Each of the three lovely counties surrounding Smith Mountain Lake offers its own unique and multi-faceted contributions to the lake community. Each County has its own beauty and special personality.
Though this scenic and friendly area cannot be summarized in a few printed words on a page, over the next few weeks we will share a few of the interesting and unique qualities of Bedford, Franklin, and Pittsylvania Counties.
The following excerpts are from the book “The Definitive Guide To Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate”, by local author Paul Moore.
Bedford County encompasses the northern and eastern shores of the lake. The Bedford County shoreline, from north to south, includes addresses in Goodview, Moneta, and Huddleston. Bedford County allows vacation and long-term rentals, and the vast majority of waterfront rentals on the lake are here. Presently there are 3,180 waterfront property owners in Bedford County, according to the county tax records. This includes homes, townhomes, condos, lots, and land tracts.
Bedford County includes the Smith Mountain Lake State Park, the Smith Mountain Lake Airport, The Virginia Dare Dinner Cruise, Mariner’s Landing Resort and Conference Center, the New Downtown Moneta development, and much more. Bedford County Marinas include Sunset Cay (formerly Camper’s Paradise), Lake Haven Marina, Mitchell’s Point Marina, Parkway Marina (Saunder’s Marina), Smith Mountain Yacht Club (soon to be the Crystal Shores Marina Resort), Sportsman Inn Marina, Virginia Dare Marina, Water Wheel Marina, and Webster Marine. Locally known Bedford County stores include Shop-Rite, Diamond Hill Store (Devo’s), and White House Store, as well as the shops that will be located in the Downtown Moneta development, including the Celebration Square shopping center. Bedford County restaurants include Harrison’s, Fallon’s, White House Restaurant, Sportsman’s, The Pointe at Mariner’s Landing, and many more. There are several real estate offices on the Bedford County side of the lake including Long & Foster, Shoreline Realty, Realty World, and Lake Retreat Properties. Vacation rentals are handled by Bedford County agencies including CB Rentals, Lake Retreat Properties, Lakeshore Rentals, and Mariner’s Landing.
The growth of Bedford County has been greatly influenced in recent years by the vision of entrepreneurial developer George Aznavorian. Mr. Aznavorian was behind the recent completion of the Bedford County Wastewater Treatment System, which will give Bedford County commercial developments the ability to dramatically expand their sewage capacity. This will allow for hotels, restaurants, higher-density development, and much more flexibility than is common in a rural county. He is also the driving force behind the Downtown Moneta development, the Mayberry Hills subdivision, and the new drive-in theatre. Downtown Moneta, designed to have a Mayberry small-town feeling, will be the home of a variety of commercial and retail establishments as well as condominiums. Downtown Moneta/Mayberry Hills will also be home to the new Bedford County/Smith Mountain Lake YMCA.
One of the most exciting developments at Smith Mountain Lake is Crystal Shores Marina Resort. The product of a small group of visionary developers from Naples, Florida, this planned development is located at the former Smith Mountain Yacht Club in Moneta. Current marina operations are open for business with wet slip and dry dock facilities available. Plans for this development have not yet been publicly unveiled.
Another exciting item on the Bedford County planning horizon is the Moneta Performing Arts and Education Center. This proposed $12 million project will include a large amphitheater, dinner theater, symphony, education center, and performing arts stage. Moneta Park is also planned nearby. This 119-acre park will offer athletic fields, outdoor courts, walking and bike trails, picnic shelters, and other leisure amenities.
Mariner’s Landing is another expanding resort on the waterfront in Bedford County. Developed by John and Matt White and Company, this resort and conference center includes an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, a conference facility, an excellent restaurant, a spa, three pools and a hot tub, a fitness center, and four miles of walking trails.
Bedford County also features the National D-Day Memorial, the Peaks of Otter, Hickory Hill Vineyards, the Peaks of Otter Winery, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Bedford County has traditionally lagged behind Franklin County in commercial development and retail, but that is changing fast since the advent of the sewage system. Some predict that Bedford County will eventually surpass Franklin in commercial development, but that remains to be seen.
Bedford County boasts the closest direct views of Smith Mountain near the dam and borders the widest and most popular part of the lake. Most people say Bedford County has more of a vacation feel than Franklin County. Much of the shoreline is dotted by cottages, chalets, and cabins, though there are beautiful new homes as well. Many Bedford subdivisions were among the first developed at the lake. Several residents along Sunset Point Drive claim to have the first lot sold on the lake or the first dock built. Given the vacation feel of the Bedford side of the lake, it is fitting that most vacation rental properties are here.
Bedford County has about 120 subdivisions on or around the waterfront. Some consist of a small, unknown group of old homes while others are nicely planned developments. Many mixed subdivisions have a blend of old and new, small and large, cottage and luxury homes. These subdivisions include Mountain View Shores, Beechwood West, Isle of Pines, Harbor Village, Valley Mills Crossing, Sunset Point, High Point, Beechwood Shores, Bass Cove, Year Round Shores, Saunders Point, Lynchburg Camp, and many more. Other neighborhoods boast mostly newer and larger homes. These include Lakefield, The Reach, Longview Estates, Eastlake Pointe, Aspen Point, North Dam, Overlook Estates, and The Waterways. There are a few very “woodsy” subdivisions such as Cedar Key and Gobbler’s Ridge, and some vacation spots such as Silver Bay and Shangri La. Bedford County has had almost 400 residential waterfront property sales and 140 waterfront lot sales in the last three years.
Excerpts are from the book “The Definitive Guide To Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate”, by local author Paul Moore.