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.
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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.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park is located near Moneta, Roanoke and Rocky Mount
Picnic areas include drinking water, grills and restroom facilities. A small picnic shelter, able to accommodate up to 50 people, is also available by reservation on a first-come, first-served basis by calling the Reservation Center at 1-800-933-7275, or in Richmond 225-3867. The picnic area is open year-round. A large playground is in the picnic area. There's a smaller playground at the visitor center. Parking and swimming fees are not included in shelter rental. Click here for park fees.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park Picnic Shelter - One shelter is available for rent. It can be rented from 8 a.m. to dusk (all day). The park also rents an amphitheater through its office. Shelters may be rented year-round.
Cancellation policy: No refund within 14 days before reserved date. Before then, there's a cancellation fee.
The shelter cannot be seen from the road as it is 50 yards from the gravel parking lot down a wooded trail. It accommodates 48 people under the shelter. Thirty more tables and grills are in the area, but they are not reserved and the general public uses the other tables around the shelter. The shelter has a large grill and picnic tables. Restrooms are accessible at the parking lot, approximately 100 yards from the shelter. There is no electricity or water at shelter. Parking is available in gravel lot with additional paved parking farther from the shelter. There is a playground nearby. Prior arrangements must be made with staff if any guests are handicapped or if a caterer will be used.
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The park is on the north shore of Smith Mountain Lake in Bedford County, approximately 40 miles from both Lynchburg and Roanoke and 140 miles from Richmond. To get there, take U.S. 460 to Route 122 South to Moneta, then go east on Route 608 to White House. Next go south on Route 626 for two miles to park entrance.