Refreshing Charlottesville Real Estate Summer Retreats

Cool Off in Our Albemarle County Lakes

It’s hot and the kids are bored …. Yes! It feels like the “Dog Days of Summer” even if the calendar doesn’t agree.  The kids are bored, and gas is more or less $4/gallon – so what do you do?

Old Fashion Summertime Fun in Albemarle County!

All within 30 minutes or less of Charlottesville are inexpensive water activities, three of them managed by the Albemarle County Parks and Recreation. Tired of guessing?  There are three old fashioned water parks in the area – called swimming lakes.

Down by the Old Swimming Hole!

These Albemarle County swimming lakes are open for swimming from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend for minimal rates.  Season passes from $30 to $150 for season passes  and daily passes from $2.00 to $4.50.  All have lifeguards on duty during the swimming season and are open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  These lakes are also open year round during daylight hours.

Get Out and Play in Albemarle County

There is Mint Springs Valley Park just outside of Crozet. The lake consists of 502 acres of land, 8 acres of water and 2 acres of beach.  There are trails for hiking or biking or running.  The lake is also stocked with trout, for which you need a Virginia Trout license, and with sunfish, channel cat and largemouth bass.  You will need a Virginia State License to fish.  You can also bring your canoe, kayak or fishing boat.  No gasoline motors though, only electric motors.  There is a wheelchair accessible playground with six picnic tables and 5 grills scattered about.  There are also two picnic shelters, both with open grills and electricity, and restrooms are available.  The drive to and from through Albemarle County’s beautiful estate properties is worth the trip in itself.

More Summer Fun in Charlottesville, VA

You live in town and Crozet is a little farther than you want to go – well there is Chris Greene Lake located near the airport.  It’s hard to believe this pretty little “swimming hole” is located at the edge of Charlottesville’s most popular residential neighborhoods and at the edge of it’s newest commercial district. This lake consists of 120 acres of land, 62 acres of water and 2 acres of beach.  At Chris Greene you can rent a canoe for $5.00 an hour during the swimming season.  There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier.  You can bring your own water craft, as long as it’s powered by an electric motor – or old fashioned paddles.  Walking paths and trails are available and the playground is also wheelchair accessible with 8 picnic tables and 5 grills scattered around.  Also available are two picnic shelter with open grills and electricity, with seasonal rest rooms.

Soak in the Cool Walnut Creek

There’s one more swimming hole near town – Walnut Creek down Rt. 29 South at Red Hill located in the midst of one of Albemarle County’s premier estate property locations. This one has 480 acres of land, 45 acres of water and 2 acres of beach.  You can rent a canoe here for  $5.00 an hour as well.  The lake is stocked with sunfish, channel cat and largemouth bass for those wanting to try their luck.  You can bring your own boat as well – as long as it’s powered by an electric motor or paddles.  Into hiking, biking or running, there are 15 miles of trails set aside just for these activities.  There are only 4 picnic tables scattered about and two shelters, one has electricity and no grill, and the other has a grill and no electricity.  There are only seasonal restrooms available.

Tubular Action Can Be Yours

Looking for something a little more exciting than a swimming hole – how about a river – the James River to be exact.  In Scottsville you can touch base with James River Reeling and Rafting – – and make a reservation for a trip down the river by tube, by canoe, by raft or by kayak.  You can even rent a tube for your cooler and float down the river having a picnic.

There are half day trips, full days trips and overnight trips available.  For the more experienced, there are different levels of rapids for you to explore and for the less experienced there is are what is called “riffles.”   For overnight trips, there are primitive riverside campsites for the evening.  And you only have to bring yourself and your picnic.  James River Reeling and Rafting takes care of everything else.  You will need a reservation, so visit their web site for more information.

More James River Rafting Fun!

And there’s not just one river trip group – there’s another located at Hatton Ferry – 5 miles from Scottsville – called James River Runners.  You can do part day, full day and overnight trips with them too.  They offer tubing, rafting, canoeing and kayaking as well – and provide everything for you except your picnic.  They need reservations too so check them out at

Historic Homes of Albemarle County

The drive down Rt. 20 South to Scottsville and/or Hatton’s Ferry takes you through Albemarle County’s historic estates – once known as plantations – and is worth the drive as you travel through these magnificent estates with the mountains as a backdrop.

If you are interested in moving to the Charlottesville Albemarle area, let us know.  As real estate professionals in the Charlottesville Albemarle area we are able to introduce you to our diverse neighborhoods and show you a broad spectrum of available homes in the area.  If you are local and looking for a larger or smaller home, let us help you find your next home.  If you are happy with your current home and are looking for a second vacation home, The Chase Team can help you find your mountain vacation home at Wintergreen, a mountain/ski resort only 45 minutes from Charlottesville.  Wintergreen has much more to offer than just skiing.

If you have any questions about our area, please leave a comment on this blog.

Wishing you and your family a fun filled summer,