Smith Mountain Lake is a beautiful vacation destination that is full of scenic views and natural beauty. If you are planning on visiting Smith Mountain Lake, you will want to see all of the amazing sights around the area. Here are the top five spots for scenic Smith Mountain Lake views to help you plan your next vacation.
Smith Mountain Lake Dam
Smith Mountain Lake Dam is an arch dam that is located on the Roanoke River that was built in the late 1920s. This dam produces an incredible amount of energy for the state, but also doubles as an amazing park with walking trails and beautiful views. Just below the dam on Leesville Lake is a picnic area that is open to the public every day. There is no admission charge to this park, and you can access the park from Route 40 by following the signs to Smith Mountain Dam. This area is close to the water and offers walking trails and picnic tables. We really enjoy going to the park with a packed lunch and wandering around near the water. If you are lucky, you will be able to see the various wildlife that call the lake home. You will see plenty of osprey that call the trees around the dam home.
Osprey Point Trail
Osprey Point Trail is an amazing walking and hiking trail that lies just off Smith Mountain Lake. This trail clocks in at 0.9 miles and is a moderately trafficked out-and-back trail that is great for all levels of ability. The Osprey Point Trail offers a number of activities and is best used from July until September. This trail is a small portion of land that actually runs between two beautiful lakes. The trail itself is surfaced with gravel, dirt, and wooden boardwalks with railings and is mostly a gentle grade. This is a great trail for those who are skilled hikers or beginners that have little to no hiking ability. It is important to note that this trail is only available to hike a few months per year due to the seasonal closures. You will be able to see many different types of wildlife on this trail, so make sure that you bring a camera.
Turtle Island Trail
Turtle Island Trail is a great trail offering some of the best sightseeing in Virginia. Visitors will park near the trailhead in the Turtle Island Trail parking area. The beginning of the trail is clearly marked with green trail markers. From the beginning of the trail, you will see placards along the way that guide you through the forest of pine and mixed hardwoods. Along the trails you will see how the abandoned fields were transformed into a wooded forest over the course of 125 years. Signs identify trees in this area and will give you an idea of what has grown here over the years. These identify trees like sycamores, post oaks, and black walnuts. Near the half mile mark, you will reach a few benched areas to allow you to take a minute and relax on this beautiful trail. Our favorite part of this amazing trail is the small wooden bridge at the .8-mile mark that is something out of a painting.
Chestnut Ridge Trail
Chestnut Ridge Trail is a 1.7-mile hike that has a little bit of everything for those who love to hike in the forest. This trail is a lollipop-like loop that is an out-and-back hike. Like many trails in the state park, the Chestnut Ridge Trail is also a multi-use trail that is used by both hikers and mountain bikers. This trail begins just across the street from the parking lot for the Turtle Island Trail area and is marked by a large kiosk. The trail will take you out into the peninsula out on Smith Mountain Lake. There are several benches that line this trail and provide for picturesque locations to relax and take in the sights. At the 0.65-mile point, you will arrive at a split in the trail. This spot allows you to go to the furthest reaches of the peninsula or circle back to the trailhead. The tip of the peninsula wows with Smith Mountain Lake views, but also scenic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the south.
Smith Mountain Lake
Smith Mountain Lake is by far the most popular thing to see while you are in the area. This lake is amazingly beautiful and is the home to various wildlife and natural attractions. There are miles of hiking trails that lead around the lake and provide amazing views. The Smith Mountain Lake Dam is also an amazing sight that must be visited. You can walk across the dam and get amazing views of the water. One of our favorite things to do on the lake is hike around the various islands on the lake; these are each like an interesting new habitat to explore. If you are visiting the area, you will for sure want to explore the lake.
Whether you’re taking in the best sightseeing in Virginia or just floating on the lake, you’ll want a comfortable place to call home during your journey. Contact us today to book your rental property!