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Smith Mountain Lake State Park

1235 State Park Rd., Huddleston, VA 24104; Phone: 540-297-6066; Email: smlake@dcr.virginia.gov

Location of Smith Mountain Lake State Park in Virginia

About this park ...

Google map thumbnail showing Smith Mountain Lake State Park's location Click for Smith Mountain Lake State Park Forecast
Latitude, 37.079625. Longitude, -79.610993.

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General Information

On the second largest freshwater lake in the state, this picturesque park is the water enthusiast's paradise. There are numerous water activities, including swimming, boat rentals, a boat ramp and a universally accessible fishing pier. Families can also enjoy picnicking, a visitor center, an amphitheater, special programs, camping, miles of trails and cabins with boat docks.

Hours

8:15 a.m. - dusk.

Location

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.

Its address is 1235 State Park Road, Huddleston, VA 24104-9547.
Latitude, 37.079625. Longitude, -79.610993.

Park Size

1,248 acres.

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Cabins, camping

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES

Cabins and camping. For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call 1-800-933-PARK. Click here for park fees.

Click here for details on reservation cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for cabin stays.

Visit a Flickr photoset of typical cabins and lodges at Smith Mountain Lake. Cabins and lodges vary. Dwellings may not match what's shown in the photos.

Cabins

Two-bedroom cabin at Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

Weekly rentals on cabins during prime season start on Saturday or Sunday.

Guests arriving after the office has closed will find information on how to access their cabin in the late-arrival box just outside the visitor center. Check in at the park office the next morning. All overnight guests' vehicles should be registered with the office.

  • Wood stoves (no fireplace)
  • Kitchen: Refrigerator, stove, coffeemaker, dishes, dishcloth, a few dish towels, silverware, cooking utensils, pots and pans, microwave oven, toaster, electric can-openers, clock radios, etc. Bring food and extra dish towels, coffee filters, coffee, salt and pepper and nonstick cooking spray. No dishwasher, telephone, TV, washer/dryer.
  • Living area: Fold-out sofa (sleeps two), dining table, benches
  • Bedrooms: Beds and nightstands, dresser, closet with hangers, clock radio
  • One set of linens per bed and one set of towels per person
  • Swimming and boat launching are free for overnight guests
  • Docks are available at the cabins, but guests must park their boat trailer in the overflow parking lot. There's no electricity at the overflow lot or the boat docks. Each cabin has one slip.
  • The two-bedroom cabins are meant to sleep four. Six are allowed, but this relies on using a fold-out sofa for the two extra people. Each has a queen bed, two singles and a fold-out sofa, but it's a tight fit when fully occupied
  • The three-bedroom cabin sleeps eight and has two queen beds, two singles and a foldout couch; two bathrooms (one universally accessible; the other has a tub)
  • Picnic table and pedestal grill in yard per cabin; open porch with rocking chairs
  • Firewood: The park provides one bundle of complimentary firewood. Extra firewood is available for purchase at the office.
  • TV and VCR rentals are available on a first-come, first served basis to cabin guests.
  • The cabins have rustic furniture; linens are included (one set per person for six people). Cabins are climate controlled (heat and AC).
  • Consider bringing extra bath towels, body wash or soap, board games and playing cards.

Total sites of each type: Two-bedroom frame, 11; two-bedroom frame waterview, 8; three-bedroom frame, 1

Site type:

Two-bedroom frame - Two bedrooms; wood frame; one queen bed; two singles; foldout couch; ceramic tile floors with carpeted bedrooms. Two-bedroom cabins have a bathroom with shower.

Two-bedroom frame waterview - Two bedrooms; wood frame; one queen bed; two singles; foldout couch; ceramic tile floors with carpeted bedrooms. The two-bedroom cabins have a bathroom with shower.

Three-bedroom frame - Three bedrooms; wood frame; two queen beds; two singles; foldout couch; ceramic tile floors with carpeted bedrooms. The three bedroom cabin has two bathrooms (one universally accessible shower; the other has a tub). The three-bedroom cabins are meant to sleep six. Eight are allowed, but this relies on the use of a fold-out sofa for the extra two people.

