Burke Lake/Park – a Great Place to Take the Family – Camp, Fish, Boating, and Playground

Burke Lake A Great Place For The Entire Family To Enjoy A Fun Day:

A great article about Burke Lake, which is located in the Burke, Virginia area was among the articles in the September 2011 issue of the Virginia Wildlife Magazine, story by King Montgomery. My husband and I love this magazine because it many fascinating articles about our beautiful state of Virginia. This article tells all about the history of the Burke Lake…some things, I never knew. I found it to be informative and educational because it gives us data about the park in Virginia that people may have never knew about. I like to provide readers with interesting articles… to avail them of exciting places to visit that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg for families to visit and enjoy.

A prominent farmer, merchant, and local politician Silas Burke (1796-1854) built a house on a hill in 1824 in what is now known as Burke, Virginia. The house is still standing, but it is private and not open to the public.

This I don’t remember, but the land where Burke Lake currently is, along with its surrounding park, are located where the initial Dulles International Airport was once planned to be built in the 1950’s. Locals in the area profusely objected to it being built there, and the airport was later built near the country town of Chantilly, Virginia. Burke Lake Park was brought to life because of this consequence.

In the early 1960’s, Burke Lake was constructed by damming of a creek. The Dibgell-Johnson Act and Wallop-Breaux Amendment provided some of the building and lake management funds. The D-J is the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, where as, anglers and others pay an excise tax on fishing and boating equipment. This money goes to states for their fishing programs. W-B added items of fishing and boating gear not covered under D-J. Hunting has an equivalent excise tax in the Pittman-Robertson Act.

People in the Burke Area and all other surrounding counties are now enjoying trails, boating, fishing and the beautiful country views instead of having to deal with loud airplane traffic in their area. There’s a lake full of fish to take a lazy boat ride and lie back and pull in the fish, or a peaceful picnic with a friend or family, while enjoying peace and quiet of the area.

Burke Lake is owned by the Department (DGIF) and the park around it is owned and operated by Fairfax County Park Authority. Both of these entities enjoy boat launch ramps right on the lake. The DGIF ramp and parking are open to the public year-round at no cost, and the county ramp is open during open hours of the park.

In the mid-1960s, the first structures built was the Marina Bait House and Snack Bar. Now, during the season, visitors can rent either a 14-foot aluminum johnboat or opt for a 12-volt electric motor with battery, and can purchase bait at the park, limited tackle items, and snacks. Burke Lake does not allow gasoline motors, but electric motors or a pair of oars are all a person really needs. A floatation device is required for each occupant and it is provided by the park.

The park enjoys 888-acres boasting a 4.5 jogging and bicycle path that circumnavigates the lake. It’s wheelchair and baby stroller friendly along most of its course. In 2005, the trail was selected the Number 5 top fitness trail in the country by the American Hiking Society.

The park offers visitors numerous places as picnic areas, sports areas, playgrounds, a disc golf course, an 18-hole par 3 golf course with driving range and practice green, an amphitheater, carousel, miniature train ride, ice cream parlor, and 100 camp sites with a small camp store that sells ice, wood, and charcoal.

If you’ve never acquainted yourself and family to the park, put it on your schedule, and you’ll find a place to get away from home and to enjoy having fun with your family. I can attest to the greatness of the park because I watched it grow, and I was fortunate enough to live in the area, while my children was growing up and we enjoyed many wonderful memorable times while visiting the park and the fishing too.


September 2011 issue of Virginia Wildlife, story by King Montgomery

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