Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area to close beginning Monday, November 18

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area located at 5381 Shell Road in the Bayside area of Virginia Beach will be closed to the public beginning Monday, November 18, 2013 through summer 2014 for a long-term construction project.


A 42-acre preserve located at the corner of Shell Road and Northampton Blvd near the northwest city border, Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area is a network of three wooded waterfront peninsulas of land that was acquired in multiple parcels between 2005 and 2009 through the City of Virginia Beach Open Space Acquisition Program. This long-term construction project will provide significant improvements to the property including a new boat ramp, formalized car and trailer parking utilizing low-impact design stormwater treatment components, stabilization along the shoreline to prevent erosion and re-establish native vegetation, several fishing and overlook platforms, and a floating crew dock. Additionally, a pedestrian bridge will be constructed to connect the north and south parcel, and the installation of hard surface trails will accompany renovations made to the existing soft surface trail system.


Future improvements include the installation of a park office, restrooms, picnic shelter, park benches, site signage and a playground.


Though the natural area surrounding Lake Lawson and Lake Smith is being improved by the City of Virginia Beach, the City of Norfolk still owns the water/reservoir and 25 feet around the water at this site. As such, Norfolk currently controls the use of water regulations, including the requirement for a boat permit to use the water.


For more information about the Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area construction project, please contact Mike Moore or Rick Rowe in Parks & Natural Areas at 385-0400 or Rob MacPherson in Planning, Design & Development at 385-1100.


Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s vision is a balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and public spaces that creates a sense of community. We are accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay), visit or sign up our email newsletters at Find us on Facebook at