Lake Holly, Virginia, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Virginia - Northern Virginia -

Also known as:  Pitts Pond

Although Lake Holly is a small lake consisting of only 20 acres, it provides excellent water skiing in scenic Sparta, Virginia which is located in Caroline County. Owned by the Lake Holly Ski Club (LHSC), the lake was purchased by Rick and Jerry Stansberry in 1978 when they transformed Lake Holly into the ski lake that it is today.

Not only is Lake Holly a renowned ski lake, the land that makes up Lake Holly was home to Edmund Pendleton who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and very influential in the early years of America. Edmund Pendleton, along with his two wives and baby, were once buried on the estate known then as Edmundsburg, but they were moved in 1907 to a new location in the Burton Parish Church in Williamsburg. In 1931 Edmund Pendleton’s home burned to the ground.

In 1968, Lake Holly was built by the major league baseball player named Clarence “Soup” Campbell who later sold the property. The dam that created Lake Holly is an earth filled embankment that is approximately 20 feet high and 365 feet long.

Lake Holly is a private lake, and membership must be obtained by the Lake Holly Ski Club. Club members help to maintain the buildings located at the lake as well as oversee ski tournaments. Some of the members are seasonal while others are considered full time members. Lake Holly is used solely for waterskiing and hosts several ski tournaments a year, some of which are the Eastern Regional Championships and Virginia State Championships. The first tournament was held in 1979 and was a big success, in spite of the weather and changes to the lake that were not yet complete.

Lake Holly Ski Club offers a surveyed slalom course as well as a new ski boat each year. Members of Lake Holly can also enjoy a large covered pavilion which can be used during tournaments and banquets.

Other features that make Lake Holly a classy lake are found in its nearby surroundings. Lake Holly members and visitors can enjoy historically rich Caroline County which is home to Fort A.P. Hill Military Reservation. About 43,000 acres are available for recreational use at Fort A.P. Hill. With a cooperative agreement with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Fort A. P. Hill can be enjoyed by wildlife viewers, hunters, and anglers. Deer, turkey, dove, duck, bobwhite quail, rabbit, squirrel and crow are some of the animals that can be hunted on the military reservation. Caroline County offers plentiful residential homes that can be purchased or rented.

North of Lake Holly is First Landing State Park that was established in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. First Landing State Park is a recreational haven nestled in Virginia Beach. While the state park borders the Chesapeake Bay, much of First Landing is wooded and gives visitors a feel of what it must have looked like when the members of the Virginia Company fist landed before settling Jamestown. The 2,888 acres provide electric hook-up campsites as well as cabins with access to restrooms and showers. First Landing State Park offers its visitors boating, swimming, biking, picnicking and a boat launch.

With Lake Holly situated in the Virginia Beach area, members of the ski club can enjoy all that the beach life has to offer. They can take a stroll down the Boardwalk or enjoy shopping or dining at one of the many restaurants or stores. The view of the ocean crashing upon the shore while dinning with friends is sure to leave one feeling content.

Lake Holly is a skier’s paradise in the midst of a recreational hot spot. After a fun-filled day of water skiing, members of Lake Holly can relax and enjoy the nightlife of the area close by.

Things to do at Lake Holly

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Shopping

Lake Holly Photo Gallery

    Lake Holly Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Lake Holly Ski Club

    Surface Area: 20 acres

    Shoreline Length: 1 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 118 feet

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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