Three Lakes Park, including a Nature Center & Aquarium, is a 90-acre community park offering fishing and hiking. The nature center with aquarium is open daily (except Monday).
The trails are wide and are either paved or gravel and circle each man-made lake. Lake 1 has a 0.6-mile trail around it, Lake 2 has a 0.3-mile trail, and Lake 3’s trail is 0.4 miles. The trails and most of the lake shore lines are also heavily shaded. Fishing is popular in Lake 1 and Lake 3 (not permitted in Lake 2, attached to the aquarium). The playground has three main play areas and plenty of open grass areas in between.
HISTORY: The nature center reopened in April 2007 after the completion of a $1.4 million face-lift. The building sustained extensive damage when the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston dumped 11 inches of rain on Richmond in eight hours on Aug. 30, 2004.
Many of the aquarium fish swam away as the swollen lake rose over the rim of the 50,000-gallon enclosure. The rising waters reached nearly the top of the handrails on the nature center’s deck.
Despite the damage, the only creatures that didn’t survive were a pair of snakes. County officials used the flood as an opportunity to modernize the building, which opened in 1992 and was expanded in 1997. It now features more live animals on exhibit and more interactive and inviting displays.
In 2003, the nature center attracted about 226,000 visitors. Only Maymont, the Science Museum of Virginia, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Richmond National Battlefield Park had more, according to data for museums and other attractions compiled by the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau.