Smith Mountain Lake

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Smith Mountain Lake is a 20,600 acre lake with 500 miles of shoreline offering sailing, water skiing and wake boarding, jet skiing, paddling, stand up paddling, and swimming. There are several public boat ramps and private marinas nestled among lots of lakefront real estate. The lake is a popular tourist attraction.

Off-water you’ll enjoy sightseeing that includes many spectacular views of Smith Mountain Lake’s mountainous 500-mile shoreline. Five challenging golf courses surround the lake, and Smith Mountain Lake State Park includes miles of hiking trails.

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Smith Mountain Lake & Philpott Reservoir Hikes

  • Fairy Stone State Park Expand Collapse

    Fairy Stone State Park, the largest of Virginia’s six original state parks (4,741 acres), is home to its namesake “fairy stones.” These rare mineral crosses and the park’s scenic beauty, rich history, and ample recreational opportunities make it a local and regional favorite.

    More than 9 miles of multi-use trails and a 168-acre lake will keep you busy. The park is also just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Franklin County Recreation Park Expand Collapse

    Franklin-County-Recreation-ParkFranklin County Recreation Park is a 150-acre park, located south of Rocky Mount (just 2 miles from Route 220). The park offers a variety of outdoor activities for all ages including, fishing in a 3-acre lake. It hosts various special events and athletic tournaments.

    Amenities include:

    • 2 picnic shelters (available for rent and drop-in)
    • Playgrounds
    • Lighted tennis courts
    • Basketball court
    • Sand volleyball court
    • Horseshoe pit
    • Disc golf trail
    • Hiking and biking trails
    • Baseball and soccer fields
  • Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve Expand Collapse


    Grassy Hill is a prominent landmark on the west side of Rocky Mount.

    This preserved parcel of the Virginia natural heritage program offers a pair of loops that run atop Grassy Hill, with oak and hickory forests (which are colorful in the fall) and rocky slopes. Three overlooks provide views of Rocky Mount and the area below.

    The trail includes 6.6 miles of hiking trails with signage. Parking for trail users is available adjacent to the preserve.

  • Philpott’s Dogwood Glen Trail Expand Collapse

    Philpott-Dogwood-Glen-TrailDogwood Glen Trail is a 5-mile hike with a scenic lake, wildlife, and wooded views. This trail stretches from Salthouse Branch Park at Philpott Lake to the Philpott Park Tailrace.

    There are some tough climbs and a few short downhill segments. Various stretches of the trail run along the shoreline of Philpott Lake. The approximately 7-foot wide trail can be accessed from Philpott Dam (Franklin County side) or Salthouse Branch Park. Parking is limited at Salthouse Branch Park ($4 day-use fee) and not accessible for equestrians at that location.

  • Smith Mountain Lake Community Park Expand Collapse

    Smith-Mountain-Lake-Community-ParkThe 37-acre Smith Mountain Lake Community Park opened in June 2007. It is a family-oriented facility providing swimming, fishing, and family recreation.

    The park is open year-round and offers a partly-covered handicap accessible fishing pier with seating, picnic shelters with grill, playground area, restrooms, hiking, jogging, and a beach with lifeguards on duty when open.

    The park includes 3 miles of pleasant lake and wooded view hiking. Entry and exit points are scattered throughout the park.

  • Waid Recreation Park Expand Collapse

    Waid-Recreation-AreaWaid Recreation Area is a 220-acre facility located near Rocky Mount, along the site of the Old Carolina Wagon Trail. The park is nestled near the Pigg River, which is home of the “Pigg River Ramble.”

    More than 400 acres of rolling terrain and creek crossings make this area great for beginners and more experienced hikers and bikers. The location also hosts various special events and athletic leagues.

    Amenities include:

    • Brand new flow and jump like mountain bike trails
    • 7 miles of walking and hiking trails
    • 2 walking tracks
    • Equestrian trails
    • Covered picnic shelters, pavilions, and grills
    • 2 playgrounds
    • Fishing, canoeing, and kayaking
    • Soccer, baseball & softball fields

Lake Sports

  • Bay Roc Marina Expand Collapse

    Located on Smith Mountain Lake, Bay Roc rents house boats, ski boats, and waverunners.

  • Black Water Junction Wake Park Expand Collapse

    Black Water Junction Wake Park is the ideal venue to try wakeboarding or wakeskating for the first time, or take your riding skills to the next level.

    Located near Smith Mountain Lake in Union Hall, Franklin County, Black Water Junction has two cables that pull riders across three different ponds, each filled with multiple obstacles that allow a rider to work on jumps, rail slides, and all the accompanying tricks.

  • Boat & Kayak Rentals at Carvins Cove Expand Collapse

    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.

    The Marina rents 14′ row boats along with single and tandem kayaks.

  • Bridgewater Marina – Bernard’s Rentals Expand Collapse

    Bernard’s Boat Rental will help you make the most of your cruising adventure. Located at beautiful Bernard’s Landing below the check-in center, the facility offers pontoon boat, ski boat, waverunner, kayak, and paddleboard rentals.

  • Bridgewater Marina – Bridgewater Marina Rentals Expand Collapse

    Bridgewater Marina Rentals is located at Bridgewater Marina, the most popular spot on the lake, with a service dock with 24 hour pay-at-the pump gas and marina store. Rentals include pontoon boats, waverunners, deckboats, wakeboards, and paddleboards.

  • Bridgewater Marina – State Park Rentals Expand Collapse

    Located on Smith Mountain Lake, Bridgewater Marina rents canoes and kayaks from Smith Mountain Lake State Park. State Park Rentals is conveniently located right on the beach in the park and features some of the most beautiful scenery on the lake. Rent a paddleboat, kayak, canoe, paddleboard, pontoon boat, runabout, waverunner, or tube, kneeboard, wakeboard, or skis.

  • Carvins Cove Natural Reserve Expand Collapse

    Please visit our COVID-19 Update Page for Latest Information on this Area as well as Others.

    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 Expand Collapse

    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.

  • Claytor Lake Water Sports Expand Collapse

    Claytor Lake Water Sports rents canoes, stand up paddleboards, kayaks, tubes, and bicycles at Claytor Lake.

  • Halesford Harbour Boat Rentals Expand Collapse

    Located on Smith Mountain Lake, Halesford Harbour Boat Rentals rents pontoons, ski boats, stand up paddleboards, wakeboard boats, wave runners, and all the necessary toys.

  • Lake Moomaw Expand Collapse

    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.

  • Mountain 2 Island Paddleboard Company Expand Collapse

    Mountain 2 Island Paddleboard company is the leading Paddleboard company located on Claytor Lake, offering specialized stand up paddling services, from rentals and gear to complete instruction and awesome tours. Mountain 2 Island also sells paddleboards from some of the top brands in the industry.

    Lessons and tours include:

    • Learn to paddleboard
    • SUP with your pip
    • Wednesday night social paddle
    • Once in a full moon tour
    • Sunset paddles
    • Paddleboard yoga

    Call or email for availability.

  • Parkway Marina Expand Collapse

    Located on Smith Mountain Lake, Parkway Marina rents pontoons and run-abouts and sells boats.

  • Parrot Cove Expand Collapse

    Located on Smith Mountain Lake, Parrot Cove rents tandem kayaks, as well as ski boats, house boats, and pontoons.

  • Smith Mountain Lake Expand Collapse

    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.

  • Wet Connection – Crazy Horse Marina Expand Collapse

    Located on Smith Mountain Lake, Wet Connection rents pontoons, ski boats, jet skis, and skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, and tubes.

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