About Lake Anna
In 1971, Lake Anna was created to serve as a source of cooling water for Virginia Power’s (now called Dominion) North Anna One and Two nuclear reactors. Creating the lake was accomplished by building a 90-foot high earth and rock dam on the North Anna River near Bumpass. Careful planning by engineers expected the creation of 17-mile long Lake Anna west of the dam after about two years of regular rainfall and run off.
Would be LKAer’s didn’t have to wait that long, though. Mother Nature intervened with Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972 and 12 inches of rain fell in the watershed. Lake Anna was created about one-and-a-half years early with 225 miles of lake front property and approximately 13,500 acres ready to be explored.
The down lake section of Lake Anna begins at the dam and runs back to the power station across from the mouth of Sturgeon Creek. It is characterized by clear water, shallow coves and little commercial development.
The mid lake region is the section from the power plant back up to The Splits where the North Anna River arm (approximately eight miles) and Pamunkey Branch (approximately six miles) diverge. This part of Lake Anna is known for deep, clear water, much of the State Park land, Contrary Creek and most of the commercial businesses that operate on the lake.
Head past The Splits in either arm and you are in the up lake region. Here you’ll find some agricultural land use, shallower water, water willow grass, some commercial businesses and the headwaters of the lake.
Also in 1972, work began on the acquisition and development of a water-oriented state park. Lake Anna State Park opened in 1983 on the north shore of the Pamukey Branch just above The Splits as the culmination of these efforts.
Several bridges cross the North Anna River and Pamunkey Branch in the up lake region. Most boats are able to cruise under these bridges offering unlimited access to the main lake. The main bridge for Route 208 (New Bridge), approximately one mile below The Splits, and the Contrary Creek bridge, are the only bridges that cross the lower side of the main lake.
All over the main lake there are hundreds of little coves that provide nearly endless opportunities to explore and more room for boating, recreation and lake communities.
For the purpose of cooling the warm water discharged from the power plant, without affecting the main portion of the lake, Lake Anna was designed with two navigable parts, the public and private (warm) side. This was accomplished by building dikes across the mouth of the first three tributaries from the dam, on the south shore. Each of these tributaries were then connected by canals to dispense the warm waters throughout all of them, eventually returning the cooled water to the main lake at Dike III.
The warm side of the lake also features dozens of quiet coves and lake communities. You cannot reach the “private” side unless you have access to a boat ramp in one of its communities.
Together, both sides of Lake Anna create a one-of-a-kind, highly desirable, 12-month out of the year site for those that enjoy water sports and fishing.
There are no speed limits and you can enjoy the lake 24/7, however all Virginians are required by law to have taken Boating Safety. The Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Louisa County and Spotsylvania all patrol the lake to ensure the safest possible environment.
In recent years, commercial development of the lake has expanded with a shopping center that includes a national grocery store, Virginia ABC store, restaurants and more. These commercial businesses have greatly expanded Lakers’ and visitors’ dining and shopping options making for a more complete experience.
Any visit to the lake will reveal a vibrant resort setting that swells during The Season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) and beckons to those that do not live here year round, even in the off season.
Visitors hail from all over the country with a concentration from the northeastern seaboard states and the DC-metropolitan area. Most lakehomes are used as weekend homes. Many are available to rent.The lake’s only waterfront hotel (The Lighthouse Inn) is very busy.
There are a number of major marinas capable of handling everything from a day visit to a club fishing tournament. Many have pavilions for outdoor gatherings.
There are over 100 communities around the lake offering waterfront, waterview and water access homes and lots. Several new developments open each year.
The Lake Anna Business Partnership holds the annual LakeFest in the spring each year, as well as a Lake Love Concert Series throughout the summer and Laketoberfest Columbus Day weekend. The Lake Anna Winery hosts a number of well-attended and popular events each year. We even have a cidery, two breweries, taphouse and farm fresh ice cream to enjoy. There’s everything you’d want within an hour’s drive, plus countless activities right here. You can be ultra-busy or just relax during your stay.
Come discover Lake Anna with us this year and make it a tradition every year afterward.