Lake Burton

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWTBefore heading out to visit a site on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, be sure to check if that site has any COVID-19 policies or closures in place. This information is typically posted on a site's own website.


Elevation: 748 ft.
A close border of thick oak and hickory woodland dominates Lake Burton with only a few open areas near the dam and around the boat landing. This lake provides an excellent site to search for waterfowl in the winter. However, migration provides viewing opportunities for all sorts of water aerialists such as gulls and possibly terns. The shores of the lake support retiring great blue heron and wood duck as well as the occasional eastern painted turtle sunning on a dead tree in the water. Closer examination reveals the lake to be alive with damsel- and dragonflies such as eastern amberwing and blue dasher. Look to the banks for a variety of butterflies such as eastern tiger swallowtail and silver-spotted skipper. When searching the banks for wildlife, keep checking for birds flying overhead. Turkey vulture are likely to be seen passing over. However, one never knows when an osprey will drop in to the lake for a quick meal.

Note: To access the site, a Restore the Wild Membership, Virginia hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.


Leaving Smith Mountain Lake State Park, travel east 12.1 miles on Rt. 626 to SR 43. Turn right on SR 43 and continue south for 12.8 miles to US 29. Turn right on US 29 and drive south for 21.6 miles to the intersection of US 29 Business, near Chatham. Continue south on US 29 Business another 1.8 miles to the intersection with SR 57. Head west on SR 57 for 8.6 miles to Rt. 750/Greed Road. Turn north on Rt. 750/Greed Road and proceed 3.4 miles to Rt. 800/Burton Lake Road. Turn left and continue 1.1 miles to the boat ramp on the left.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Parking
  • Boat Ramp