Cape Cod Rail Trail
April 14, 2016
Cross Island Trail
April 14, 2016

Lake Accotink Trail

As the name suggest, this is a trail set within the vicinity on Lake Accotink. The trail surrounds the shallow water lake making a loop and is 5 miles (8 km) long. The lake itself covers an area 55 acres wide providing a wonderful environment for various activities. In part, the trail lies where Orange and Alexandria Railroad passed through some years back.

The rail line was popular at the time of the Civil War when it was the main means of transport for materials and soldiers. Historical markers along the trail are available that serve as a confirmation of details of the line’s history in the current age. These markers also indicate the entry point to the park as well. There is a trestle bridge also at the starting point of the trail towering above the Accotink Creek and is still operational.

Another highlight of Lake Accotink Trail is the dam at the creek that was built more than 50 years ago and was a frequented fishing spot in the early days. In addition to walking, biking, hiking and picnicking, this trail offers a great avenue for many other activities such as enjoying the antique carousel as well as miniature golf. On the other hand, you can opt for a kayak or canoe ride on the lake at a fee as some of the other activities meant to break the monotony of activities that are common on most trails.

That is not all. How about playing basketball or volleyball on the sandy courts or basking in the shade of pavilion shelters as you enjoy the sight around. This is truly a unique experience that will give you reason enough to spare time in future to visit the place again. Picnic areas within the area that Lake Accotink Trail passes through have been supplied with grills and you can make a reservation for one of these spots on a first come, first served basis.

However, it is important to note that the section of the trail that lies next to the dam experiences flooding quite often when it rains and there is no bypass available. Hence, you would rather keep off the area to avoid any mishap that this may cause. Boat motors powered by gas, swimming, paddleboarding and windsurfing are prohibited here and should you wish to go fishing when you visit, a Virginia State Fishing License will be required.

The only vessels allowed on the lake are kayaks, electric powered motor boats and sailboats that are not more than 15 feet. From the picnic site and boat rental area, Lake Accotink Trail heads for a steep hill just before you get to the woods but the best thing is that you do not have to stick to the route if it proves a daunting task going up the hill. You can take the decent that may be easier for you to cope with as you go on to explore other areas along the trail.

From the woods, you will have a great view of the lake and marshland, while opting for the route on the other side of the lake brings you back to the antique carousel, from where geese can be spotted swimming in the lake. This forms not just a perfect environment for the trail but also for various individuals who come in to break away from a busy lifestyle.

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