As the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to change, it ushers in the most beautiful , vivid, and perhaps most lovely season in the lake and mountains, Fall. There is so much to do in the fall at Smith Mountain Lake, from hiking, canoeing, boating, wine events, and more. The brilliant colors from our changing dogwood trees, to the smell of fireplaces once again crackling to life to keep us warm in the evening, and the tastes of autumn in our restaurants and in our glasses is beyond spectacular. Here’s a short guide to squeezing the most out of the next several weeks, whether you are trying to hold on to summer for just a little longer or ready to embrace fall.
In the spring I believe this area is the most beautiful in North America. Before I moved here 15 years ago, I always thought this. April is full of our ever-changing dogwood trees, our natural pink and purple wild dogwoods nestled in the woods.. We have so many different types of flora and trees local to our area, that even our friends from all over the world have now re-routed their vacations to Smith Mountain Lake during April, just to watch these changes as well as play at the lake and the mountains. Warm days and cold nights, still allow all to enjoy the fireplaces and play golf during the day or take a hike, or get your boat started.
Take a hike. A great thing about our Southwest Virginia hikes is that you can do them over and over again in one year and see something different every time. Our flora and fauna change so quickly with the varying temperatures at altitude that the same hike you did in May to see the rushing run off of spring’s waterfalls can hold some of the most brilliant fall color landscapes in September. Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a local favorite, located on the Bedford County side, the trails offer spectacular views of the lake and over 10 miles of various degrees.
Another great hiking trail area is the Peaks of Otter in Bedford County with various hikes for all ages. After your hike feel free to stop in the restaurant on the Blue Ridge parkway to booster your energy level. This area is only 30 minutes from the lake, and offers fantastic hiking trails over waterfalls and fantastic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The furthest hiking from Smith Mountain Lake is located at the Appalachian trails, which is only 1 to 1.5 hours away at the most, depending on the trail you choose. Many trails, such as McAfee Knob offer incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains all the way to West Virginia..Be prepared however these hikes take the entire day, so make sure everyone including dogs are in shape for this event.