Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its sparkling waters and stunning scenery, the area offers a plethora of hiking trails for all skill levels.
One of the most popular trails in the Smith Mountain Lake area is the Chestnut Ridge Trail. This is a 5.4-mile figure eight loop trail that can be shortened to 3.4 or 2.5 miles. The trail is perfect for hikers looking for a moderate challenge and is suitable for horseback riders. The trailhead is located near the Parkway Marina, and the route takes hikers through lush forests and across streams. The highlight of the hike is the overlook, which offers breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
For a more challenging hike, head to the Sharp Top Trail. This 3.1-mile out-and-back trail is rated as difficult, but the stunning views at the top make it well worth the effort. The trailhead is located in the Peaks of Otter area, and the route winds its way up the mountain through switchbacks and steep inclines. At the top, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the surrounding valleys.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly hike, check out the Johnson Farm Trail. This easy approximately 1.4-mile loop takes hikers through the historic Johnson Farm, where you can see original log cabins and learn about the area’s agricultural history. The trailhead is located near the Discovery Center, making it an easy stop for families with young children.
For a more secluded hiking experience, head to the Roaring Run Trail. This 1.5-mile out-and-back trail is located in the Jefferson National Forest and offers stunning views of the Roaring Run Creek. The trailhead is located near the Roaring Run Recreation Area, and the route takes hikers through lush forests and across small streams. The highlight of the hike is the waterfall, which is especially stunning after a heavy rain.
No matter which hiking trail you choose in the Smith Mountain Lake area, make sure to come prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and appropriate clothing and footwear. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return, especially if you’re hiking alone.
Overall, the Smith Mountain Lake area offers a wide range of hiking trails for all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a challenging mountain ascent or a leisurely walk through historic farmland, there’s a trail for you in this beautiful part of Virginia.