Pohick Creek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pohick Creek
Pohick Creek.jpg
CountryUnited States
CountyFairfax County
Physical characteristics
 - location
Potomac River
 - elevation
0 feet (0 m)
Length14.0 miles (22.5 km)

Pohick Creek is a 14.0-mile-long (22.5 km)[1] tributary stream of the Potomac River in Fairfax County in the U.S. state of Virginia. It takes its name from the Pohick Native American tribe once prevalent in the area.

Pohick Creek forms in the vicinity of Burke and flows southeast past the western edge of Fort Belvoir to empty into the tidal Pohick Bay, which itself empties, along with Accotink Bay, into Gunston Cove, an embayment of the tidal Potomac River. Pohick Creek is a popular stream for whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling, providing Class II and III rapids along a 5.5-mile (8.9 km) stretch between Hooes Road (Virginia Secondary Route 636) and the Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1) at Lorton.

Converted Liberty ship Sturgis with MH-1A nuclear power reactor, in Gunston Cove, 1967.

Several tributaries of the Pohick Creek are impounded by dams constructed under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act to prevent soil erosion and flooding. Originally eight dams were planned, but from 1970 to 1985, only six were actually built.

  • Lake Braddock (Pohick #7) was the first dam built in 1970, and impounds the Pohick Creek in Burke.
  • Huntsman Lake (Pohick #8) was built in 1973, and impounds the Middle Run in Springfield.
  • Lake Royal (Pohick #4) was completed in 1977, and impounds the Rabbit Branch in Burke above its confluence with the Sideburn Branch, where it forms Pohick Creek.
  • Lake Barton (Pohick #2) completed in 1978, impounds a tributary of the Sideburn Branch in Burke.
  • Woodglen Lake (Pohick #3), which impounds the Sideburn Branch in Fairfax, was completed in 1981.
  • Lake Mercer (Pohick #1) became in 1985 the final dam completed, impounding the South Run in Springfield.

Variant names[edit]

The following variant names have been listed on the Geographic Names Information System by the United States Geological Survey.

  • North West Branch
  • Poehick Creeke
  • Poheick Creek
  • West Branch

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed August 15, 2011