Smith Mountain Lake is a beautiful, man-made reservoir in the Piedmont region of Virginia. It was created in 1966 when the Appalachian Power Company built dams on the Roanoke River and its tributaries, the Blackwater and Staunton Rivers. The lake is approximately 40 miles long and covers an area of 20,600 acres with over 500 miles of shoreline. It is one of the top favorite locations for the purchase of a waterfront dream home and is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Virginia, attracting visitors from all over the country.
The Appalachian Power Company began planning for Smith Mountain Lake in the early 1950s. The company needed a source of water to cool the reactors at its nuclear power plant in Surry County, Virginia. The company also saw the lake as an opportunity to generate hydroelectric power and provide recreation for the region.
The construction of Smith Mountain Lake was once considered by some to be a controversial project. Some people opposed the project because it would flood thousands of acres of farmland and cause hundreds of land-owners to relocate. Others opposed the project because they feared it would damage the environment.
The Appalachian Power Company eventually received approval to build the lake. The company began construction in 1963 and the lake was completed in 1966. The lake was named after William L. Smith, a former president of Appalachian Power Company.
Smith Mountain Lake has become home to hundreds of lake lovers and is a popular destination for boating, fishing, swimming, and camping and much more. The lake has been a boon to the environment and has also provided homes for a variety of native wildlife, including bald eagles, ospreys, and herons.
The creation of Smith Mountain Lake has ultimately had a significant and positive impact on the region. It boosted the local economy by attracting tourists and businesses and home buyers as well as creating new opportunities for recreation and enjoyment. If you have not been to visit Smith Mountain Lake, it offers something for all ages and would be a great option for the next family vacation!