Looking for a place off the beaten path? Try the Smith Mountain Cooperative Wildlife Management Area. This property offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to hunt, fish, hike, view wildlife and enjoy vistas overlooking beautiful Smith Mountain Lake.
Located in portions of Bedford and Pittsylvania Counties, the 4996 acre Smith Mountain property is owned by Appalachian Power Company and is cooperatively managed by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR). The area is almost entirely forested. Elevations range from 800 feet to over 2000 feet. The area’s western boundary adjoins Smith Mountain Lake and includes ten miles of lake shoreline. Protected in perpetuity by a conservation easement held jointly by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and DWR, this scenic and natural wildlife habitat area will remain available for public use for many years to come.
Deer, turkey, squirrels, bear and raccoon are the primary species hunted on the area.
Hiking and wildlife viewing are popular activities on the management area. Bank fishing is allowed along the lakeshore, however the terrain is rough and access is primarily by boat. Primitive camping is not allowed. Campfires are not allowed. There are no developed facilities. Appalachian Power Company’s Smith Mountain Lake Dam Visitors’ Center is a popular attraction and is open to the public throughout the year. Also, Smith Mountain Lake State Park is within a short drive.
Two primary parking areas, one located on the Bedford County tract and the other on the Pittsylvania County tract are accessible year-round. Hunter access roads that begin in these parking areas are open to vehicle travel seasonally. A number of smaller parking areas are located along State Route 778 in Pittsylvania County. Gated roads and trails are open for foot travel throughout the year.
Access the Smith Mountain Cooperative Wildlife Management Area from Bedford County via State Route 608 East from Moneta and from Pittsylvania County via State Route 40 to Route 626 North then to Route 778.
Images by: Meghan Marchetti/DWR and Ron Messina/DWR
- Warmwater Fishing
- Horseback Riding Prohibited
- No Camping