Places Of Interest Smith Mountain Lake

Smith Mountain Dam

At the base of the Smith Mountain in Pittsylvania and Bedford counties is the Smith Mountain Dam, built and operated by American Electric Power (formerly Appalachian Power Company). The dam is part of a pumped storage and hydroelectric development project that includes Leesville Dam in Campbell and Pittsylvania counties.

Booker T. Washington Monument

Born a slave and deprived of any early education, Booker Taliaferro Washington went on to become America's foremost black educator of the early 20th Century. He was the first principal at the Tuskegee Institute, where he championed vocational training as a means for black self-reliance. A well-known orator, Washington also wrote a best-selling autobiography and advised Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft on race relations.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway idea came out of the Great Depression as a way to link Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks by way of a recreational motor road. It was constructed in segments, usually from one major access point to another. Construction began in 1935 near the North Carolina-Virginia border and ended with completion of the section around Grandfather Mountain in 1987.

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge inspired both reflection on God's supreme power and curiosity about the science of nature. In its beautiful setting, one that became increasingly accessible as civilization expanded westward, the Bridge inspired countless renderings that provide not just pictures of a bridge but the frame of reference for each artist. Taken as a continuum, these renderings are fascinating glimpses into the philosophy, art, technology, and culture of each time period.

D-Day Memorial

June 6, 1944 D-Day Normandy coast of France, Largest air, land & sea invasion ever undertaken. A Granite Arch Monument is inscribed with the Allied Forces Code Name for D-Day "OVERLORD" on the 88 Acre Site overlooking Bedford and direct views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Congress selected Bedford to be the home of the national memorial to D-Day; the reason being that according to historians Bedford sustained the highest per-capita loss from a single community.

Peaks of Otter

Peaks of Otter is formed by three mountains positioned in a triangular pattern-Sharp Top Mountain (3,875 feet), Flat Top Mountain (4,001 feet), and Harkening Hill (3,372 feet). A beautiful mountain lake rests at the triangle's center. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes through mountain passes and intersects with Virginia highway 43 at mile marker 85.9. The Appalachian Trail passes only a few miles to the North and can be easily accessed via the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Peaks of Otter wilderness area is truly one of the Blue Ridge Mountain's best-kept secrets.