Lakes & Marinas

Main Lake

A 500-acre man-made lake. Depth of the Main Lake ranges from two feet at the upper southwest end, where Flat Run feeds the lake, to 45 feet at the upper end near Veterans Memorial Dam (lake depth map). The lake is fed by 4,557 acres (7.12 sq. miles). The lake is impounded by Veteran's Memorial Dam which spans 1,450 feet and is 60 feet tall. It was built in 1968. The normal level for the lake is 317.5 feet above sea level. This lake has two marinas, seven lake access areas, and eight sand beaches.

The Main Lake is a multi-use amenity for the enjoyment of a wide variety of water activities, including fishing, water skiing, pleasure boating, personal watercraft (PWCs), swimming, sailing, canoing, and kayaking. 

The Main Lake is patrolled by security during the boating season and persons found in violation of regulations may be cited.
The speed limit on the Main Lake during daylight hours is 36mph and power boats must travel in a counter-clockwise direction around the lake.

Main Lake Beaches

All beaches close at 10pm. Lifeguards are not provided at any of LOW's beaches. Some beaches offer picnic tables and outdoor cooking facilities; and are available to members on a first-come, first-served basis.

Clubhouse Beach – Next to LOW Clubhouse (Section 18)

Cornwallis Beach – Cornwallis Ave (Section 8)

Edgemont Beach – Edgemont Circle (Section 5)

Pleasant Grove Beach – Pleasant Grove Road (Section 3)

Harpers Ferry Beach – Harpers Ferry Ave (Section 11)

Mt. Pleasant Beach – Mt. Pleasant Drive (Section 1)

Ramsay Beach – Ramsay Road (Section 7)

Skyline Beach – Skyline Road (Section 1)

Sailboat Beach is located next to the volleyball courts near Clubhouse Point. This beach is for use by sailboats, canoes, kayaks, the Junior Sailing Club, and other activities using non-motorized boats requiring lake access.
 

Keaton's Lake

A 24-acre lake in Section 13, aka Fishing Lake or Small Lake. Keaton's Lake has an average depth of 7 feet, the shallowest portion of the lake is at the confluence of Keaton's Run. Keaton’s Run dam spans 450 feet and is 34 feet tall, was built in 1968 and impounds the lake. Normal level for the lake is 284.0 feet above sea level. Total drainage area for Keaton's Lake is 755 acres (1.18 sq. miles).

Keaton's Lake has one boat launch area and one sand beach (Cumberland Beach located on Cumberland Circle).

Keaton's Lake is open to swimming, fishing, canoing, kayaking, and use of electric-powered watercraft.
Gas powered motors are not permitted on this lake. The speed limit on Keaton's Lake is *No wake speed.*
 

Front Entrance Pond

Three acres and serves as a sediment basin for surrounding properties. Boating, swimming, and fishing are not allowed, except for the Annual Children’s Fishing Tournament sponsored by the Lake Youth Foundation.

Lake Safety

LOWA Regulations provide detailed information on boating speed limits, boating rules, proper use of floats and PWCs, courtesy and consideration of other users of watercraft, and additional information. Prior to operating a powered watercraft on LOWA lakes users must complete the LOWA Boater Safety course and pass the test.

The lake bottoms were cleared of standing trees before filling with water, but underwater hazards still exist, such as tree stumps and rocks. No one should jump or dive into the water prior to an underwater examination of what might be there that cannot be seen from the surface.

There are a series of buoys placed around the Main Lake indicating “Slow No Wake” zones between the buoys and the shore. Boats operating between the buoys and the shore are required to operate at No Wake Speed. This is a safety issue as well as an erosion control issue.
 

Marinas

There are two marinas on the Main Lake. The Main Marina is located on Riverdale Lane adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Dam spillway, and the Small Marina is located on Lakeview Parkway not far from the back gate. Both marinas offer boat slips, a boat launch site for member use, and parking space for trailers. The Main Marina offers ethanol-free gas, and various boating merchandise. The station is open Tuesday through Sunday, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hours of operation are 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm Tuesday-Friday and 9:30am to 5:30pm Saturday and Sunday. Closed Mondays. The station is open weekends only April to Memorial Day and Labor Day to mid-October from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

No swimming is allowed at either marina.

