Smith Mountain Lake

panorama of SML

Our Rotary Club calls beautiful Smith Mountain Lake “Home”

Smith Mountain Lake’s surrounding population 0f about 20,000 includes many retirees and almost-retirees – some transplanted from other parts of the USA. A few of them have joined younger members as dedicated SML Rotarians.

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia’s most popular lake, offers superb recreational activities, 500 miles of shoreline, and a wide variety of water sports. Known locally as “SML” it is a popular destination for both vacationers and retirees.

This 40-mile long, 20,600-acre lake, is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural southwestern Virginia. It was created to generate electricity and to manage water flows downstream. The damming of the Blackwater and Roanoke Rivers formed this reservoir in a filling process that completed in 1966.

SML’s surface covers 32 square miles at 795 feet above sea level. Surrounded by mountains, Smith Mountain Lake’s deepest point is about 250 feet; it averages 55 feet. Water purity is excellent, and water temperatures invite swimming from May through September. Fishing is excellent for all types of bass, including some monster “stripers.” There is no horsepower limit, so water sports are very popular.

Many retail stores and services supply lake residents. Most are located on or near Rt. 122, a few miles north and south of Hales Ford Bridge. There are two large supermarkets, dozens of restaurants, a dozen banks, a dozen marinas, two YMCAs, two libraries, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, real estate brokers, attorneys, accountants, and scores of mostly-independent retail stores. An urgent care center and an evacuation helicopter are located at Westlake, the lake’s primary retail center.

– From the Smith Mountain Lake Insider’s Guide.

Photo: SML Shoreline, Copyright Brian Raub.