Navigating Smith Mountain Lake

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Navigating Smith Mountain LakeBeing out on a boat in the middle of Smith Mountain Lake is a little like flying in an airplane or riding a fast horse through the fields. It is an exhilarating feeling and one that connects you with the Creation in a marvelous experience of the senses.

But just like being above the clouds or riding through a deep forest, you need some sort of map to get around with or you will find yourself lost. A lot of folks are unaware of the Smith Mountain Lake navigation system. It is a fabulous tool for those out on the lake in any season. Below is an excerpt from Paul Moore’s book, “The Definitive Guide To Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate”, which gives a short summary of how to read the markers about the lake.

“One of the many wonderful features of Smith Mountain Lake is the numbered navigation channel marker system on both the main channels and the tributaries. The Roanoke Channel numbers start at R1 near the dam and extend west, then north/northwest, toward Roanoke, ending with R80 near the Hardy Bridge.

The Blackwater Channel and all other marked channels are numbered starting at the point where they join the main channel and work up from there. C1, for example, would be the first marker where Craddock Creek joins the Roanoke Channel near the chain of three islands northwest of the dam. As boaters proceed up through the C series, they would be progressing north on Craddock Creek to its end at C8 near Mariner’s Landing.

Not only are the channel markers numbered, but they are color-coded and lighted for navigational ease. Red and green lights guide a boater through the center of the channel on a dark night, and the numbers make it easy to stay on course by day. With a map in hand, this system makes Smith Mountain Lake a prime place to fish by day or night year-round. I have taken many clients and friends out to dinner by boat and returned home with relative ease late at night.

My wife and I enjoyed the full moon rising over Smith Mountain by boat before midnight on her birthday last August 3rd. It would have been challenging making this beautiful memory without the wonderful navigational marker system. A handheld or boat-mounted GPS system also works great here, showing the details of the channels, coves and inlets across our vast mountain lake.”

From The Definitive Guide To Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate, by Paul Moore.

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