SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE STATE PARK
Although situated on the second largest body of freshwater in the state, Smith Mountain Lake State Park is not just for water enthusiasts. In addition to a full range of water related activities, including swimming, fishing and boating, the park offers miles of hiking trails, housekeeping cabins, primitive camping, picnicking, a visitor center and interpretive programs.
Smith Mountain Lake itself was created in 1960 when Appalachian Power built a dam on the Roanoke River in Smith Mountain Gap. Construction of the dam was completed in 1966, and in 1967 Appalachian Power donated the first parcel of park's land for the proposed park. The state bought the rest of the park's land over the next six years. The park opened to the public in 1983.
The park?s 500-foot beach opened in the summer of 1989 and is Smith Mountain Lake?s only public swimming beach. The beach can accomodate 1,000 people and is guarded during operating hours. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests in campsites, cabins and the lodge, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be closed. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.
Boating - Boat launching fee required for day-use public; overnight guests launch for free. There are no overnight mooring areas except in the cabin area for cabin guests only. The campers must return their boats to the campsite or overflow parking area. Boat rentals (canoes, kayaks, hydrobikes, paddleboats, pontoon boats, ski boats and fishing boats) are available at the park from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The park concessionaire also rents boats offsite the rest of the year. Reservations are taken for those wishing to rent more than six hours. From Memorial Day through Labor day, call (540) 297-3642 for information and reservations; call (540) 721-1639 the rest of the year. Purchase an annual boat launch fee by calling 1-800-933-PARK.
A valid Virginia fishing license is required. Smith Mountain Lake offers fishing with a handicapped accessible fishing pier and a public boat launching ramp with year-round restroom facilities. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries stocks the lake yearly with muskie and striped bass.