This past fall and winter the trails had a lot of use and there was a lot of rain making for some very messy trails. The good news is the trails have dried up nicely and are in good shape. The entire trail is passable from the dam to Reservoir road and the trail markings have been updated. There are a good amount of ticks out, so be prepared.
Looks like all hopes for water access in the summer of 2019 have been dashed. Even with lots of (short) rain storms, the water level is not rising enough for Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks to open things up. We will get an update in September.
The first open house for Beaverdam held by NOVA Parks was a huge success. The NOVA parks auditorium was completely filled. By my count there was well over 100 people in attendance. Supervisors Clarke and York were in attendance as well as several NOVA Parks board members and even supervisor candidate Charles King made it out. The rowing teams had the most pronounced turnout but it was a diverse group. After an introduction, short movie and updates from Mark Perterson and Paul Gilbert, the crowd was invited to various stations. At the stations guests were able to learn about various efforts and features, as well as submit their feedback and idea. All in all, it was a fantastic turnout for a cold and rainy night. Thanks everyone for making this a great event!
Our friends at NOVA Parks have created a civic interaction website for Beaverdam. This will be a great online resource for users of the reservoir to directly communicate with NVRPA. Currently there is a short video and a simple poll.
NOVA Parks will be hosting the first Beaverdam Open House session on October 27th. Both Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks staff will be on site to answer questions and more importantly listen to your ideas for the future. Please take time to attend, even if just for a few minutes. You are key to shaping the future.
A great comment from Oleg, that deserves its own post:
Just a friendly note to fellow fisherman, boaters, and other park visitors of the reservoir.
How dare are you leave behind litter like empty glass and plastic bottles, soda and beer cans, used plastic lures and fishing line on the bank and in the water?
Are you not going to keep coming back to this place again and again?
Are you assuming that the park staff is meant to pick up after you because they collect reservoir usage fees?
What else makes you leave your garbage behind?!
Apparently there is an ongoing issue that park users feel to much relaxed about not taking back with them their used items and simply throw it away in the water or leave on it the spot.
Please raise this issue and possibly post warning signs along the park access point about users responsibility for picking up their trash.
I assume there are state-wide fines that can be imposed on people who leave litter in the parks. I little reminder for general awareness should help.
Please don’t litter. If you see litterbugs, report them to park staff. At a Loudoun Water meeting, Chairman Rocca mentioned when he was working with scouts, he asked them to each bring back at least two pieces of litter each time they went out on a hike. If you see trash, pick it up and throw it away. I’ve pulled several hanfulls of broken glass from the launch area myself along with other trash.
Keep the reservoir beautiful.
It seems that a few entrepreneurs have started using the reservoir for their gain. What is more troubling is that they are not paying launch fees like the rest of us. Worst of all they are filling up the parking lot and displacing paying users.
One paddle boarding (SUP) outfit will take you out for a short session on the water for $40. They don’t ask their users to pay the launch fee and they certainly don’t pay for ever vessel they own. In fact they have been parking their trailer right in front of the launch fee sign. I’d question any business that follows such shady practices. What else are they skimping on?
That said, NVRPA requires written permission for any commercial activity at any of their facilities. Currently there are no approved vendors at Beaverdam and NVRPA does not foresee any during the temporary opening. There is a communication issue about this policy and the lot attendants that is being addressed. Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon.
I do think there is a time and place for these types of activities, however they should get written approval, pay the appropriate fees, and limit their traffic to off peak times or use alternate launch points.
It has been a little over a month since the reservoir opened up. Traffic has been rather heavy, especially on the weekends. If you were used to a quiet place with only a person or two here and there, be prepared for a surprise. On Saturday or Sunday, expect the parking lot to be full after 10am. I’ve also had some discussions with NVRPA regarding parking. Parking is not allowed on the grass on either side of Mt. Hope. Since Mt. Hope is a state road, you may be able to park on the side of it if things get bad. The grass beyond the road on either side of Mt. Hope belongs to the church.
Making the issue worse at times is a lack of judgement from some folks when selecting a parking spot or two.
We’ve had lots and lots of rain in the last month and Loudoun Water has also been pumping in water from the goose. The water level is also back to its usual level, within 1 foot of the top of the concrete.
Beaverdam’s grand re-opening weekend was a great success. While there was no ribbon cutting event or any other official gathering, there was great weather and a great turnout. With highs in the low 90’s turnout was great. I arrived at just after 6AM on Saturday and there was already a handful of cars in the lot and plenty of fishermen on the banks. According to one of the NOVA parks employees, Joey, there was approximately 100 people there on day one. Certainly a nice showing of folks. Parking was tight at times but the water was nice and open.
Access to the water is good, there are large rocks that are very easy to launch from, however these won’t be available as the water level rises. Hopefully NOVA Parks has something planned. Also there was a lot of glass, wearing water shoes is a requirement. I picked up a couple of handfuls myself and encourage others to pick up as much as they can.
Unfortunately the word about staying away from the dam didn’t get to everyone. I saw several people there including some taking selfies. As hard as we worked to re-open the reservoir, it is tough to watch these fools out there so soon.
If you haven’t already been out, grab a kayak, canoe, paddle board or some hiking shoes, NOVA parks has done an excellent job getting the place ready for enjoyment. Admission was free and I believe will be free for the next couple of weeks.