Bird Watching at Smith Mountain Lake
The Smith Mountain Lake area is a veritable paradise for outdoor lovers. Lush green forests envelop the areas surrounding the 500-mile shoreline, extending all the way to the majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s no wonder this area of Virginia is a hub for those looking to relax and reconnect with nature. The Roanoke region, with its wealth of flora and fauna, attracts thousands of visitors every year, and among these are avid birdwatchers.
A Birdwatching Destination
There are more than a few spots in and around Smith Mountain Lake that make for ideal locations to observe our avian friends. Two of the most popular attractions include the Smith Mountain Lake State Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park
Located in Huddleston, the state park is situated where the mountains and the Piedmont plateau meet. 1,200 acres of pristine forest make the state park an ideal and mostly undisturbed habitat for several bird species. With so many bird watchers coming to visit the park, two facilities were created to meet the visitors’ needs.
One of the projects, a wildlife observation blind, is located deep within a heavy forested area. The other project allows visitors to observe the life cycle of an osprey through a live TV feed.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Located just a short drive away from Smith Mountain Lake, the Blue Ridge Parkway is another popular destination for birding enthusiasts. While some birds like the Eastern Bluebird and the American Robin can only be spotted during spring or during a certain season, some species can be seen all throughout the year. These birds include the Downy Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, White-Breasted Nuthatch, and Turkey Vulture. Rarer birds include the Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Great Egret, Great Horned Owl, and the Ring-billed Gull.