Lake Anna, VA

Lake Anna

Lake Anna is one of the largest freshwater inland lakes in Virginia, covering an area of 13,000 acres. It is located 72 miles south of Washington, D.C. in Louisa and Spotsylvania counties, with its northern tips reaching into Orange County. The lake's easy accessibility from Richmond and Charlottesville makes it one of the most popular recreational lakes in the state. (View a map.)

Lake Anna offers many activities, such as:

Nearby attractions include:

  • vineyards
  • antique shopping
  • golf
  • historic sites
  • theme parks

Lake Anna at a Glance

Lake Anna was created in the 1970s by Dominion Energy’s predecessor, Virginia Electric and Power Company, to provide cooling for the company’s North Anna Power Station. The company purchased 18,000 acres of land in the 1968 and cleared it to create the 9,600-acre Lake Anna reservoir and the 3,400-acre North Anna Waste Heat Treatment Facility (WHTF). The lake was formed by damming the North Anna River.

The gates of the dam were closed in January 1972 and it was projected to take three years for the lake to fill up with water from natural rainfall in time for the first North Anna unit to begin commercial operation. However, on June 21 and 22, 1972, Hurricane Agnes – a tropical storm by the time it reached Central Virginia – stalled and virtually filled the lake full. Water level reached 250 feet above mean sea level – or full pond – in December 1972.

Both the reservoir and the WHTF play an integral role in providing safe and reliable electricity to Virginians, as well as providing a wonder place for recreation and fishing for Lake Anna residents and property owners, and thousands of people who visit the area each year.