Holding Church at Douthat Lake

This morning (Sunday) I arrived at Douthat Lake at 7:30 AM (in Douthat State Park). The fog was just rising from the lake and the water was like glass. All was calm and serene as I approached the lake. I wanted to get in some fishing before church, however I realized as I approached the lake that I was at church and God was all around me.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.” This morning was one of those times you realize, it’s not about the fish. There are so many aspects of fishing that people don’t understand until they get into the sport and realize what an amazing activity this is. It’s easy to see why Jesus chose fishermen and why he refers to the sport itself. Jesus said he would make his people fishers of men. I get a deeper sense of the peace that comes from fishing for men. Just as I find peace and serenity on that lake shore, God provides peace of mind and serenity to those who enjoy this fishers for men that Jesus spoke of.

GENERAL INFO: A traditional family park for 75 years, Douthat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide. Amid some of Virginia’s most breathtaking mountain scenery, visitors enjoy interpretive programs, two miles of stream fishing, a 50-acre lake stocked with trout, a sandy swimming beach with snack bar, boat rentals, a gift shop and camp store, cabins, and more than 43 miles of hiking, mountain biking and bridle trails. Plus, there are playgrounds, an amphitheater, picnic areas, tent and trailer camping, and a restaurant overlooking the lake. The park also has 32 cabins and three lodges that accommodate 15, 16 and 18 guests each.
Park Size: 4,493 acres. Lake: 50 acres.

LOCATION: From I-64, take Exit 27 near Clifton Forge. Turn North onto State Route 629 (highway at exit ramp). Travel north two miles to the park entrance sign and another four miles to the park office.
Its address is 14239 Douthat State Park Road, Millboro, VA 24460; Latitude, 37.896054. Longitude, -79.809300.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, four hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, five hours; Richmond, three hours; Roanoke, one hour

Directions:
From Interstate 64 and Interstate 81 North of Lexington: Follow I-81 south to exit 56 and exit 191 onto I-64 west (signed, Clifton Forge). Follow I-64 west to exit 27, turn right onto Route 629. The park entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from Lexington is 35 minutes.
From Interstate 81 South of Roanoke: Follow I-81 north to exit 150B (signed, 220 North, Clifton Forge). Bear right onto U.S. 11 south, then turn right at first light onto U.S. 220 north. Follow U.S. 220 north. After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from the intersection of I-81 and 220 north is 55 minutes.
From U.S. 460 East or West of Roanoke: Follow U.S. 460 to U.S. 220 alternate, turn north at light. Stay on U.S. 220 north through Iron Gate. After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right. Drive time from intersection of U.S. 460 and 220 Alternate intersection is 65 minutes.
From U.S. 220 South of Roanoke: Follow U.S. 220 north to the Roy L. Webber Expressway. Follow the expressway to Interstate 581 north. Follow I-581 north to intersection I-81, exit right onto I-81 north. From here, follow I-81 north to exit 150B (signed, 220 North, Clifton Forge). Bear right onto U.S. 11 south, then turn right at first light onto U.S. 220 north. Follow U.S. 220 north . After passing through Iron Gate, take the first exit to the right (signed, Covington). Once on the three-lane road (Exxon on your right), continue under the interstate. This road becomes Route 629, which leads into the park. Its entrance is two miles farther; guest registration is another four miles. Register at the green-roofed building on the right.

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