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History of Smith Mountain Lake
It all started with an idea!
Photos of the Cedar Cabin at LakeAway Vacation Rentals on Smith Mountain Lake

History

Smith Mountain Lake had its' beginnings in 1963 when the dam across the Roanoke River was completed. It took three years for the lake to fill, covering 20,000 acres and creating over 500 miles of shoreline. The lake is operated by AEP to both generate and store electricity. Energy storage is achieved by pumping water up into Smith Mountain Lake from Leesville Lake that is immediately below the dam and visible in the photo above. The Smith Mountain Lake Dam Visitor Center includes excellent exhibits that explain how it all works. See the Activities page for directions and visiting hours.

The lake is about 200' deep near the dam, leaving forests, farms, roads and bridges hidden beneath the surface. The area was prepared by cutting down all the trees that would be near the surface, but leaving the trees that would be completely submerged, creating ideal habitats for fish. As the lake was being filled, early water skiers describe dodging trees as they flew across the water!

 

 

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Lake Area Statistics
Did you know??
Statistics of the Smith Mountain Lake Area

Location
Bedford / Franklin /Pittsylvania counties,Virginia
Coordinates 37°02′28″N 79°32′07″W: 
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Roanoke River, Blackwater River
Basin countries United States

Surface area 32 sq mi (83 km2)[1]
Average depth 55 ft (17 m)[1]
Max. depth 250 ft (76 m)[1]
Water volume 2.8 km3 (2,300,000 acre·ft)[1]
Shore length1 500 mi (800 km)
Surface elevation 795 ft (242 m)[2]

The area lies in a broad valley nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural south-central Virginia. Before the lake's creation, farming and logging were the primary industries. Communities around the lake include Moneta, Huddleston, Union Hall, White House, Penhook and Goodview. There is no post office with a Smith Mountain Lake mailing address. The Booker T. Washington National Monument is near the west end of the lake.

The level of the lake normally varies by one to two feet during the day and night, as water flows through (and is pumped back through) the dam. The normal maximum level of the lake (also known as "Full Pond") is regulated to 795 feet (242.32 meters) above sea level. The normal observed level (also known as "normal pond") is 794.20 feet (242.07 meters). The level can be significantly lower during periods of extended drought. Lake levels were about six feet below normal from time to time, during the years 2001 to 2003, after five years of below-average rainfall.

 
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Lake Area Organizations
Working Together
Organizations that Serve Smith Mountain Lake
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LaSota Cottage Rates
Discounts in Fall, Winter & Spring; The beauty of the Lake is never discounted!
Rates Master
Occupancy 4 Occupancy is strictly enforced.  See Policies
 2015 Rates  
September 7th to  135 Daily -2 night minimum
December 31st 810 Weekly
Housekeeping 95
Damage Deposit 250 See Policies Page for details
Optional Linen Fee 110 Linens include: Sheets, Pillow Cases and Towels
Taxes (State + Local) 10.3% 5.3% Virginia Sales tax + 5% county occupancy tax
2016 Rates  
January 1st to 135 Daily - 2 night minimum
May 25th 810 Weekly
May 26th to 195 Daily - 2 night minimum
 June 25th 1,170 Weekly
June 26th to 220* Daily* available 2 weeks in advance
August 19th 1,320 Weekly Minimum - Saturday to Saturday
August 20th to  195 Daily - 2 night minimum
September 4th 1,170 Weekly
September5th to  135 Daily -2 night minimum
December 31st 810 Weekly
Housekeeping 95
Damage Deposit 250 See Policies Page for details
Optional Linen Fee 110 Linens include: Sheets, Pillow Cases and Towels
Taxes (State + Local) 10.3% 5.3% Virginia Sales tax + 5% county occupancy tax
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