Wild swimming at Bear Creek Lake State Park

This one was also just about an hour’s drive from Charlottesville. It felt more like it was in the middle of nowhere though. Some of the roads I took to get there weren’t even paved.

It was quieter than Lake Anna State park, which I really liked.

I ran the Channel Cat Loop Trail, then took the Lakeside Trail over to the Lost Bar Loop Trail and then back again for a little over 6 miles.

The trails were well marked and great for running. I passed a few hikers and a runner on the Lakeside Trail but had the two loop trails all to myself.




While I was running by the lake, saw a kayaker in the water and realized there were two people swimming along behind it. That made me feel happy and also a little less crazy for wanting to swim on a not exactly hot day in April.

The sun was occasionally peaking out from behind the clouds and the air temperature was 68. I had some salt stinging my eyes by the time I finished my run, but was far from overheated.

The water felt chilly when I got in, but not bad at all, even with a good wind blowing across the lake. The wind made the water a little choppy, which was kind of fun to swim through. I stayed in a lot longer than I did at Lake Anna, breast-stroking back and forth between the buoys.

The coolness of the air and water and the lack of other swimmers made this swim feel a little more “wild.” I do realize that swimming within buoys at State Park beaches is probably the most tame form of wild swimming there is, but wild swimming just sounds cool, so I’m going with it.

It was so quiet I got to enjoy the soft rippling sound of the waves I make when I’m swimming. I love that sound. I also love the smell of lake water (and ocean and river water.)

In addition to all the trails I explored, the park also provides access to the Cumberland Multi-Use Trail (14 miles) and the Willis River Trail (16 miles) so there are plenty of options for longer runs.

I would definitely go back.

Two down, four to go.

Author: healthyincville

Nemophilist Trail runner Introvert Animal-loving vegetarian * My ideal city would be car-free. I love my cats.

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