Skip to content

6621 Columbia Pike Annandale Va 22003

Lake Accotink was constructed in 1943-44 by the U.S. Army as a reservoir for Fort Belvoir. The dam impounding the Accotink Creek was built on the site of a previous dam which had existed for that same purpose from 1918 to 1922.The park has bikes, canoes, paddleboats, and rowboats available for rent. Visitors can also ride tour boats, or walk or run the 3.75 miles (6.04 km) trail loop around the lake. Other trails stretch beyond the park and connect to the Cross County Trail, with its running trails and mountain biking trail. A miniature golf course surrounds an antique carousel near the south entrance to the park. Gas-powered motorboats are not allowed on the lake.In September 2014, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors funded a $179,000 study of Lake Accotink Park, resulting in various options proposed for controlling sedimentation that include eliminating or significantly reducing the size of the lake. In 2018, in response to the possibility that the lake might be eliminated or reduced in size, a group of concerned citizens formed a 501(c)(3) organization, Save Lake Accotink. On September 19, 2019, the Park Authority announced its recommendation to dredge the lake to eight foot depth so as to preserve the recreational use of the lake. Local government meetings were held on the 15th and 16 February 2023, stating that the dredging project would cost Fairfax County roughly 400 million dollars over the next 25 years. As a result, the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services suggests that the county not undergo the dredging operation. The Board of Supervisors will make a decision sometime after the public comment period closes in April 2023.

Despite the closure of the sewage plant and the draining and refilling of the lake, tests still showed the lake as being too polluted to use, as runoff from development had silted the 80-acre lake and trapped the filth in sediment. The lake was finally opened in July 1971, although only for boating and fishing, as it was still too polluted to swim in.
Lake Accotink is a reservoir in North Springfield in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. Lake Accotink is formed by the damming of Accotink Creek. The lake is surrounded by Lake Accotink Park.On June 3, 1961, 4-year-old Kevin Kilduff drowned in the spillway after wandering off from a picnic with his mother. The boy was taken to the Alexandria Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The area had been open to recreational use previously, but the Army’s discontinuing use of the reservoir led to closing of the site, as guards were no longer posted. After the land and reservoir were officially declared as surplus, Fairfax County in 1958 expressed its interest in acquiring the land and reservoir for use as a public park and recreation area.
Lake Accotink hosts a great variety of wildlife. Waterfowl such as great blue herons, ducks, and Canada geese float on the water. Birds like seagulls, American robins, swifts, swallows, osprey, and occasionally bald eagles inhabit the park. Red foxes, white-tailed deer and beaver dams are common along the edges of the lake along with cottonmouth snakes and skinks.

At the snack bar/boathouse visitors can purchase chips, drinks, and other snacks. Pavilions can be reserved for parties or other special occasions. An antique carousel runs during the summer, and there are playgrounds near the pavilions. Close to the playground are picnic areas with grills. A wide range of summer camps are available during the summer.
The lake is 55 acres, and the surrounding park is 493. The primary inflow and outflow is Accotink Creek, which is dammed on the south side, near a Norfolk Southern railway trestle. During 2010, the dam underwent construction. Boat rentals had to be suspended during that time.

Although the reservoir had previously been declared surplus, the Army decided it wanted to retain title to the property in case of future need. In March 1960, Fairfax was awarded a 25-year license to develop the lake for public park and recreational use. Shortly thereafter, the reservoir was officially renamed Lake Accotink.
Fairfax County Park Authority Director James D. Bell closed Lake Accotink in June 1970 when samples taken from Accotink Creek above the lake were found to be so contaminated with intestinal bacteria from the City of Fairfax’s overloaded sewage treatment plant that the water was a health hazard. Following the closure of the Fairfax City sewage plant and the connection of the city to the county’s sewer system in February 1971, Director Bell announced a plan to drain, refill and restock the lake with fish.

The discharge of sewage treatment plants in Fairfax and Vienna into the Accotink Creek eventually led to the contamination of the water to the point where it was no longer fit for drinking, and the Army sought to dispose of the reservoir.In 1964, Lake Accotink was declared surplus and put up for auction. The Fairfax County Park Authority was the high bidder, and officially purchased the 242-acre tract, including the 100-acre lake, for $176,500 in April 1965.

