Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

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Site MSW07: Smith Mountain Lake State Park


Elevation: 866 ft. Smith Mountain Reservoir 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 Smith Mountain 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.


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.

Loop Map