who owned the land in 1752. You possibly can catch white perch, catfish, and bass for those who go fishing whilst you’re right here! The lake attracts a crowd of locals and vacationers who benefit from the beautiful surroundings and its chilly, deep waters.

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