8 Best Family-Friendly Smith Mountain Lake Activities

June 20, 2023

Nestled amidst the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake is a perfect location for families looking for a getaway. With its crystal-clear waters, breathtaking landscapes, and an array of recreational activities, Smith Mountain Lake has a calendar packed with activities for everyone. Whether you're an adventure-seeking group or prefer a more laid-back approach, unforgettable experiences await the whole family, thanks to the wide variety of Smith Mountain Lake activities. If you’re hoping for adventure, read on!

1. Smith Mountain Lake State Park

One of the biggest draws of Smith Mountain Lake is its pristine, sparkling waters. With over 500 miles of shoreline, the lake offers a wide variety of exciting water activities for families. Rent a pontoon boat and embark on a leisurely cruise, where you can soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. If you're feeling adventurous, try your hand at wakeboarding, tubing, or water skiing. Local marinas and rental companies provide equipment and offer lessons, ensuring a truly enjoyable experience for the whole family.

For a more relaxed day on the water, consider kayaking or paddleboarding. Glide along the calm coves and take in the tranquil beauty of the lake. These activities are suitable for all ages and skill levels, making it a wonderful opportunity for family bonding and exploring nature together.

2. Hiking at the state park

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure through the various trails surrounding the lake. The Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a treasure trove for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring several scenic trails of varying difficulty levels. The 1,100-acre preserve provides opportunities for birdwatching, fishing, and nature photography.

The Osprey Trail is particularly popular among families, offering a picturesque walk with stunning views of the lake. As you stroll along, keep an eye out for wildlife and take in the diverse plants that call this region home. Spot majestic bald eagles, great blue herons, and other captivating bird species. Signs along the trails offer valuable information about the local ecosystem and create a fantastic learning environment for children.

3. Camping options

For families looking to spend a night under the stars, Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers 70 campsites, including 20 cabins, 24 sites with electric hookups, and 26 tent-only sites. Each campsite is equipped with built-in grills for cooking and campfires, along with a picnic table and a post for lanterns. The campground also features a full-service bathhouse facility that offers hot showers and sinks for cleanup. Campers also have complimentary access to the swimming area and boat launch. A fun camping adventure is one of the top Smith Mountain Lake activities you won’t soon forget!

4. Discovery Center

For families looking for an educational experience, the Smith Mountain Lake State Park Discovery Center offers ranger-led activities for children of all ages. The center features a 150-gallon fish tank, a butterfly garden, and a touch table, providing a great opportunity for families to learn about the environment around them. During summer evenings, events are held at the center’s amphitheater, with activities like owl spotting and firefly campfires.

5. Smith Mountain Lake Community Park

Smith Mountain Lake Community Park is a great option for families seeking a day of outdoor fun on a smaller scale. The 37-acre park features playgrounds equipped with swings, slides, and climbing structures, where kids can let their imaginations run wild. The sandy beach provides an opportunity to build sandcastles and bask in the sun, while the designated swimming area is the go-to spot for fun under the sun’s rays. Stand-up paddleboard and kayak rentals are also available for those looking to enjoy the calm waters of the lake up close. Near the beach, you'll find picnic areas complete with grills, making it the perfect spot for a family barbecue. Pack a delicious lunch and indulge in a lakeside feast while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

6. Smith Mountain Lake Alpaca Farm

Smith Mountain Lake offers unique opportunities for families to get up close and personal with wildlife. Visit the Smith Mountain Lake Alpaca Farm, where you can meet these adorable creatures and learn about the care and history of the alpaca textile industry in America. The farm offers guided 90-minute tours where families will delight in feeding and petting the alpacas. The farm has a gift shop where products made from alpaca fleece are available for purchase, including pillows, blankets, socks, scarves, and more.

7. Bridgewater Plaza

The go-to spot for food, fun, music, events, and shopping at Smith Mountain Lake all year long, Bridgewater Plaza offers a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment choices. The Bridgewater Marina offers rentals of all sorts of watercraft across five locations surrounding the lake. Families can stop in for a meal at one of the many restaurants at the plaza and enjoy a relaxing round of minigolf or play video games and win prizes at the arcade.

8. Booker T. Washington National Monument

The Booker T. Washington National Monument is a historical site that pays tribute to the life and accomplishments of the renowned educator Booker T. Washington. The 239-acre park features a recreated 1850s tobacco farm with farm buildings. Take a self-guided tour along the trails, and immerse yourself in the rich history while exploring the open buildings nearby.

A fun-filled destination for the whole family

Smith Mountain Lake is the ideal destination for families seeking to make memories filled with adventure, natural beauty, and educational experiences. From thrilling water sports on the lake to hiking through scenic trails and exploring family-friendly attractions, there is something to captivate every family member. Create lasting memories as you bond over exciting activities, marvel at the stunning landscapes, and learn about the rich history and biodiversity of the area.

With so many exciting activities in the area, it’s easy to see why anyone would be interested in Smith Mountain Lake real estate. Christy Crouch of The Crouch Team is a trusted agent who can guide you to the perfect new property. Reach out to Christy today to start your home-buying journey.

*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash

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