Whether it’s sailing, fishing, waterskiing, parasailing, jet skiing, speed boating, party boating, or canoeing, you can do it in the Roanoke Region. So come on out, play, and get wet.
Our lakes are some of the biggest and best in the state.
Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is the second largest municipal park in the nation. It holds a major water source within its 12,700 acres and overflowing recreational opportunities including hiking, biking, fishing, and boat rentals. The cove includes 11,363 acres that are protected by the largest conservation easement in Virginia’s history.
With more than 60 miles of trails and an 600-acre reservoir Carvins Cove is a mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and boating paradise.
Claytor Lake is a 4,500 acre lake with a marina, three public boat ramps, and a public beach. Public access is somewhat limited but there is a good boat launch area at Claytor Lake State Park on the northern shore of the lake. The state only stocks smallmouth bass and walleye but there is a fair population of muskellunge in the lake as well.
Douthat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the role its design played in the development of parks nationwide. Amid some of Virginia’s most breathtaking mountain scenery, visitors enjoy interpretive programs, four miles of stream fishing, the is lake stocked with trout, a sandy swimming beach with snack bar, boat rentals, a gift shop and camp store, cabins, and more than 43 miles of hiking, mountain biking and bridle trails.
Plus, there are playgrounds, an amphitheater, picnic areas, tent and trailer camping, and a restaurant overlooking the lake. The park has 32 cabins and three lodges that accommodate 15, 16 or 18 guests each.
Douthat State Park was named one of the nation’s 10 best by Outside Family Vacation Guide. It is one of the original six Virginia State Parks. Nestled in Virginia’s Western Highlands, Douthat features some of Virginia’s most outstanding scenery.
Some people refer to it as the Disneyland of mountain biking. There are more than 43 miles of wooded hiking trails and mountain biking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult. Many park trails climb up the side of the surrounding mountains for several miles and reward mountain bikers with grand views and long flowing descents.
Nestled among Bolar, Oliver and Little mountains Lake Moomaw is a jewel about 90 minutes drive north of Roanoke. Because it is completely surrounded by the George Washington National Forest this beautiful lake has been spared development. Access to the entire lake is open but boat ramps are primarily undeveloped and suited only to watercraft that can be carried, with the exception one small marina operated at the southern tip of the lake. The lake is quite deep and boasts healthy populations of reproducing brown and rainbow trout. The state periodically stocks both large and smallmouth bass to supplement the existing populations.
Phillpot Lake is relatively small in surface area but rich in shoreline. Backed up behind the Army Corps of Engineers Phillpot Dam project, the reservoir is deep and boasts lots of small coves providing great cover for the resident populations of bass and walleye. Access is very good with public boat ramps at Fairystone State Park and various locations throughout the Fairystone Farms Wildlife Management Areas.
There is no residential development along its shoreline but there are numerous facilities scattered throughout the reservoir such as boat landings, campgrounds, picnic areas, beaches, and hiking trails.
Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia’s most popular lake, offers superb recreational activities, 500 miles of shoreline, a wide variety of water sports, and affordable lakefront real estate. Known locally as “SML,” it is the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
Smith Mountain Lake is best known for its Striped Bass fishery. This lake regularly leads the state in producing “citation” sized stripers. There are also good populations of both large and smallmouth bass. Public access is very good with both public boat ramps and private marinas.
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