On July 12, 1997, Eric A. Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of bungee cords together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at train bridge, jumped off and was found dead early in the morning.On May 29, 1993, 8-month old Mario Roberto Sierra drowned in the lake when the canoe he was riding in capsized. Sierra was not wearing a life jacket. His corpse was recovered the following day, about 200 yards from shore. 45-year-old Merrill J. Fogle drowned in the lake on the night of July 5, 1976 when the boat in which he and two friends were in overturned and he disappeared while swimming for the shore. Fogle was found by rescue divers early the next morning and was taken to Fairfax Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A £40 season ticket (£33.33 + £6.67 VAT) is available to residents of Maidstone for up to six hours of parking from the Maidstone Borough Council website.The park was bought by Maidstone Borough Council in 1929 at a cost of £50,000 and is now looked after by the Council and an amazing team of volunteers.Mote Park is great for walking and cycling with lots of paths and trails to follow throughout the park. For the more adventurous, there is a BMX track. This is great fun and free and, with practice, it’s possible to get faster at completing the course. The jumps and spins add an extra dimension and the track offers a great challenge for those bringing their bikes on holiday. Mote Park was originally the main water source for a Roman villa. Then, in later years, Mote Park House became a country estate and the owners planted and developed the park around their home. The original mansion house was demolished in 1793 and rebuilt by 1800. At this time, the River Len was also dammed to form the lake and internal roads were added, along with walls, a boathouse and a bridge over the lake (now demolished). The lake was then expanded to 30 acres and surrounding land was purchased to extend the park. Mote Park Watersports Centre, MaidstoneLocated in the centre of Mote Park offering a variety of watersports including sailing, kayaking & canoeing, raft building. Full details of all sports on offer on web-site.Mote Park Outdoor Adventure, MaidstoneWhether you’re looking to burn off some excess energy, or to lose yourself in an adventure – Mote Park Adventure have outdoor activities to keep the whole family entertained.

Do you have to pay for Mote Park?
Entry to the park is free. Car parking: From 8am -10am – free. After 10am up to 6 hours – £2. Over 6 hours – £12.
Keen fishermen can apply for a daily permit to fish in the park. You will need your rod licence to buy a permit and the service is managed by Maidstone Victory Angling and Medway Preservation Society. To buy a permit, you will need a rod licence. You need to bring a copy of your rod licence with you to get the permit. They are £6 a day for adults and £3 a day for children. Permits are available online for members of Maidstone Victory Angling and Medway Preservation Society.

Discover why Mote Park is one of the most popular places to visit in Maidstone. Find out how this magnificent park has survived since medieval times and what there is to see and do here now.Model enthusiasts will love the model railway. Operated by the Maidstone Model Engineering Society, this is ideal for all the family. It runs every Sunday during British Summer Time and on Boxing Day from 2.30pm to 5pm. Cost is 30p per ride. Model boats can also be found on the lake. These are organised and run by The Maidstone Cygnets Model Boat Club.Plenty of adrenaline filled action to try. Climb high on the 32ft Sky Trail or the 32ft Climbing Wall. There are ground level actvities too, with a Segway course or 9 holes of Dino Mini Golf. Open weekends Easte to October and daily through the school holidays. Find out more about Mote Park Outdoor AdventureThe cricket club provides cricket facilities for all levels and has existed at the park since 1857. Maidstone Rugby Club also has a long association with the park having been founded in 1880. It plays at the cricket club in Mote Park.

What animals are in Lake Accotink?
Wildlife. Lake Accotink hosts a great variety of wildlife. Waterfowl such as great blue herons, ducks, and Canada geese float on the water. Birds like seagulls, American robins, swifts, swallows, osprey, and occasionally bald eagles inhabit the park.
Water babies are spoilt for choice withy a variety of sailing, boating, diving and swimming facilities on the lake. You can try out rowing and windsurfing too, or just get the family into a pedalo swan and explore the islands, reeds and trees. Open all year round for kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, boat hire and more. The lake is a very safe venue with shallow waters, no boat traffic and no moving currents. Find out more about Mote Park Watersport Centre

Mote Park plays host to a variety of events throughout the year. These include large music festivals, ticketed events, outdoor theatre and charity fun runs. Smaller events are also organised by the volunteers, such as wildlife data capture and bird/bat watching. Check out Events in Mote Park for more details about dates and times.
Mote Park is a huge green space in the heart of Maidstone and is extremely popular with both visitors and locals alike. In 2015, it placed third in the People’s Choice for their Favourite Green Flag Park. Covering over 450 acres, it includes natural features such as grassland, woodland, rivers and a 30 acre lake. The vast numbers of mature trees create a beautiful, tranquil landscape offering cool shade in the summer and glorious colour in autumn. It is also home to over-wintering birds, many of whom stay to nest and raise their chicks here in the spring.

The centre backs on to the park and includes a fitness pool, diving pool, teaching pools and a leisure pool with waves and flume. The centre also has a fitness gym, sports hall, children’s play area and café making it an ideal venue whatever the weather. If you prefer to exercise in the open air, then head towards the main car park in Mote Park where you will find some outdoor training equipment. Find out more about Maidstone Leisure CentreMaidstone Leisure Centre, MaidstoneMaidstone Leisure Centre is a fantastic community leisure centre that has a wide range of leisure and sporting facilities.

