Visitors to Smith Mountain Lake can easily spot trailhead parking as they venture into the depths of the park. On the approach to the visitor center, a large parking area, information kiosk, picnic tables, and trail signs welcome the hiker.
This 1.3-mile trail is an interpretive path with 10 - 11 signs with photos describing the flora and fauna found within the park. The trail travels through a pine forest sprinkled with a mixture of red maples, yellow maples, dogwood, white ash, red bud, hickory, and red cedar. Several overlooks, including one overlooking Turtle Island, are particularly photogenic.
Restrooms and drinking water are a short drive way.
More serious hikers should check with park staff regarding trails at nearby Peaks of Otter and the private site of Westvaco.
Directions: From Lynchburg, VA, Travel south on U.S. Highway 29 for 6 miles. Turn west (right) onto Rt. 24. Travel 15 miles to Rt. 707 and turn left. Travel 1 mile. Turn left (south) onto Rt. 43 and travel 2 miles. Turn right (west) onto Rt. 626 and travel 11 miles to the park entrance. After passing the contact station, make a left onto Interpretive Trail Road. Follow until you reach trailhead parking. Signage is excellent.
Elevation: 600 feet
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Distance: 1.3 miles
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Smith Mountain Lake State Park, Virginia
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