Total cabins: 20

Although the only fully universally accessible cabin in the park is cabin 7, numerous cabins, while not fully accessible, are better suited for customers having disabilities. Because of hilly terrain, all cabins other than cabin 7 have steps. Cabins 15, 17 and 19 have two steps, cabins 10, 13 and 20 have three steps, cabin 14 has four steps, and cabins 6, 12 and 18 have five steps. The remaining cabins are unsuitable for those with disabilities because of numerous steps or steep grades leading into the cabin.

Camping

  • All campsites have in-ground grills for cooking and campfires.
  • Firewood is available for a small fee (sorry - no complimentary wood for campers). Do not bring firewood.
  • One vehicle permitted in parking lot per tent site (Tent Std). Extra vehicles must park in overflow parking.
  • Guests will find boat-trailer and additional parking at the overflow lot about 50 yards from the campground entrance. There's no electricity at the overflow lot.
  • Visitors to overnight guests must pay to park vehicle in parking lot, pay for any day use services and leave the park by 10 p.m..
  • Fifty sites; all in the woods; no waterfront. Various equipment. Up to 50 feet (not all sites).
  • Full-service bathhouse with hot showers and wash sink for dishes.
  • All sites have a picnic table, fire ring grill and a post for a lantern.
  • Swimming and boat launch free with camping.
  • Sites EW 30ft BackIn and EW 50ftPulThru have water and electric hookups.
  • A dump station is available free of charge for campers who stay in the park; non-overnight guests must pay a small fee to use the dump station.

Total sites of each type: TENT, 25

Site type: Tent Std - Tent only. No water and electric. No hookups; no vans. All sites have a small gravel surface. The area has only a general parking lot, so only one vehicle is allowed per site. No boats or trailers allowed in tent site parking area. Tent campers with boats must park their boats in the overflow parking area at the entrance to the campground. Bathhouse available.

Total sites of each type: EW 30ft BackIn, 19; EW 50ftPulThru, 5; Tent Std, 26

Site type:

EW 30ft BackIn - Tent/van/pop-up/camper/RV up to 30 feet. Gravel sites. Five are minimum impact sites. Sites located in the woods. This site is well-suited for campers towing a small boat. Water and electric sites. All equipment must fit on the site and not encroach on natural areas.

EW 50ftPulThru, 5 - Tent/van/pop-up/camper/RV up to 50'. These gravel, pull-through sites are recommended for campers with large RVs or larger boats. Because of the gravel, tent set-ups are discouraged. Campers with smaller boat should request site type EW 30ft BackIn. Water and electricity available. All equipment must fit on the site and not encroach on natural areas.

RV sites (EW 30ft BackIn and EW 50ftPulThru, accept outlets for 20 and 30 amp current. There are no waterfront sites at this park. These sites have electric and water, and a bathhouse is available.

General campground information:

  • A trail not advertised for day use leads to the water for fishing at anytime, however there are no designated swimming areas and the mooring of boats is not permitted.
  • Campers pulling a boat trailer will have to bring the boat back to the site or overflow park each night as there are no mooring facilities at the park. Reminder: There is no charge to launch for overnight campers.
  • There is one site that may be used as a universally accessible site. The park is unable to hold it. This site has a universally accessible picnic table and pedestal grill.
  • The campground remains open from March 1 through the first Monday of December. Reservations are strongly encouraged during prime season.

Camping Lodge (bunkhouse) - no weekly requirement.

The park has a camping lodge (bunkhouse), which is not a full service lodge, for rent. It's a two-room trailer with seven bunk beds ( five in one room and two in another), a refrigerator, a microwave oven, a coffee pot and air conditioning. It has no heating. The bunkhouse has a has a porch and a large covered deck with two picnic table, two other tables and eight chairs. It also has a charcoal grill and a fire ring. Smoking, portable heaters and cooking, except with the microwave oven, are not permitted in the lodge. There's a fire hydrant next to the lodge in the parking lot. Four vehicles are permitted with rental of the lodge; the daily parking fee must be paid for additional vehicles. RVs and trailers may not be parked in the bunk house parking lot; there's an overflow parking lot about 100 yards away.

It's available only during camping season, March 1 to the first Monday in December. The facility becomes available in January each year; unlike most overnight facilities, it is not sold 11 months in advance. Check-in is 3 p.m., and check-out is 10 a.m.

