Smith Mountain Lake Camping
Smith Mountain Lake has been a premiere place to go camping and fishing for decades, and now that there are tons of great options for camping in style everyone is joining in the fun. No longer is the area left to only the father and son that want to go out and sit around a campfire (though that is certainly a reality today as well), it is also available to mom that hates bugs and wants to sleep in an RV. All camping types are welcomed here at Smith Mountain Lake and campgrounds today offer up a great deal of options.
What should I look for in a campground at Smith Mountain Lake?
That totally depends on what you want from your camping experience. You need to ask about how rustic the place is. Does it have water hookups? Does it have electric hookups? What about bathrooms? You get the idea. If you want to sit with your laptop and enjoy Wi-Fi access to the latest Lady Gaga video, then camping is going to limited for you. You need to bring an RV or otherwise arrange for electricity. Some have these amenities but you get the idea. Ask plenty of questions and know what you want before you visit a campground.
Do I need to make reservations?
When it comes to Smith Mountain Lake, it is a good idea to get reservations everywhere you go. Even the campgrounds fill up extremely fast. This is one of the premiere camping areas in the world, really, so why not try for a reservation if you are visiting? One can never be too careful when it comes to vacationing.
Do all of the places offer up RV spots and traditional camping?
This is something that you certainly will want to ask of each place, but mostly they do. The vast majority seems to look after both options, but the requirements for boats and equipment seem to be all over the map. You really have to ask the questions before you sign up. Most campgrounds will, however, offer up space for both.
What about my boat?
Most campgrounds do accommodate boats and water equipment in some way, but you usually can’t dock them. You generally have to keep those in the parking area until it is time to put them in the water. Dock space is at a massive premium on Smith Mountain Lake, so you certainly can’t just park it any old place. That will quickly get you into hot water. Ask lots of questions about this before you visit the campground, particularly if you have boats with special needs or requirements.
What animals are dangerous in the area while camping?
Smith Mountain Lake is known for many things, and the wildlife is certainly close to the top of that list. The striped bass here are legendary worldwide. That said, there are also some animals that you would need to be aware of if you came camping. In this area, the potential is there to run into any one of the following potentially dangerous animals:
- Birds of Prey (Hawk, Eagles, etc)
- Mountain Lions
- And many more…
The odds are fairly small that you will have any problems with wildlife, but always remember to give them a wide berth. If you leave them alone, they generally will do the same. Reading up on the various species in the area can help as well to keep you from doing something silly like walking up on a cottonmouth.
What about swimming in the lake?
There are only a couple of areas on the lake that allow swimming, so you would do well to remember that when you come camping. Not everyone knows this, so you can’t simply copy what goes on around you. This can lead to some serious trouble and even fines, so make sure you only swim in areas that are set aside for it.
Smith Mountain Lake Campgrounds
What follows is a list of places that are considered popular in the area, but it is far from a comprehensive list. Keep in mind that some of the best camping around Smith Mountain Lake is not even at the lake itself. It all depends on what you are looking for.
Blue Ridge Campground & Marina
Address: 8131 Burnt Chimney Road Wirtz, Virginia
Eagle’s Roost Campground
Address: 15335 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway Huddleston, Virginia
Address: 1336 Campers Paradise Trail Moneta, VA
Address: 3553 Trading Post Road Huddleston, VA
SML State Park
Each of the above camping sites offers up their own benefits and advantages and they provide a nice cross section of camping options. If you are looking for a great place to camp on Smith Mountain Lake, then you can almost be certain that one of these camping sites will be what you are looking for. If you have the time, pick up the phone and talk with each of them about your upcoming plans. Each of them will be helpful in directing you to the place you need to be. One thing about Smith Mountain Lake that I have always loved is the way that businesses work together to make the place excellent for tourism. Nobody tries to bogart all the business if it does not fit with what they offer. Referrals are quite common and make the tourism dollars spread around Smith Mountain Lake quite well.