Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lake Robertson - August 2008

Lake Robertson Recreation Area contains a small lake of about 40 acres in Rockbridge County, Virginia. I arrived on a mostly cloudy Thursday afternoon and found that I had the lake to myself, as is mostly the case on weekdays. 

An easterly flow off the Atlantic, thanks to a high pressure system in New England and Tropical Storm Fay in Florida, provided upslope clouds today, keeping temperatures comfortably in the upper 70s during the time I was on the lake. A 5-7 mph wind gave me the opportunity to test the sailing rig on my 17' Heritage kayak.

Lake Robertson typifies the small fishing lakes in the greater western Virginia area - a small lake behind an earthen dam with good boat access and beautiful scenery. Paddle-craft and small fishing boats are the only types of boats allowed on these lakes, making for a relaxing paddle. There are a couple of picnic shelters on one side of the lake, and that's about it as far as development is concerned. 

I did two laps of the lake today which takes about 40 minutes, depending on the boat and how hard one paddles. The 17' Heritage is quite a bit faster than my 14' model, so I'm able to cover more ground, and if I push it hard, I can get from one end of the lake to the other in just a few minutes.

One side of the lake has a rocky shoreline consisting of limestone. A large beaver lodge is located on this side of the lake, tucked inbetween two large limestone outcrops:

The end of the lake farthest from the boat access is marshy and shallow (second picture, in the distance), and it's not unusual to see small and very large turtles sunning themselves on logs near the marsh. The dam drains from the bottom via a gated spillway located behind the earthen dam:

They usually draw down the lake in the fall, cutting off boat access until spring. Lake Robertson is only about 15 minutes from my home, making it an attractive destination for a quick paddle. A slight breeze allowed me to do a little sailing using my new rig. However, it wasn't quite enough of a breeze the keep the sail furled and provide a good test of the rigging, so I continue to wait for a stiff breeze.

View this location in Google Maps by clicking here.

1 comment:

Ronnie Ron said...

Thank you! For putting up this site. I've recently moved back from Florida to build a new business in the mid-atlantic and have been on the lookout for a serial water rat site. If anyone has open trips planned or wants to gather, feel free to call me at
(540) 229-0170 or e-mail
Have a great day in the primordial soup.