The transfer deadline and cancellation and pet fees are the same as those for cabins.

  • No linens are provided. Guests must bring their own linens and pillows.
  • Maximum occupancy is 14. Guests may be billed for any damage or excessive uncleanliness.
  • The minimum stay is two nights.
  • It has no bathroom, kitchen or fireplace.
  • Dishes and silverware are not provided.
  • The pet fee charged for the bunkhouse is the same as that charged for cabins.
  • Cooking and smoking are not permitted in the camping lodge.
  • Swimming is free to overnight guests from Memorial Day through Labor Day when the pool is open.
  • There’s no cable hookup.
  • Electrical outlets are available but limited to 20-amps.
  • No extra bed rentals are available.
  • The camping lodge is next to the park's campground.
  • From Memorial Day through Labor Day, camping lodge guests use the campground's bathhouse, which is about 100 yards away.

Recreation

TRAILS

There are 13 hiking trails ranging from half a mile to three miles long. Trails meander through the park’s various features, including hardwood forests, pine forests, secluded coves and picturesque vistas. They are open year-round during daylight hours.

Va. Outdoors sign

Visit the Explore Virginia Outdoors website for enhanced maps and video tours of Smith Mountain Lake's trails.

SWIMMING

The park’s 500-foot beach, which is one of two public beaches on the lake, is open from the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. The beach can accommodate 1,000 people and is guarded during operating hours. In the summer, swimming is free for overnight guests, however it cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require that swimming be stopped. Prior to mid-June and after mid-August, swimming may be limited on weekdays. We do not give refunds for swimming to overnight guests under any circumstances.

Swimming fees: Click here for park fees.

FISHING, BOATING

Located on Smith Mountain Lake, the park offers ample opportunities for shore and boat fishing. You’ll find striped bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and several other species.

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 jet skis) 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. Click here for park fees.

Park Trail Guide

Click here for the park's trail guide. Click here for its general facilities guide.

Nearby Attractions

Various festivals year-round around the lake. Call Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-676-8203 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and visit www.visitsmithmountainlake.com for lists of special events and articles on local sights and businesses. The Smith Mountain Dam Visitor Center is open at various times; call 540-985-2587. Also near the park are the Booker T. Washington National Monument, 540-721-2094), the Blue Ridge Parkway and Peaks of Otter, 540-857-2485. National D-Day Memorial, 540-586-3329, www.dday.org. Visit www.bridgewaterplaza.com to learn more about the concession that handles boat rentals at the park. Molliver Vineyards and Winery offers wine tastings, tours, wine sales and a variety of outdoor recreation on its 134-acre vineyard and winery on the Bannister River.

Picnic Shelters

Picnic area pads have a table and a grill. A water fountain is near the picnic area restrooms. 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 Customer Service Center at 1-800-933-PARK. The picnic area is open year-round. A large playground is in the picnic area. There's a smaller playground at the Discovery 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 disabled or if a caterer will be used.

Meeting Space and Facilities

MEETING FACILITIES

The park has a small meeting space.

VISITOR CENTER, GIFT SHOP

The park’s visitor center, built in 2009, has various displays, handles guest services and has a small gift shop. The park's Discovery Center, which is near the park's interpretive trail and has WiFi access, has exhibits on the history and folklore of the area and the lake’s aquatic environment. Call the park at 540-297-6066 for dates and hours of operation. The Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park manages the gift shop and helps operate the Discovery Center.

Many interpretive programs take place here or at the nearby amphitheater. The amphitheater can be reserved for small weddings or family reunions at the same price as a large shelter's (see above). A special user permit approved by the park manager is required for use of the amphitheater; allow at least two weeks for processing. There are no grills for cooking or picnic tables are in this vicinity, and the area may be used for interpretive events. The location is reserved on first-come first-served basis. Call the park directly at 540-297-6066 for availability. A small playground is nearby.

RESTAURANT

None. This park has a snack bar in season.

LAUNDRY

The closest Laundromat is 15 minutes away. Directions are posted at the office.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

None at this park.

SPECIAL FEATURES

None at this park.

