Ragged Mountain Dam

The New Ragged Mountain Dam was completed in 2014 and has won state and regional accolades for its excellence.  When this reservoir is full, the useable water storage capacity is over 1.5 billion gallons.  February 2016 the reservoir reached full capacity. This is a popular spot for naturalists, hikers, fishermen, and kayakers.  Thanks to a collaboration between RWSA, Charlottesville City Parks and Recreation, volunteer trail builders, and Ivy Creek Foundation a floating bridge will provide a complete loop for hikers around the newly-expanded reservoir. Check out our “Dam Cool Facts” page.

Aerial of Ragged Mountain Dam (August 2016)

Click the image above for a Ragged Mountain Reservoir Information Sheet

Prior to 2014, Ragged Mountain reservoirs was comprised of two dams located in the Ragged Mountain region immediately west of Charlottesville: the Upper Ragged Mountain Reservoir and Lower Ragged Mountain Reservoir formed from an unnamed tributary to Moores Creek. The drainage area for the New Ragged Mountain reservoir is 1.8 square miles. Both swimming and motor boating is prohibited since this reservoir is part of the community raw water supply.


On February 5, 2015 the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACECE) of Virginia presented RWSA with an Honor Award for the Ragged Mountain Dam Project.

On March 10, 2015 the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the American Public Works Association presented RWSA with an award for the Ragged Mountain Dam Project.

Among the features recognized were:

  • architectural design of the new inlet/outlet tower which mimics the original structure built in 1885;
  • the new auxiliary spillway, the seepage reduction control features, and the real time monitoring and rapid response features;
  • and the protection of the rural charm to include the use of local timber, fish habitats, and a floating bridge for hiking trails.


RWSA Receives Ragged Mountain Dam ACEC Award

RWSA Receives Ragged Mountain Dam ACEC Award


History of Ragged Mountain Dam

Ragged Mountain Natural Area Trails

Components of an Earthen Dam

Ragged Mountain Dam Tree Planting Project