Skip to Content

Inland Water Access

Virginia's large lakes provide a myriad of recreational opportunities, including power boating, sailing and water skiing. Historically, most of the public's recreational access to rivers and streams has been informal, consisting primarily of road rights-of-way at bridge crossings and some access across private lands with owner permission. Informal sites, in combination with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and other facilities, provided much of the inland water access. However, more usage of non-motorized craft coupled with high demand for swimming and fishing has increased the need for additional water access across Virginia. Crowding at popular water access sites has stressed carrying capacity. During economically challenging times, when funding for outdoor recreation and staffing, is lean, partnerships among agencies, nonprofits and at times private landowners may help meet demand for inland water access.