The Association provides boat slips at the two marinas. Slip assignment can be requested by calling the Association office at 972-2237. The slips are available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis to members for an annual fee. Members are encouraged to make docking arrangements with residents whenever possible.

Boating

All boats and watercraft used on LOW's lakes must be registered annually by May 1 and display a current LOWA decal, including sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and PWCs. Refer to the Fee Schedule for the current annual fee. Launching of "guest" watercraft that does not display a LOWA decal is not permitted. 

Members registering a boat must show evidence of having passed the LOWA Boater Safety Course, have a current member or tenant ID card, and proof of craft type, ownership, and adequate insurance. All boat registrations are handled at the Holcomb Building. Powered boats, including sail watercraft with a single displacement hull, and deck boats are limited to 22 feet or less in length, exclusive of motors; pontoon boats are limited to 25 feet or less in overall length. Watercraft equipped with a toilet of any type, including port-a-potties, is not allowed on the lakes.

Powered boats and sailboats over 18 feet operated on our lakes must be titled but are not required to be registered with the State of Virginia unless other use or situations require it. Members are advised to be familiar with registration requirements appropriate to their own situation. Lake users are advised that our lakes are subject to compliance with all Virginia and Orange County waterway use rules and regulations, registration requirements and applicable personal property taxes. LOW Security, state and local licensing authorities and law enforcement personnel (game wardens) are permitted to monitor our lakes for compliance with boating and fishing regulations. Members are advised to keep abreast of regulations and licensing obligations to avoid fines.


 If you use your boat outside of LOW, be sure to thoroughly clean the trailer, the bilge, the motor, and the outside of your boat to remove any possible remains of invasive aquatic plants and/or organisms before returning to LOW. These pests are not welcome in LOW and vigilance is required to prevent them from accidentally being transported to our lakes.*
 

Fishing

LOW anglers are subject to compliance with all Virginia fishing laws and licensing requirements (reg. X.I.1.).

The Lake's game fish populations include largemouth bass, yellow perch, blue gill, shell cracker (redear), catfish, and crappie. Triploid Grass Carp are periodically stocked to control aquatic vegetation. Additional forage fish are stocked to include golden shiners and minnows.


Both lakes are predator heavy LOWA encourages the use of a slot limits for bass as follows:


Main Lake: Remove all bass between 10”-14”in length.

Keaton Lake: Remove all bass less than 12” in length.

Catch and Release should be performed on all bluegill and shell cracker.

Artificial fish structures have been installed in our lakes at various locations. Each structure can be located using a GPS system on your boat. The co-ordinates are attached to the map.

Members are reminded that fishing lines must be attended at all times and trotlines are not permitted. Fishing line lost or discarded in the lake has many negative consequences including injuring or killing fish, crustaceans, birds, and other animals and causing damage to motors and propellers.

Fishing is not permitted at the front entrance pond, except for the annual Children's Fishing Tournament.
 


Dredging

LOWA has its own dredging equipment that is used to remove sand, silt, and organic matter from both lakes at storm water fallout sites on a three-year cycle. Dredging activity maintains a 3-foot buffer from all private property structures and is limited as to how much material can be removed that will not alter the original contours of the lake by government regulation. A hydrographic survey was completed in 2003 and in 2012, so lake bottom contours are known and this information has proven valuable in assessing present and future dredging activities.
 


The Environmental Resources Department

In charge of ensuring that our lakes remain healthy for humans and wildlife. Upland streams feed our lakes, and our lakes affect water quality downstream, the Lake Management Program at LOW is quite comprehensive. Some elements of the program include water quality testing, monitoring lake water levels, maintenance and operation of the dams, installation of fish habitat in the lakes, and collection and interpretation of water resources data.

If you have any questions or comments about the water resources at LOW, please call the Environmental Resources Manager at 972-5548.