Smith Mountain Lake: Virginia's Blue Ridge Beauty

Destinations, Things to Do

Smith Mountain Lake: Virginia's Blue Ridge Beauty

Smith Mountain Lake, locally known simply as SML, is Virginia's largest lake, located about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke. The Blue Ridge Mountains are a spectacular backdrop to the crystal pure water of the lake. Formed by the damming of the Blackwater and Roanoke Rivers, Smith Mountain Lake covers over 20,000 acres and has more than 500 miles of shoreline. There are hundreds of coves to park your houseboat and make SML your shoreline home.


Things to Do on Smith Mountain Lake:

Fishing: the lake is stocked with trophy Striped Bass as well as Smallmouth and Largemouth bass. The lake is also home to Crappie, Catfish, Brook Trout, Sunfish and Muskie. SML is one of the most renowned fisheries on the East Coast.

Water Sports: Boating, waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, jetskiing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and even sailing are popular activities. Of course, there's always the slide off the back of your houseboat

Hiking & Biking: Smith Mountain Lake State Park, about 8 miles from the marina by water, has a number of trails for hikers and bikers to enjoy the hardwood and pine forests and impressive overlooks. There are 13 trails ranging from half a mile to three miles in length. 


Things to Do Off the Lake:

Bridgewater Plaza, near the marina, offers several waterfront restaurants, an arcade, and mini golfing.

The Visitor Center at the Dam, just off VA-40 on Route 908, is full of hands on exhibits and interesting audio-visuals that illustrate how the lake was formed, including a scale model of the lake.

Just minutes away, be sure to stop at the popular historical Booker T Washington National Monument, located on Route 122 on the old Burrough's tobacco plantation. One of only twelve African American historical sites, the Booker T Washington National Monument was constructed in June of 1957. It offers a view of what slavery was like and how plantation systems ran. The site has slave quarters, a tobacco barn, smokehouse, tool shop, and lots of farm animals.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, "America's most scenic drive" follows the mountain crests through VA to NC and TN. It stretches 470 miles long, where there are restaurants, trails, waterfalls, overlooks, and beautiful scenery to take in along the way.

For the adults, there are several wineries in the area, some part of the Bedford County Wine Trail. Smith Mountain Lake hosts the SML Wine Festival on the last weekend in September each year; it's one of the lake's most anticipated annual events. Not into wine? The Sunken City Brewing Company in Westlake is not to be missed; be sure to ask about their signature brew: the Dam Lager.


Start planning your Smith Mountain Lake getaway today! Call your friendly houseboating agent at 888-454-8825 or Request Information Online and an agent will contact you.


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