Smith Mountain Lake State Park

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: 866 ft.

Smith Mountain Lake lies southeast of Roanoke along the Smith River. The Appalachian Power Company dammed the river for hydrological power production and the reservoir reached full pond in 1966. The picturesque Smith Mountain Lake State Park sits on the north shore of the lake, providing one of the few public access points to the lake. Equipped with an excellent visitor’s center, the park offers outdoor enthusiasts a swimming beach, boat landing, and a variety of nature trails. Birds found in the area include red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, northern flicker, eastern wood-pewee, eastern phoebe, eastern kingbird, eastern bluebird, chipping and song sparrows, and eastern meadowlark. Wild turkey can often be seen crossing the roads in the park, especially early in the morning. The lake is also worth careful investigation since it supports nesting osprey as well as interesting water birds that could turn up anytime of year. The gardens around the visitor center have been successfully planted to attract butterflies. Butterflies to look for include swallowtails, common buckeye, silver-spotted skipper, and several smaller skippers.


Physical Address: 1235 Rd 888, Huddleston, VA 24104

The park visitor center is to the right just after turning onto Rd 888. From this point, the road splits and leads to different areas around the lake. The right-hand side follows northwest towards parking, piers, ramps, boat rentals, and beach access. The left-hand side runs down through woods and out to the amphitheater and discovery center as well as camping areas and cabins.

From the previous site on the Southwest Piedmont Loop of the VBWT:

From Smith Mountain Lake Community Park, return north via Rt. 942 and Rt. 616 to SR 122. Turn right onto SR 122 and follow it east 7.5 miles to Rt. 608. Turn right on Rt. 608 and continue for 6.0 miles to Rt. 626. Turn right and follow Rt. 626 for 2.1 miles to the park entrance on the right.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

Birds Recently Seen at Smith Mountain Lake State Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Solitary Sandpiper
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Osprey
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Chickadee

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Bike Trails
  • Camping
  • Environmental Study Area
  • Fee
  • Food
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Lodging
  • Parking
  • Phone
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Boat Ramp