Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission

Smith Mountain Lake Facts

Smith Mountain Lake Facts

Smith Mountain Lake is the larger and upper lake of the Smith Mountain hydro-electric pump storage project. The primary tributary is the Roanoke River which flows 40 miles, joining with Blackwater River, Craddock Creek, and Witcher Creek before reaching the Smith Mountain Dam.

November 1962: Construction completed on the Smith Mountain Lake Dam

  • Maximum height: 235 feet above the streambed
  • Length: 816 feet 
  • Thickness: 30 feet

September 24, 1963: The process of filling Smith Mountain Lake began

March 7, 1966: The lake reached full pond (795 feet)

  • Area: 20,260 acres
  • Waterfront shoreline: 500 miles
  • Length: 40 miles
  • VA Counties bordered: Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania

Current Number of Navigation Markers on Smith Mountain Lake

  • Channel markers: 153 (76 Red, 77 Green)
  • Shoal markers: 57 shoal (6 lighted) and rock
  • Halesford Bridge AC lights: 18

Smith Mountain Lake levels

Link to Smith Mountain Lake Association

Smith Mountain Lake Dam

Photo courtesy of