Virginia is one of the best places in the country for waterways with fun activities for the whole family. The Woodbridge area in particular has many lakes and rivers that offer plenty of fishing, boating, and other water-based activities. The next time you and your family want to get out on the water, head to one of these seven waterways around Woodbridge.
“Kids Fishing” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by vastateparksstaff
Woodbridge, Virginia, is right on the banks of the Occoquan River, which joins Belmont Bay, Occoquan Bay, and the Potomac River to the southeast. And to the northwest, the river becomes the Occoquan Reservoir. So, there are places to go and see on this awesome river.
If you’re using a motorized boat, you can launch from the Occoquan Harbour Marina and Belmont Bay Harbor Marina, both of which are full-service marinas. Some amenities you’ll find when you dock at these marinas include high-quality floating docks, barbecue grills and pavilions on-site for a cookout before or after you boat, an on-site restaurant, and convenient locations.
In addition to these marinas, you can also launch kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards at various points along the river, a relaxing pastime that’s perfect for connecting with nature. It’s also a great waterway for fishing, with plenty of perch, bass, crappie, catfish, and other species. If you don’t have one of these watercraft, you can rent at one of the many watercraft rental locations in the area.
Leesylvania State Park
Leesylvania State Park is on the south side of Woodbridge along the Occoquan Bay to the east and the Potomac River to the southeast. There are many water-based activities at this 500-acre park. You can go boating on the Potomac River and in Occoquan Bay, but if you’re into sailing, the Potomac River is a stellar place to do so. In fact, even just a visit to the Leesylvania State Park coast has you watching sailboats go by. You can also launch kayaks and canoes at one of the launches and explore the Potomac that way, too.
Be sure to bring your fishing pole and bait — this area is fantastic for sport fishing, and you can catch largemouth bass, catfish, perch, and striped bass. Cast your line from the shores or while boating or kayaking out in the water.
Lake Ridge Park and Marina
Lake Ridge Park and Marina is located northwest from the center of Woodbridge, right on the Occoquan Reservoir, which connects to the Occoquan River to the southeast. This 74-acre park offers amazing views of the water from the trails and plenty of places to launch kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. The marina has three-season boat rentals in case you don’t have your own watercraft and a boat launch and dock. You can rent tandem kayaks and solo kayaks, pedal boats, canoes, rowboats, and standup paddleboards.
If you’re there to fish, pick a spot along the shoreline or head out on a boat to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, and catfish.
Locust Shade Park
Locust Shade Park is located south of Woodbridge in nearby Triangle. There’s an 8-acre pond in the park where you and the kids can fish for trout from November to April, catfish in the spring, and largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill any time. You can only fish from the shore here, but you’ve got amazing views of the water and surrounding landscape while you do it. In addition to fishing, you can also rent a pedal boat on the weekends to take a trip out on the water.
After you’re done fishing or paddling around the pond, stick around the park to enjoy some mini golf, the playground, or a nice hike.
Quantico Marine Corps Base
The Quantico Marine Corps Base has a few ponds, lakes, and other waterways that you can fish in with a base permit. Lunga Reservoir, about 17 miles west from Quantico on the shores of the Potomac, is part of the base and is an excellent fishing spot. It’s stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, sunfish, warmouth, pickerel, catfish, bullhead, and perch.
Another fishing hole in the Quantico MCB area is Smith Lake, about 20 miles south of Woodbridge down I-95. This reservoir is stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, and black crappie, and you can even take your boat out on the water for even better access to these great catches. Be sure to hang around Smith Lake Park for a while after your fishing trip is done because the area has plenty of other kid-friendly activities, like a playground, soccer fields, baseball fields, and nice walking trails.
For another view of the Potomac, head across the river to Piscataway Park. This Maryland park is a nearly 30-mile drive from Woodbridge and well worth the hour in the car. Not only is this park perfect for wildlife viewing and seeing animals like beavers, deer, ospreys, and bald eagles, it also has an amazing fishing pier and two boardwalks that overlook the freshwater tidal woodlands.
You can also launch your boat onto Piscataway Creek, which runs into the Potomac from Fort Washington Marina. This boating adventure offers lots of natural and undeveloped landscape to view along these two waterways.
Silver Lake Regional Park
Silver Lake Regional Park is a 230-acre area located in Haymarket, Virginia, which is about 35 miles northwest of Woodbridge. This park is a great outdoorsy day trip destination with its 23-acre lake, 4 miles of trails, and scenic picnic areas.
To really enjoy Silver Lake, you’ve got to get out on a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard. You can just enjoy paddling around the lake’s surface, or you can pick a nice spot and cast your line. This lake is a trout lover’s paradise but also has largemouth bass, sunfish, bluegill, and carp. You can fish from the pier and along the banks, too.So there you have it, seven of the best waterways in and around Woodbridge, Virginia. Did we miss any of your family’s favorite places for fun in the water? Let Crème de la Crème of Port Potomac know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!