Burke Lake Park Frequently Asked Quesitons
Please also see Park Authority Regulations.
- Do my taxes support Burke Lake Park?
- Burke Lake Park is supported by both County tax revenue as well as fee based revenue.
- Do I need a permit to hold an activity at Burke Lake Park?
- This depends on the size of your group, the specific activity, and the part of the park you plan to use. Please call us to discuss the many options available.
- Can my group just show up and use a picnic area, or do I need to reserve one?
- Yes and No. First, reserving a picnic area or shelter guarantees that you have the area for that day. Reservations depend on the size of your group. We have two first come first served areas, but they are for groups of 15 or less, and groups may only use three or less tables. The reason for this is that we want to provide a picnic experience for as many people as possible. Any area not rented that day is available, but you would not have exclusive use of that area.
- Why can't I park at the State Game parking lot to go jogging?
- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland fisheries who owns that property, has designated that parking lot only for those who are actively fishing. Parking in the lot for any other reason is prohibited and a fine may be imposed for those who do so.
- Does FCPA own the lake?
- No. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries owns the lake, 50 ft. wide perimeter of the shoreline, and the Fish and Game Parking lot. As part of an agreement, the FCPA and Burke Lake Park are designated stewards of the lake.
- Why does the park have two gasoline powered boats?
- We have two patrol boats which we use to patrol the lake and in case of emergencies. The FCPA has the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' permission to have gasoline powered boats on their lake.
- What time does the park close?
- Burke Lake Park (which includes parking lots and grounds) closes at sunset. The time of sunset changes throughout the year. For example, during the winter sunset may be as early as 5 p.m., while during summer sunset may be as late as 8:50 p.m.
- I did not bring a car, can I jog or ride my bike in the park at night?
- No. The park and the park grounds are closed at sunset.
- Can I bring my model rocket (or remote controlled model rocket), remote controlled model boat, remote controlled model sailboat or remote controlled model airplane to the park?
- Burke Lake Park and most other Fairfax County Park Authority parks do not allow this type of activity. Please see Park Authority Regulations.
- Why do you close the gate on Burke Lake Road, the gate between the golf course and park?
- The gate on Burke Lake Road that leads in and out of the back of the park is a maintenance entrance. The public is welcome to use it when it is open. It is always closed on weekends and holidays, and generally closed after mid-afternoon on weekdays.
- How is "Fairfax County Resident" defined?
There is no entrance fee for Fairfax County residents. The charge
for non-county residents on weekends and holidays only (no charge
on weekdays), April through late October is as follows:
Large Capacity Van: $10.00
When determining who is required to pay the park entrance fee (weekends and holidays only during our operating season), we use the tax sticker on your vehicle. If that is not available, we use the zip code on your home address. The zip code determines tax areas. Senior citizens from counties other than Fairfax receive a non-county resident senior citizen discount at the campground.
- There is no entrance fee for Fairfax County residents. The charge for non-county residents on weekends and holidays only (no charge on weekdays), April through late October is as follows:
- Can I grill food anywhere in the park?
- There are only two places where it is permitted to have "cooking fires": the picnic area and the campground. Only charcoal or propane grills are allowed to be used in the park.
- Can I feed the geese or any other animals?
- The Fairfax County Park Authority does not allow feeding of wild animals in its parks. Please see Park Authority Regulations.
- Does your park have Automated External Defibrillators (AED's)?
- Yes. In spring 2006, we were given five AED's through a public grant program. They are located at the Park information center, the mini-golf building, the camp store, golf course clubhouse and on the golf course itself.
- Why are the roads sometimes blocked off during the winter?
- Burke Lake usually blocks off roads inside the park after a snowstorm. Once the roads are cleared and are safe to drive on, they are reopened. We open the road to the Ice Cream Parlor lot first because it is the most level road in the park and has ample parking for winter visitors.
- Why are fallen trees left on the ground? Can I use them as firewood?
- Many people come to Burke Lake for the natural setting, and fallen trees are a part of that setting. The only time we cut down a tree or cut up a fallen tree is if it presents a danger or denies access to an area. The reason for leaving trees that have fallen or cut logs is to provide a habitat for many of the unseen animals and insects which are vital to the forest ecology.
- Is it safe to leave my car unattended while I'm at the park?
- Yes, Burke Lake is a very safe park. But at the same time, we are not immune from criminal behavior. Your best practice when leaving your vehicle unattended is not to make it a target. Put important or expensive objects in your trunk or under a canopy in your vehicle. Putting it under your seat may seem hidden but if you can see it through a window, so can everyone else.
- Is the trail paved?
- A portion of the trail from the marina to the lake dam is paved. The rest of the path is flat and covered in fine, crushed gravel which is packed down to a hard surface perfectly accessible for walkers, joggers or bikers.
- Can I make reservations for camping if I am not a group?
- No, family camping is offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
- Can I bring firewood from my house or other area when I go camping at Burke Lake Park?
- Yes, you may bring your own firewood. But because of several wood-boring bugs that threaten local trees, we ask that you only bring firewood that is from the local D.C. area. We also ask that you burn all your firewood, or give it to a camper still in the campground.
- Do you allow alcohol in the park?
- No, alcohol is prohibited at Burke Lake Park.