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Smith Mountain Lake State Park - Smith Mountain Lake

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Smith Mountain Lake State Park

Smith Mountain Lake is certainly known for water sports given that it is the second largest freshwater body in Virginia, but it is not only about the water. Sure you have the best fishing, boating and water sports on the east coast, but you get much more as well. Smith Mountain Lake also offers hiking, camping, cabins, trails, a visitor area and even yearly events like the annual wine festival held in September.

The park is huge at 1,248 acres. Throughout this park you will find several amenities and activities. Here are some things you can expect to find at Smith Mountain Lake:

  • Amphitheater
  • Bicycle trail
  • Boat launch
  • Boat tour
  • Campground(s)
  • Canoe access
  • Fishing
  • Food service
  • Hiking
  • Horse trail(s)
  • Horse stable/sites

  • Lodging
  • Marina
  • Picnic area(s)
  • Ranger station
  • Restrooms
  • RV camping
  • Self (interpretive) trail
  • Showers
  • Gift shop
  • Swimming
  • Wheelchair accessible
 

Where to find us: This fantastic park is found on the northern shore in Bedford County and is about forty miles from nearby Lynchburg and Roanake. It also is about 140 miles from Richmond

If you want to have a map of the park itself, you can go here.

Want to stay overnight?

Cabins are available for your convenience and camping is always a great way to spend time at the Lake. At Smith Mountain Lake State Park, you can enjoy any overnight experience that you want. Cabins and lodges are incredibly comfortable and romantic, but some prefer a nice tent or RV. You can get reservations and information by calling 1-800-933-PARK.

Cabins at Smith Mountain Lake State Park: These rentals generally start on Saturday or Sunday during the high season. There is a late arrival box outside that will direct campers that arrive late to their cabins. If this is the case, you should still check in the next day.

The cabins generally have wood stoves but do not have fireplaces. These units do not have a dishwasher, TV, washer or dryer or telephone. What follows is a brief list of things that come with the unit in each room as a rule. (ask when you reserve your unit)

  • Kitchen:
  • Fridge
  • Stove
  • Coffeemaker
  • Dishes
  • Some Dish Towels
  • Silverware
  • Cooking Utensils and Pots
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Can Openers
  • Clock Radios

Living Room/Dining Room:

  • Couch that Sleeps Two
  • Dining Room Table
  • Benches

Bedroom Areas:

  • Beds
  • Nightstands
  • Dressers
  • Closets
  • Coat Hangers
  • One Set of Linens for Each Bed

Other:

  • Two towels for each guest
  • Swimming passes
  • Boat launch passes
  • Picnic Table
  • Grill
  • Porch with Rockers
  • One bundle of firewood
  • TV and VCR rentals
  • Central heat and AC

Two bedroom units sleep six counting the fold out. Six is very tight though. The three bedroom cabin can sleep eight including fold out. It also features two baths instead of one.

There are twenty total cabins and they are three different types. The two bedroom frame, the two bedroom frame with a water view and the three bedroom frame are the types of cabins we feature.

Some of these cabins are accessible for folks with disabilities and some are not. Please inquire if you have need of these features when you call to reserve your unit.

Smith Mountain Lake Camping

Campsites are very fun here because they do include enough amenities to make the camping fun for all. All campsites have in ground grills for cooking and also nice big campfires. Firewood is offered for sale. You are not allowed to bring your own. Visitors are welcome but must park in the overflow lot and must leave by 10 p.m. All of the camping sites are in the woods and none are on the water. There is a full service bath house and a place to wash dishes.

There are different site types. There are the tent only sites with no water or electric hookups. While these areas are minimalistic, they do still offer a bathhouse. There are also back in 30 foot gravel sites for RV, campers, pop ups and vans. These sites have water and electric hookups. For the larger RVS and campers, there are also 50 foot back in gravel sites. Water and electricity is available.

There are some general campground rules:

  • Boats may not be moored at any time. You have to take the boat to parking area or your site each day.
  • Launching is free to overnight guests only.
  • The campground stays open until the first day of December.

Bunkhouse Rentals

The park does have one bunkhouse that is available for rent. It is essentially a two room trailer that has several bunk beds inside. It has no heat, but it is air conditioned. The bunkhouse is meant to be minimalistic but it does have some amenities such as microwave, fridge, coffee pots and picnic tables. This fine unit is available the same time periods that the campgrounds are open and they book in January. You must bring your own linens and pillows and it is meant to sleep fourteen people. You have to stay at least two nights to book the bunkhouse and it has no bathroom, kitchen or fireplace. You can’t cook in the place (other than a microwave) and there is no cablevision or hookups.

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What about swimming?

The park has a huge 500 foot beach area and it is only one of two areas in the entire lake that you can publicly swim. The beach is massive and can handle up to 1,000 people. Lifeguards are on duty during normal hours and in the summertime overnight guests swim for free.

Hiking: The Park has a wonderful selection of hiking trails to choose from with 13 in all. They go from three miles to only a half mile in distance, and they highlight the best that the area has to offer in beauty and wildlife. These trails are open all the yearlong as long as it is daytime hours.

What about animals?

Virginia is a wonderful area to shoot pics of wildlife or simply observe them in their natural habitat. If you have a digital camera, there is a great chance you can come home with a veritable who’s who of southeastern wildlife. While the animals are often quite beautiful, some are dangerous. You should always give them plenty of space and never encroach on their natural habits. Some animals you might encounter include:

  • Canadian Geese
  • Ducks
  • Snakes
  • Owls
  • Squirrels
  • Lizards
  • Birds of shapes and sizes
  • Hawks
  • Eagles
  • And many more…

Smith Mountain Lake Fishing?

The fishing on Smith Mountain Lake is simply second to none. The park allows you to fish from boat or along the shore if you have the materials. You can catch striped bass, catfish, bream, crappie, smallmouth and largemouth bass and countless other species.

If you are an overnight guest, then you can launch your boat for free each day. Otherwise a boat launching fee applies. There are also boat rentals available such as canoes, hydrobikes, paddleboats and ski boats among others.

Click here to read more about the Fishing on Smith Mountain Lake and to read our 2012 fishing report.

Visitor Center

This wonderful place offers up tons of wonderful services. It not only houses a wonderful gift shop, but it also has some incredible interpretive exhibits and displays. The Discovery Center is a wonder to see and worth the trip to the visitor center all by itself.

There are also tons of nature programs and historical programs you can sign up for at various times of year.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

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