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.
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.