Sunday, June 21, 2009

Walnut Creek Lake - June 2009

Walnut Creek Lake is a 40-acre lake located about 10 miles south of Charlottesville, Virginia in Walnut Creek Park, an Albemarle County Park with full facilities, including a boat ramp, public beach, and plenty of parking. It cost me $4.50 to enter the park and explore this small lake on a sunny and warm day with my 17' Heritage Expedition kayak.

Being Sunday, the park was fairly crowded. There were several boats fishing on the lake, and I saw three other kayaks as well as several canoes. Compared to my typical paddling experience, this was equivalent to being stuck on the Jersey Turnpike during rush hour. Winds were breezy today as well, and while I was tempted to break out my sail, the lake was just too small to bother.


The lake itself is relatively long and linear, with two small coves to explore. The edges of the lake were fairly covered with aquatic vegetation which limited my ability to get back into the corners of the coves.


I spent about 35 minutes working my way down the lake from one end to the other, including some time exploring a feeder creek, although I wasn't able to paddle very far upstream.


Including the return trip back to the parking area, I spent about 50 minutes on the water this afternoon. The lake itself if pleasant enough, if a tad small. I'm learning that lakes under about 50 acres or so are, for the most part, good for exploring and poking around but too small for much of a workout or sailing.


For Charlottesville-area paddlers, the lake is convenient and worth exploring, and it's especially attractive as a paddling destination while the rest of the family lounges on the beach. However, I wouldn't drive too far specifically to paddle on this lake.


View this location in Google Maps by clicking here.

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