Smith Mountain Lake (SML) is a beautiful 22,000 acre lake with over 500 miles of shoreline which provide a playground for a variety of water related activities. It is a reservoir with primary inflows from the Roanoke River and Blackwater River. Smith Mountain Lake is the first lake in a chain of four that eventually wind their way down to Ablemarle Sound in North Carolina. Fisherman and boaters alike plan their family vacations and weekends at the lake seeking to enjoy its peaceful serenity. The Blue Ridge Mountains mirror the lake, adding to its aesthetic beauty by providing scenic vistas the year round.
Smith Mountain Dam was begun in 1960 and finished in 1963, but March of 1966 was the first time the lake was at full pond. Smith Mountain Lake has a pump back hydroelectric generation dam, which provides clean water up the east coast while allowing us to recover some water from downstream. Our lake is designated as a zero discharge zone by the EPA and monitored by local colleges to ensure its quality is maintained. In 2016, Smith Mountain Lake was celebrating 50 years with many special events along with the many other regular events and festivals.
The lake has many activities both off and on the water including the Tom Maynard Poker Run, annual SML Fishing Tournament, Antique & Classic Boat Festival, Pirate Days and the SML Wine Festival.
SML was featured in the Hallmark movie, “Lake Effects,” and has appeared in other movies including “What About Bob?”
The lake and surrounding area is beautiful and is well worth a visit! Below are some links to various Smith Mountain Lake businesses:
Smith Mountain Marine is a proud member of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, a great place for area information, events calendar, and much more: visitsmithmountainlake.com
Bedford Area Welcome Center: visitbedford.com
Franklin County, Virginia information: visitfranklincountyva.org
Crystal Shores Marina (where Smith Mountain Marine is located) for slip and dry rack rental: crystalshoresmarinaresort.com
Smith Mountain Lake State Park: SML State Park website
Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park: Friends of SML State Park
Boat rentals at Parkway Marina, SML: Boat Rentals at Parkway
Drifter’s Bar & Grill (seasonal) at Crystal Shores Marina: holleratwaller.com
Smith Mountain Lake Level (updated hourly): Lake Level
Booker T. Washington National Monument: BTW website
Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries/Boating: dgif.virginia.gov/boating
- Virginia DGIF fishing licenses and more: GoOutdoorsVirginia.com
REMEMBER: On July 1, 2016, the Virginia Boating Safety Education Requirement took effect in the state of Virginia. “In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law to establish a boating safety education compliance requirement. This requirement has been phased in over the past several years; and on July 1, 2016, all operators (regardless of age) of PWCs and operators (regardless of age) of motorboats with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater will be required to have a boating safety education course completion card on board when operating a PWC or motorboat.” For information on the requirements and links to classes, please click on this link: DGIF boater education information . Many classes are free and some have a cost. There are also online classes in addition to the various classes being held around the state of Virginia.