I went out to Silver Lake with a friend today.  I love Silver Lake.  I have some wonderful memories involving Silver Lake. There is always something to see.  Today the treat from nature was about 80 water turtles lined up along logs, sunning themselves.  Way cool.

However, the County just hasn’t done right by Silver Lake, even with cute little turtles.

Let’s start by driving in to the lake area.  The road going in is just dreadful.  Pot Hole City.  I thought I was going to break an axle.  I thought that Rainbow Riding was supposed to keep the road upgraded until you pass their property.  If that is the case, they have failed.  That is the worst part of the road.  The rest isn’t any great shakes.  It needs to be graded  and re-graveled.

Part of the road is closed off.  There might be a good reason but the public hasn’t been told.  The cones don’t really limit access.  Cones can be moved.  Why is that part of the road closed?

I sure didn’t see any access to public water.  I didn’t go in the bathrooms.  There certainly are no water fountains.  What if some kid fills up a water jug in the bathroom?  GASP!!!!   There were kids milling all over the Silver Lake area, scaring the turtles.  They were from the middle school.  They did have water bottles.  GASP again.

The picnic hill is still marked no access unless you are an authorized vehicle.  Why is the picnic area closed off?  Why can’t cars go back there?  Who would like to schlep a heavy cooler up that hill when it would be easier to drive?

The entire park is not handicap accessible.  The first area above the lake has tables.  The public has pulled the tables next to the lake.  That’s fine but there are none that can be accessed from near a car.  There is not a handicap accessible table in the park.  My friend is handicapped.  Some of those tables need to be anchored so that they can’t be carried off or moved.

There are still no trash cans.  There is a huge dumpster down there as well as a smaller one.

This park needs public funding, as promised.  It cannot rely on the good will of volunteer citizens.

This is not my first exposure of Silver Lake.  What could be a fabulous area for passive recreation is just a run down lake with no amenities.   I resented that there was no place for my friend to sit.  We stayed in the car.  These conditions are unacceptable.  Perhaps someone should file an ADA complaint.

I wish some of that water line money were being funneled into revitalizing Silver Lake.  What was supposed to be the gem of Prince William County is actually just an ugly step-child, hidden away from the public’s eye.

I don’t know whatever became of the Silver Lake Revitalization Project.  It will take more than volunteers to turn this recreation area into the place it was promised to be.  County funding is mandatory at this point.  Who will step up to the plate and acquire the funding needed to turn this grain of sand into a pearl?

9 Thoughts to “Silver Lake–revisited”

  1. Al

    I get to Silver Lake once and a while. It could use some sprucing up. There are many alternatives to approaching that. If enough people are really concerned, they might consider setting up a not for profit and using Corporate/Private money for the improvements. Silver Lake is in the Gainesville District, the wealthiest District in Prince William County.

    Establishing 501c3’s reduce our tax burden, and perhaps free up more of the taxes that are collected for schools.

    Here is an example of that which I speak.


    1. Remember that Bull run Conservancy offered to take it with fairly strict restrictions. They were going to be responsible for its upkeep, etc., etc. The county dithered around for a couple years, made all these promises as to what they were going to do with Silver Lake, and said no to Bull Run Conservancy.

      We are still waiting. Check out North Regional Park on Route 55 near Marshall. Its a gorgeous park. Faucquier County cares. They might not have as many parks as PWC but what they have is well cared for.

  2. Every time I see that damn school encroaching on Silver Lake I just want to scream.

    A thick hedge row of rapidly growing trees needs to be planted. What a horrible visual. When would a school ever be part of passive recreation?

    Looking out over that lake yesterday made me think I lived in the dumbest county in the world.

    What does Silver Lake need to do to get in line and have someone whine on its behalf other than me?

    It needs at least a million dollars poured in to it, starting with the entrance. Where are the promised pavillions? How about some trash cans? How about some mowing, landscaping, etc.

    How about making the place handicap accessible? How about opening up the picnic area past the bathroom area? How about taking down those authorized vehicle signs?

    How about anchoring the tables so people dont have to crawl through the weeds to sit at a picnic table?

    The silence is deafening.

  3. Al

    I would “eBay” Silver Lake. So much for a trash can, so much for a handicap wramp, so much for maintsining a fixed area. That would make what we think of as a big problem into a lot of little problems. We would fix Silver Lake one small problem at a time.

    Groups like the Bull Run Mountain Conservency don’t have to “own” Silver Lake to help out. Those familiar with its benefactor know they have deep pockets. Nothing is stopping them from fulfilling their original plan on County owned property. They should be free to put their name on everything (ala my example, above).

    That being said, the community could make Silver Lake what it should be one trash can at a time if they care. If they don’t care, that too is useful information.

  4. Al


    Please forgive spelling. IPad at a coffee shop. 🙂

  5. Bull Run Conservancy washed their hands of Silver Lake. I don’t blame them.

    The county made promises that it hasn’t kept. They need to hup to it and make good on their word.

    Actually the good news is, if Silver Lake were anything but the arm pit of PWC, then everyone would want to come to it and that wouldn’t be good either. This way, it flies underneath the radar and is fairly peaceful. Most of my suggestions could be fixed in a week. Anchoring tables to locations, putting in trash cans and grading the road would be a great place to start. The county could also write Rainbow Riding a letter and remind them of their responsibility to their section of the road.

  6. middleman

    This was disaster from the beginning-a give away to Rainbow and PWC schools per Wally.

    One has to wonder why PWC can’t seem to fund parks when we continue to have an effective tax rate that’s double the rate of inflation.

    1. I guess the people of PWC will have to start insisting that we fund parks. No more waiting for volunteers.

  7. middleman

    In opinion polls, PWC residents consistently rate parks as a priority and the county consistently underfunds them, particularly passive-use parks like Silver Lake and Dove’s Landing. I think you’re right- folks need to get involved and make it happen.

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