Franklin County Virginia is known as the “Land between the lakes” and for good reason, we have two of them. The Claiborne House B&B is located in the Town of Rocky Mount itself, we are not lakefront. But we surely do recommend you make the short drive and visit our lakes that offer year-round recreation.

life is simple
just add water


Smith Mountain Lake Celebrates its 50th birthday in 2016. The south end of Smith Mountain Lake all the way up to Bridgewater Plaza is in our Franklin County. The visitor center is there at Bridgewater Plaza as well as a few restaurants, marina and pubs.  Annual events are held at Bridgewater Plaza and nearby such as Bass Tournaments, Wine Festivals and even Wooden Boat Shows!  The lake covers 20,600 acres and has over 500 miles of shoreline.

Smith Mountain Lake is a popular recreational destination. Boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, riding personal watercraft, and sailing are common activities as is fishing, especially for striped bass. The lake hosts several professional fishing tournaments. Two swimming beaches are open to the public seasonally. Golf at one of the four nearby courses is a popular landside activity. The majority of access to the lake is through private residential property. Click here for a map of boat launches.

Bridgewater Plaza at Smith Mountain Lake - stay with us at The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast a 20 minute drive to Smith Mountain Lake Virginia

Fishing pier and community swim beach in Franklin County at Smith Mountain Lake Virginia - from The Claiborne House bed and breakfast rocky mount va

Sailing at Smith Mountain Lake Virginia - from The Claiborne House bed and breakfast in rocky mount va

Directions to Bridgewater Plaza at Smith Mountain Lake from The Claiborne House


For a more rural experience with less boat traffic we always recommend a visit to Philpott Lake. Nestled among the rolling foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Philpott Lake is a scenic wonderland. The lake covers 3,000 acres with 100 miles of shoreline.

This is also a large lake in Virginia, and has a few hot spots for amenities around the lake, but not many. It is an angling and boating paradise.  At the other end of the lake in a Henry county (not far from Fairy Stone State Park) you will find the dam and visitor center that has a lovely picnic area with beautiful overlook. Ryan’s Branch is our preferred paddle destination. If you would like to add on a romantic picnic for two, available with a two night stay click here for details.

Rural Philpott Lake in Franklin County Virginia - from The Claiborne House bed breakfast in rocky mount va

a special place for a scenic picnic from The Claiborne House

Directions to Ryan’s Branch Recreation Area at Philpott Lake from The Claiborne House

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