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.
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.
Yesterday several key stakeholders were invited to meet with Loudoun Water and NOVA Parks to discuss the temporary opening of Beaverdam Creek Reservoir. We met at the Mt. Hope road location, which will serve as the only public access location for now. The reservoir is quickly filling back up, though it is not up to its normal level yet. Some good news was shared with us. First, the reservoir will be opening a few days early, Saturday the 30th of May. Second, the rowers have been relocated to their own location on Alford Rd, as has all their equipment. The parking situation at Mt. Hope is greatly improved. The rowing team however did take their dock. The reservoir looks great, several times we heard fish jumping out of the water and DGIF has said the the fish population looks good.
With the opening, Loudoun Water has some concerns. First is that we stay away from the dam area, both on the water and on foot. Second is that we do not park on the church side of Mt. Hope Rd. The church has been helpful to us, please respect the parking situation. If the lot is full, you can park down the road at the NOVA parks lot. Last they ask you respect the land and water. If you see someone doing something they should not be doing, please call the Loudoun Sheriff’s dept. Let’s not let a few rotten apples spoil the bunch. Loudoun Water is also paying for the Sheriff’s dept to do additional patrols. Ads will be run is Leesburg/Ashburn Today and the Loudoun Times with opening details.
Chris Pauley’s team from the Fairfax location of NOVA Parks (NVRPA) is managing the recreational side of the facility. Staff will be visiting the facility on a regular basis as well as be onsite during weekends. The park will be run just like the various other NVRPA launch points in the area (Algonkian/Occoquan) and as such a $4 launch fee will be assessed or you can purchase a yearly “All Park” pass for $70 at the NVRPA site. The gates will be opened at dawn and closed at dusk. Only car-top boats can be launched at Beaverdam. There is no boat ramp or room for trailer parking. Sunfish or small sailboats are fine as long as they don’t need a trailer. Stand up paddling and sailboards are fine as well. Swimming is not allowed. NOVA Parks worked hard to convince LW that SUPs were not there to swim! The trails are available only for walking/hiking. No MTB at this time.
To say we’re excited that NOVA Parks is running the facility is an understatement. They are a great bunch of people that get parks and watersports. See you out on the water!
* If you see someone breaking the rules, call the Sheriff
* Do not park on the church side of Mt. Hope
* Stay away from the dam!
* Enjoy the park, keep it beautiful.
We met with Loudoun Water and NoVA parks at the reservoir today to view the progress and to discuss opening details. The great news is the reservoir is opening a few days early, this Saturday!
Please park in designated areas on Mt. Hope Rd. Do not park on the church side. Please stay away from the actual dam and spillway! Rules will be similar to other NVRPA (NoVA Parks) areas that allow car-top carry boats. There is no boat ramp or dock, as such, no trailers allowed. More details to follow.
Just a quick update, I have heard from our friends at Loudoun Water and NVRPA, all systems are go for opening on June 1. Public access will be at the Mt. Hope site. We are meeting with them next week to get the final details. If you have specific questions, please comment below and I will try to get your questions answered.