Rainy Day Ramble to Lake Anna State Park – March 20, 2016

With my Spring Break coming to an end, we decided do a scenic, back roads drive to Lake Anna State Park. We were last there March 22, 2014, so it was certainly time for a return visit. We were hopeful when we saw a few peeks of sunshine through the clouds as we left the house, but ultimately we encountered chilly temperatures, rain, and some rain mixed with snow! Much driving, but not much picture-taking this time!

You can view a large,  interactive map  of our trip, and this is a small screenshot that shows our route. The red dots represent the drive to Lake Anna, blue stars mark places we stopped, green dots show the return route, and the yellow dots show a brief side-trip loop!


I took this picture of Wayne at Colling Point on Lake Anna (point 26 on the map).  It was in the upper 30s, breezy, and especially cool by the water, so we didn’t stay long!


Unfortunately, by the time we got to Lake Anna State Park, the weather was even worse!  The Park was basically deserted, and there were no boats out on the water.  Even though it was too wet to get out of the car and walk around, we enjoyed driving through the campground and picnic areas.


Pretty place, even in the rain/snow–and the lake is HUGE.  It’s about 17 miles from one end to the other, with over 200 miles of shoreline:


With so few pictures from today, here are some pictures from March 22, 2014 when we had much better weather:

Sign at the entrance:


Red-tailed Hawk:

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American Coot, seagull, and ducks.  We also saw Ospreys in 2014, but we weren’t able to photograph them.

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Sun setting over the water:


Fishermen at sunset:


When we left Lake Anna in 2014, it was almost dark–and then it was REALLY dark when we tried to find our way home on back roads.  Thinking we were lost, we stopped by the side of the road to look at a map.  Up ahead and on the right we could see some building lit up out there in the absolute middle of nowhere.  By accident, we’d discovered Tavern on the Rail!  It was a wonderful, unexpected surprise, and our dinner was delicious.




The restaurant (in a restored building from 1837) is only open Thursday – Saturday, so we didn’t have the option of stopping for dinner tonight.  We also decided to take a different route home, so we wouldn’t have passed it again, anyhow.

We DID drive through the town of Mineral twice today, and I just learned that the town was named “Mineral” because it was an early mining center in Virginia.  It had as many as fifteen gold mines, and zinc and lead mines operated into the 1970s.  Interesting!

When we drove through Mineral on the way home, we turned RIGHT when we came to this intersection. 😉


Given the history behind the name of “Mineral,” I wondered how the town of Cuckoo got its name. Well, supposedly one of the first cuckoo clocks in Virginia was in a tavern in the little community, so the name “Cuckoo” stuck.

And more trivia: the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in August 2011 was centered near the town of Cuckoo, VA. Not only did I feel it (understatement!) at my school 60 miles away, it was felt in more than a dozen states and into Canada.

We also passed through the town of Bumpass today.  I’ll let you Google that one yourself! 🙂

We’ll certainly visit Lake Anna again–but we’ll try for a day with more warmth and less rain!

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