The Clearest Lake in Virginia is a Must Visit

Travel Maven

Virginia is home to over 50 beautiful lakes and reservoirs. Some big, some small, and some manmade.

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None however are as clear and beautiful as Smith Mountain Lake, a large freshwater reservoir in the Roanoke Region of Virginia. Known as the second largest lake in the state, Smith Mountain spans 32 miles and features hiking trails, campgrounds, and an amphitheater.

The lake was created in the 1960s as a dam to impound the Roanoke River. During the next couple of decades, the lake remained virtually unheard of. Today, this recreational hub attracts thousands of visitors a year.

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The biggest draw to this lake is the sandy beach where you can take a dip in one of the cleanest bodies of water on the East Coast. The three surrounding counties of Smith Mountain all work together to keep the lake clean and beautiful and to protect the wildlife that inhabitants it.

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One of the main reasons the lake has remained so impeccable is because of the park's many policies regarding boat cleanliness before being allowed to bring it into the water. The lake has managed to stay free from most invasive species like zebra muscles because of this.

Smith Mountain Lake is surrounded by the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains so you'll have plenty of scenic views to take in as you lay out on the sandy beaches or decide to boat, fish, or swim along the shores.

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Smith Mountain State Park is also home to 7 different hiking trails each with its own unique twists at varying levels of capability. The Wildlife Trail will take you past the sides of the dam and up into a rock-covered vista where you'll be able to take in sweeping views of the crystal blue lake.

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Another great way to experience the lake is through the Virginia Dare. This vintage ferry takes guests on a two-hour tour across Smith Mountain Lake. The tour is complete with fine dining for lunch and dinner. Their sightseeing cruise is available for just $30 a person. For more information, be sure to check their official site located here.

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Whether you are a water person or not, there are tons of activities to enjoy here. From petting alpacas at the Lake Farm to grabbing a cheeseburger from the Portside Grill and Bar along the water, Smith Mountain is such a beautiful sight to behold.

By far the best way to end the day at the lake is by watching the sunset over the mountains from the shoreline.
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