Other Info

ACCESSIBILITY

  • Beach: Buildings, changing areas and restrooms are accessible. There are accessible grades to the beach with a concrete ramp reaching near the water's edge. The dock also has accessible grades, depending on water levels.
  • Picnic area: Accessible restrooms, playground and picnic tables.
  • Boating and fishing: The boat ramp area has accessible restrooms, and the fishing pier is accessible (112 feet long, provides deep water fishing), as is the launch.
  • Office: Fully accessible.
  • Discovery Center: Accessible building and restrooms, accessible playground, accessible amphitheater with access to the boat dock. Access to the boat dock has the proper grade with a hard packed gravel walkway.
  • Campground: The campground has a bathhouse. Site 48 has been developed with accessibility in mind; it is relatively level and closest to the restroom.
  • Cabins: There is one fully accessible three-bedroom cabin that is constructed to late-1990s ADA standards.
  • Trails: There's an accessible hard packed gravel trail (approximately 100 yards) down Turtle Island Trail that can be used during the managed deer hunt in November. It can also be used as a wildlife viewing blind by anyone wishing to observe wildlife the rest of the year.
  • Although motorized vehicles are not permitted on park trails, electric wheelchairs and electric scooters that meet the federal definition for wheelchairs are allowed to enable people with disabilities to use the trails.

NATURE, HISTORY PROGRAMS

Night hikes, hay rides, canoe trips, twilight programs, Junior Naturalists. Junior Naturalists is a program for children 6-10 years old. The program focuses on themes of nature, and arts and crafts. It is sponsored by the Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

  • Smith Mountain Lake Triathalon in May (click here to register or see results)
  • Aspiring Anglers Junior Fishing Clinic taking place in June.
  • Big Lick Triathlon, late September (click here to register or see results)

Click here to view all parks' events, festivals, workshops and interpretive programs.

CONCESSIONS

The swimming complex offers concessions with food service, various notions and a bathhouse. The park operates the beach and food area Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Times may change because of poor weather. Boat rentals are available during Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Beach hours may be limited during the last two weeks of August when staff members return to school. Please call the park for open-beach hours during this time.

HISTORY

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.

FRIENDS GROUP

Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park, a nonprofit citizen group, helps conserve the park's natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resources. The group offers various recreational and educational opportunities and promotes environmental stewardship for one of Virginia's largest lakes. Join up or learn more about the friends group by emailing smlparkfriends@gmail.com or visiting the group's website.

MASTER PLAN

Master plans must be written for parks before they're built. The plans are updated at least once every five years thereafter. The plans cover the size, types, infrastructure and locations of facilities as well as the site's special features and resources. Three public meetings are held during the initial development of each plan. Click here for this park's master plan.

WILDLIFE

Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

View all wildlife encounter photos from Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

 

Upcoming Events

 
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Articles

Two of four osprey eggs hatched over Mother's Day weekend. One more hatched this week. Watch the Smith Mountain Lake State Park osprey cam live to see how they grow!
We are letting you in on one of the best little-known secrets: Virginia State Parks cabins are an incredible value compared to hotel rooms!
A sure sign of spring is the return of the ospreys. You can watch live on the Smith Mountain Lake State Park osprey cam, brought to you with the help of the Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park.
Virginia State Parks is the epicenter for Family, Friends and Fun! They are also 3 key ingredients in my happy life.

At a Glance

The pictographs directly below show park offerings. Mouse-over the image for a short text description or click here to view a legend in which each pictograph's meaning is expressed.
AmphitheaterBikingBoat LaunchBoat Rentals, Canoe AccessCabinsCamp Store/Gift ShopCampground, Camping Lodges **Dump StationHikingLake/Bay/Ocean, LifeguardsMotor Boats PermittedNature/Cultural Programs, Visitor CenterParking feePicnic Shelter Rentals, Picnic TablesPier, ShorePlaygroundsRestroomsShowersSnack BarUniversally Accessible
Amphitheater, Biking, Boat Launch, Boat Rentals, Canoe Access, Cabins, Camp Store/Gift Shop, Campground, Camping Lodges **, Dump Station, Hiking, Lake/Bay/Ocean, Lifeguards, Motor Boats Permitted, Nature/Cultural Programs, Visitor Center, Parking fee, Picnic Shelter Rentals, Picnic Tables, Pier, Shore, Playgrounds, Restrooms, Showers, Snack Bar, Universally Accessible