Is Lake Accotink free?
Admission to Lake Accotink is free and there is ample free parking. Find the latest information on park events and the latest alerts on the Fairfax County park website or call 703-569-3464.
The fantasic play areas are enjoyed by many families, including a natural woodland play area for ages 8 to 15 years and a skate park.To keep the kids entertained, there are two children’s play areas. The largest is near the main car park and a smaller area can be found near the School Lane entrance.

Like all Fairfax County parks, Lake Accotink has special activities and events—Campfire Saturdays combine nighttime nature with campfires and s’mores and there are free summer concerts every year.
Update: The Lake Accotink Trail is closed near the dam until 2023 for bridge construction. Hikers can not complete a full circuit around the lake until the new bridge opens.If you don’t want to cover the full 4-mile loop, focus on the eastern side of the lake. The trail here is part of the CCT and hugs closer to the shore with some nice viewpoints.

Can you swim in Lake Accotink?
No, unfortunately swimming and wading are not allowed at Lake Accotink. In fact, swimming is also prohibited at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax, the other Fairfax County lakefront parks.
There are several places to access the trail but we recommend parking near the marina. From here you can cross the wooden footbridge on the eastern side of the lake to hike the loop counter-clockwise. Alternatively, cross below the dam and up the west side of the lake to hike clockwise.The entire Lake Accotink Trail is open to cyclists. Don’t have a bike? On weekends, you can rent bikes at the park for $10 per hour, and $5 for additional bikes.

A 4-mile loop trail circles Lake Accotink and part of Accotink Creek. The Lake Accotink Loop Trail, which includes part of the Fairfax Cross County Trail (CCT), is popular with hikers and cyclists.
In addition to hiking, biking, and boating, visitors to Lake Accotink Park can fish, picnic, and play. Seasonal activities from April through October include:Other family-friendly options include the Lucky Duck 9-hole mini-golf course, picnic areas, and a lake tourboat. The antique carousel is currently closed, but the snack bar is open with soft serve ice cream available.

What is happening to Lake Accotink?
For decades, massive amounts of sediment have flowed downstream from Accotink Creek into Lake Accotink, forcing the county to occasionally dredge the lake to remove hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of muck. In mid-2022, the cost estimate was $30 million, which by the summer had doubled to $60 million.
Poor water quality and a silty bottom with fishing and other debris make the lake hazardous for human contact. This is also why paddleboarding is prohibited at Fairfax County lakes.Whether you stop in for a quick visit or spend the day hiking, fishing, and playing, Lake Accotink Park is a great resource for outdoor fun in Northern Virginia.

How long is Mason Park?
Experience this 1.1-mile loop trail near Houston, Texas. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 20 min to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, road biking, and running, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.
Location Tip: GPS maps may send you to a smaller parking area on Heming Ave. Our map link shows the larger parking area near the train trestle, dam, and marina. Look for the intersection of Accotink Park Road and Highland Street then follow the signs.

With plentiful free parking and proximity to the beltway, Lake Accotink is a nice spot to spend a day biking, hiking, boating, or just lazing by the water.No, unfortunately swimming and wading are not allowed at Lake Accotink. In fact, swimming is also prohibited at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax, the other Fairfax County lakefront parks.

Do you have to pay to park at Mote Park?
Car Parking All three car parks open at 7am and are free to use before 10am. After 10am, a £2 charge applies for up to 6 hours. More than six hours will cost £12; this is to discourage those not using the park from parking. Tickets can be purchased on site in the car parks or by using your mobile phone.
Some of the links in articles may be affiliate links where we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. We only link to products/services we recommend.

What is the history of Mason park?
The land comprising Mason Park was originally part of Rancho San Joaquin. This rancho was granted to Jose Sepulveda in 1842 by the Mexican governor Alvarado. In 1864 the Rancho, consisting of 48,803 acres, was acquired by the firm of Irvine, Flint, Bixby and Company.
Lake Accotink Park in Springfield is the middle child of the Fairfax County lake parks—smaller than popular Burke Lake, not as active as Lake Fairfax, but with a charm all its own. The 55-acre lake stretches from a dam at the park’s southern end to marshes and the Accotink Stream Valley to the north.

Join me, Julie McCool, and explore the best of Northern Virginia parks, hikes, historic sites, restaurants, breweries, wineries, seasonal events, and more.This is a mostly easy hike with a few short steep sections. The trail surface is dirt and stonedust with paved sections at the northern end. The full Lake Accotink loop includes a short section where you exit the park and follow Danbury Forest Road then reenter the park. Other than the neighborhood section, the trail is wooded and scenic.

Our Virginia travel guides are a resource for residents and visitors alike. Go beyond the standard tourist spots and discover fun things to do in Virginia, the Washington DC region, and beyond.
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission from these links if you order something, at no additional cost to you.