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Lake Drummond

Lake Drummond, Chesapeake

Yellow, pink, and purple paint the sky as a sunset appears in the distance. Majestic birds appear to watch the show as they cool off in the lake. Tall cypress trees seem to greet the evening ritual with outstretched limbs as they stand straight, roots planted firmly into the lake’s foundation.

This could only be Lake Drummond -- a local gem in the heart of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. The lake may be shallow (about six feet), but it spans over 3,000 acres, making it the perfect destination for aquatic fun, with outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and more!

A Bit of History

Every lake has a story. This one goes back about 4,000 years following an underground peat burn. It’s that same spongy material that contributes to the lake’s dark brown hue today. Although dark in color, the lake is as fresh as it comes. Lake Drummond is one of only two natural freshwater lakes found across the entire state of Virginia. It’s also the main water supply for the Dismal Swamp Canal, a historic waterway that connects southeastern Virginia to northeastern North Carolina. 

Fun to Be Had

Canoeing or kayaking are just a couple of ways to enjoy all that Lake Drummond has to offer year-round. You can also take your family out on a boat and cruise around the picturesque lake. However, boat access is limited. The best way to access the lake is through the Dismal Swamp Canal or the feeder ditch. 

There’s also plenty of bird-watching opportunities. During the wintertime, migratory birds, like tundra swans and snow geese, are found here. In the summer, watch out for great blue herons and great egrets. Although the lake is deep inside a swamp, there are no alligators.

And don’t forget about fishing. The lake is home to several fish species, including crappie, yellow perch, flier, and bullhead catfish. However, given that the lake’s PH levels are pretty low, that limits the amount of fish found at any given time. If you plan on fishing for crappie, come during the spring. 

Stay A While

If one day isn’t enough, you can stay overnight. Situated near Lake Drummond is a rustic campsite, and though it’s a little difficult to access, once you do, the privacy and seclusion of it may be enough to make the journey worthy of the destination. 

The way to the campsite is by water via the feeder ditch. Once there, the campsite will greet you with firepits, grills, tables, and screened-in sheds. Be sure to bring your drinking water and firewood, however. Amenities are limited. 

So, what are you waiting for? Come check out everything our swampy backyard has to offer starting with Lake Drummond. 

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