LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – The current expansion of Hydaway Lake on Liberty Mountain above Liberty University’s campus is a project that has been 10-years in the making.
The lake, located at the heart of the university’s Hydaway Outdoor Center, will be expanded from six acres to 31 acres by next fall.
Back in April, crews began to clear land in the area and over the next few months, construction will begin on a new dam.
The lake will become a jewel in the crown of scenic recreational amenities on Liberty’s multi-thousand acres of mountain property which also includes the Liberty University Equestrian Center, Liberty Mountain Gun Club, Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, Astronomical Observatory and the Liberty Mountain Trail System.
Even with existing available activities including swimming, hiking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding — which are all available to students — the lake could also serve student-athletes from the Intramural Sports, Club Sports, and NCAA Division 1 Athletics teams.
Studies have been conducted by the EPA and the DCR. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted a permit for the construction of the expansion and new dam installation as well as rerouting Camp Hydaway Road around them.
The current excavation has temporarily rerouted about a mile of the more than 50 miles of trails, but Dan Deter, the Vice President of Major Construction for Liberty University, says the lake project will offer more trails for hikers, cyclists, and runners.
“We’re going to have a lot more trails that go around the lake. They’re going to have the same length, but they’ll have more picturesque views. The trails out there that cross the streams now will instead just kind of bend around the end of the lake.”Dan Deter, Liberty University Vice President of Major Construction
Once the new rerouted section of Camp Hydaway Road is complete and the new dam at the east end of the property has been completed, the expanded lake will be filled, and depending on rainfall amounts, could start to approach capacity as early as next summer.