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He watches his little boy struggle to carry both the fishing rod and tackle box. He could carry it for him, but the boy insisted he could do it himself. They've been planning this trip for a long time. It's the little boy's first time fishing in a boat, and Germantown Lake in Northern Virginia is the perfect place to start. They stop at the lake's concession to rent their johnboat then it's out on the lake. His son is so excited, he fidgets in the seat barely able to stay still as the father steers the boat toward one of the lake's tree lined coves. They cast and wait, the father saying a silent prayer that today will be the day his boy catches the big one. The little boy's excitement is contagious. Suddenly nothing matters as much as being here on the beautiful water of Germantown Lake with his little boy. Still, a fish wouldn't hurt.
Germantown Lake is in C. M. Crockett Park in Fauquier County. The 109 acre lake was created in 1985 when the US Soil Conservation Service dammed Licking Run to help control flooding. The resulting reservoir is a valuable recreation asset, providing visitors with a place to boat, paddle, sail and fish. Germantown Reservoir is periodically stocked with channel catfish, and largemouth bass, bluegill, and crappie are plentiful. The lake is known for large populations of fish rather than trophy fish, but it is the abundance of fish that makes it a great place to fish with children. The lake is owned by Fauquier County and access is through a county owned boat ramp. There is also shore access and a concession with boat rentals. Only boats with electric motors are allowed, and Germantown Lake is open from dawn to dusk.
The lake takes its name from the first German settlement in Virginia and the first permanent settlement in Fauquier County. In the early 1700's, Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood brought German miners to the Rappahannock River Valley to work on his land. In 1718 the miners established a settlement, later known as Germantown, along Licking Run.
In 1987, Charlie Mitchell Crockett, whose wife was descended from the original Germantown settlers, donated land for a park around Germantown Reservoir. C. M. Crockett Park is about 100 acres of land surrounding the lake. There are trails for hiking and cross country skiing and picnic facilities, restrooms, and a concession. The Forges Ropes Course offers groups an intense team building experience. C. M. Crockett Park is a nature preserve so there is no hunting allowed, but there is plenty of wildlife to see. The park is part of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. American coots, gulls, red-billed woodpeckers and cedar waxwings all make their home at Germantown Lake.
Germantown Lake is in Midland, about 20 miles south of Manassas and seven miles from Warrenton. Warrenton is a suburb of Washington, D.C. and just an hour's drive from the city. There are no vacation rentals on Germantown Lake, but Warrenton has a variety of accommodations. Visitors can stroll down brick sidewalks, past the historic homes in Old Town Warrenton then stop for dinner in one of many restaurants. At the end of the day, there are hotels, bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals to choose from. For commuters or anyone wishing to extend their stay, there is real estate for sale.
Tucked away in the gentle hills and woodland of C. M. Crockett Park, Germantown Lake is a great northern Virginia destination and a fantastic family getaway.
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