By Lynn R. Mitchell
Press releases shared the news that Todd Lake, located in the northwestern corner of Augusta County, would be closed for the 2015 season to rebuild the dam. When my children were young, we spent many happy summer days on the beach of Todd Lake with friends, enjoying this watering hole surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains of western Virginia. It was far less populated than Sherando located in the southeastern area of Augusta County, and quiet, a meandering 30-minute drive from our home west of Staunton. The photos above were taken in October 2013 when Congress had shut down all the national parks and we were not able to access the beach area.
Here is the press release explanation for closing the Todd Lake Recreation Area:
Todd Lake Recreation Area, including the campground, day use area, and loop trail, is temporarily closed for 2015 due to the reconstruction of the Todd Lake Dam. The entire recreation area is expected to re-open to the public in 2016. Additional information can be found on the official news release, or by contacting the North River Ranger District at 540.432-0187.The U.S.D.A. Forest Service announced that Todd Lake Recreation Area, located in Augusta County, Virginia, will not open in 2015 due to reconstruction of the Todd Lake Dam. Closures include the Campground and Day Use Areas, and Todd Lake Loop Trail.A portion of Leading Ridge Road (Forest Road #95a) will also close during reconstruction. The entire area, which usually is open from mid-May to mid-October, will not re-open to the public until the summer of 2016.Todd Lake Dam, owned and operated by the Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District, needs upgrades to meet State requirements. Although, this is not a Forest Service project, Todd Lake is located on the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests. The construction work is extensive and to ensure the public’s safety, we will close the Todd Lake Recreation Area for the 2015 season.During construction, the road to Todd Lake Campground and Day Use area will be removed to widen the spillway. The road will be relocated after construction is complete.In 1963, The Todd Lake Dam was built on Todd Lake to control water flow during floods and high water events to protect the city of Bridgewater, and communities downstream. The Headwaters Soil and Water Conservation District operates the dam under a special use permit issued by the Forest Service.We encourage the public to take advantage of our many other campgrounds and day use areas this summer. For an experience comparable to Todd Lake we recommend Brandywine Campground, Day Use Area, and SwimmingBeach. For those looking for a more rustic experience, we recommend the nearby North River, and Hone Quarry Campgrounds.Additional information and recommendations can be obtained by calling the North River Ranger District Office at (540) 432-0187.
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell