Lake Accotink Park

The place where liquid gold and abundant amber waves of trees and shrubs meet and explode into breathtaking scenes everywhere you turn.  I had to pinch myself many times to ensure I was in reality.  How on earth did I live only fifteen minutes from this place and had never been here before? We parked in an unassuming parking lot, with a few other cars around - a parking lot that gave no indication to the jewels it was hiding just a few feet away. We walked through a little trail, as Gracie made friends with some people who had two little doggies. In reality, it was the dogs she was interested in and the people just came with them. We trudged along for a few minutes on a paved path, covered in fallen leaves, and thick overgrowth of trees, when suddenly, the shady path gave way to a glistening lake, soft sands, and a stunning view.

While I stopped breathing for a few minutes, Aaron and Grace decided to go ahead and explore on their own (story of my life). Can you believe this place? An enchanting bridge surrounded by trees ablaze in the best of the fall colors, a shimmering lake reflecting the beautiful skies and the overhanging trees. I heart Virginia.

Of course, while I am completely in love with this magnificent wonderland, Aaron and Grace are taking full advantage of their time outdoors doing the things that a Daddy and daughter enjoying doing together: climbing fences. This little girl is a great climber, just her mama use to be when she was little and would climb a tree and read a book. She loves to climb so much that she has lately attempted to climb up on the oven handles and the drawer handles in the kitchen. I am always grateful for the outdoors climbing opportunities for her. Her Daddy is obviously in love and will do anything to make his girl laugh.

Lake Accotink Park covers an impressive 493 acres, 55 of which comprise of the beautiful lake itself. In addition to the lake, there are wetlands, marshes, waterfowl, streams, biking trails, hiking trails, a carousel, boating, picnic areas, miniature golfing and tour boat rides.

We strolled around the lake for a while, walked over the dreamy bridge, and hit this trail immediately. The light was streaming in through the leaves in golden bands illuminating the whole scene in an ethereal glow.

I have found that the outdoors tends to bring us together as a family. We are calmer, more relaxed, more open with our thoughts and feelings, and enjoy each other's company without being invaded by social media constantly. Does that happen to you? The amazing fall weather has been a great contributor to our decision to go outside and do something as a family this year. We have discovered many gorgeous local parks (already well known to others) and have been blessed to take in all this incredible beauty right in our own proverbial backyard.

One of the fun moments for us was when Aaron taught Gracie how to throw rocks into the lake. It was the cutest thing! She was excited to toss all the rocks she could get her hands on.They didn't go very far, and some of them fell out of her hands as she swung them behind her back to gain momentum, but it was the coolest thing she had ever done that day..haha. I love having a child in my life - it teaches me to let go and enjoy the simple things I used to as a kid. I am currently reading the book Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and discussing it with a few friends of mine in a book club. I think it is important to remember how we used to be as children and retain that spark of magic in our lives always - to love unconditionally, laugh always, and be amazed by the simplest of things. Getting back in touch with my childhood friends in India - a group of girls who are family - has brought that back into my life, and I will forever be grateful for it. Aren't these two just so adorable as they look for rocks to toss into the lake?

 Lake Accotink. What a spectacular display of the finest colors of the season! We are coming back here again!


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