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Enjoying water sports around Charlottesville

Discover Charlottesville with Realtor Virginia Gardner 434-981-0871Enjoying Water Sports Around Charlottesville

There are wonderful spots for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting for enjoying water sports around Charlottesville and the surrounding area, primarily on the Rivanna River or James River.  

From, "The beautiful and gentle Rivanna River flows through Albemarle and Fluvanna counties as well as the City of Charlottesville. Named for Queen Anne of England, the Rivanna is home to countless birds, fish, turtles and other creatures, as well as providing a wonderful place for human residents to fish, canoe, swim and boat. The river begins about six miles northeast of Charlottesville where the North and South forks of the river are joined, and flows about 42 miles to Columbia where it joins the mighty James River."  The Rivanna Conservation Society has spent a number of years mapping the Rivanna, the results of which can be found HERE.  They have maps which locates River Access points.

Here are but a few of the fishing, kayaking, rafting and other water sports places throughout the Central Virginia area:

Lake Anna - Virginia's third largest lake, Lake Anna welcomes you to enjoy your favorite watersport pleasure. Thirteen-thousand acres of water surface area provide 200 miles of shoreline.

Van Clief Nature Area and Scottsville Lake -  63-acre park owned by the Town of Scottsville Discover Charlottesville with Realtor Virginia Gardner 434-981-0871and located just east of Valley Street downtown. The centerpiece of the nature area is Scottsville Lake, where fishing is now open to the public. 

James River Reeling and Rafting - a company located in the Scottsville area that offers recreational opportunities along the James River

James River Runners  - canoeing, tubing, rafting, kayaking, camping and fishing on the James River in Central Virginia.

Rivanna River Company - Kayak, Canoe, Standup Paddleboard, and Tubing trips along the Rivanna River, just 5 minutes from Charlottesville's Downtown Mall.

Search Charlottesville area homes for sale with Realtor Virginia Gardner 434-981-0871Public Swimming, Sprays, Water Parks and Neighborhood Pools

Many Charlottesville area neighborhoods have pools exclusive only to owners in that community. Other neighborhoods have fitness centers, swimming pools, sprays and water parks nearby, open to the public. Most require small fees for their use. Here are some helpful links:

City and County Swimming Areas:
Albemarle County Parks and Recreation

City of Charlottesville Pools and Sprays

Fitness Centers with Pools:
ACAC Fitness and Wellness Centers: Albemarle Square, Downtown     Charlottesville, Adventure Central Water Park, and Crozet
Piedmont Brooks Family YMCA

Non-Exclusive Swim Clubs with Pools:
Fairview Swim and Tennis Club (Belvedere Neighborhood area in Albemarle County)

Fry's Spring Beach Club (City of Charlottesville)
Key West Swim and Tennis Club (Albemarle County)

Places for Fishing in the Charlottesville Area

Reservoirs and Lakes

From a June 18, 2013 article in our local paper, The Daily Progress, "Fishing Locations"  : "Within an hour of Charlottesville are a number of small lakes offering great opportunities for an assortment of fish. Within a mile of the city limits is the Rivanna Reservoir, which also serves as one of the main water supply sources for Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The 450-acre reservoir offers top fishing for largemouth bass, crappie, channel cats and bluegills. There are also some smallmouth in the lake and an occasional walleye. The reservoir is on Route 659 off Route 631 (Rio Road).

Another nearby gem of a lake is Chris Greene. This 62-acre impoundment is managed by the Albemarle parks and rec folks and is stocked with bass, crappie, bluegills and channel cats. There is a handicapped-accessible pier on the lake and a nice boat ramp. Chris Greene can be accessed on Route 606, about a mile from the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport.

Beaver Creek Reservoir is the water supply for Crozet and is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge. Not only is the scenery great, so is the fishing for bass, crappie, bluegills and catfish. To access Beaver Creek, take Route 680 from the junction of Route 240-U.S. 250 west of Charlottesville.

One of the areas smallest lakes, but one of the best, is Lake Albemarle. The 35-acre impoundment holds some quality bass, in addition to bluegills, crappie and channel cats. From Charlottesville, take Garth Road west to Route 614, to a left on Route 675.

Near Scottsville is Totier Creek Reservoir, home to some huge largemouth bass. The 66-acre lake also offers opportunities for chain pickerel, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. The reservoir is on Route 726.

Walnut Creek Lake is another Albemarle County-managed impoundment with very good fishing for bass, catfish, bluegills and redear sunfish. The state game department has created good fish habitat at Walnut Creek with several fish attractors, along with the natural cover provided by beaver huts and blow-downs, all of which increase the odds of catching a nice stringer of fish. From Charlottesville, take U.S. 29 south to a left on Route 708. Proceed about 3 miles, turn right on Route 631 and go about a half-mile to the entrance on the left.

Two other lakes worth mentioning are those at Mint Springs in Crozet. In the spring, both Mint Springs lakes are stocked with trout as part of Kids Fishing Day. Many trout hold over and bite well into the summer. There is also good angling for largemouth bass and bluegills. The park is on Route 788.

Local Rivers for Great Fishing

Several streams in the area also provide good fishing opportunities most notably the north and south forks of the Moormans River. These are trout streams located beyond White Hall that extend up into Shenandoah National Park. Parts of the Moormans are stocked in spring and fall, while the upper reaches of the North Fork Moormans have strong populations of native brook trout. From Charlottesville, take Garth Road to Route 614 and proceed west.

The Rockfish River is another stream to consider. It can be accessed at several points from U.S. 29 south and along Route 602. The Rockfish is an excellent smallmouth stream and also holds bluegills, perch and fallfish.

Two outstanding area rivers are the James and the Rivanna. The James, Virginias longest river, is one of the top smallmouth rivers in the state. The closest access points to the James are at Scottsville and Howardsville. The James is also home to some huge flathead catfish and has a large bream population.

The Rivanna, which flows just north of Charlottesville, is a little more difficult to access, but provides great fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass, as well as perch and bluegills. Some decent wading access is available just below the dam off U.S. 29 north and at Darden Towe Park.

To sum things up, there are many excellent choices for enjoying water sports and fishing in the Charlottesville area!

Please visit our posts about Kayaking the Rivanna River and Its Hot! Hike to Waterfalls for Beautiful Relief.. 
Find out more about enjoying other outdoor recreation here: Great Trails to Visit in VA and Hiking Crabtree Falls

-Albemarle County-Information about this Central Virginia County - Learn why the area is attracting people of all ages and interests

photo cover of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Outdoor Recreation Guide



There are LOADS of fun, outdoor recreational opportunities in the Charlottesville area. The best resource we've found is the Charlottesville-Albemarle Recreation Guide, developed by Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Activities in the guide include hiking, cycling, mountain biking, canoeing , kayaking, fishing, golfing, horseback riding, and more. Also, there are website links to visit for more detailed information. Above all else, there is something fun for everyone here!


If you are considering purchasing or selling a home in the Charlottesville area, rely on me to help you put the pieces together.  Virginia Gardner, Roy Wheeler Realty Co., (434) 981-0871 Email Virginia