Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Smith Mountain Lake State Park, VA - Osprey Point/Walton Creek Loop

ABOUT THE PARK:  Smith Mountain Lake State Park - Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

GPS Coordinates 37.089491, -79.596133

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Hiker parking lot.

The cabins at this park are pet-friendly!  I stayed in Cabin 8.  Click here for more information on cabin rentals.

TRAIL MAP:  Smith Mountain Lake State Park Trail Guide - Virginia State Parks

Hikes from base camp at Smith Mountain Lake State Park:

Trail intersections are well marked but take a map with you!
People were fishing from under the roof of the pier in the rain.
A dock across from the swimming beach.
The trail meanders through beautiful pine forests.
Picnic areas along the lake.
Smith Mountain Lake on a rainy day.
An osprey seen from the Osprey Point Trail.  For real!
I looked for it, but could not find the osprey nest at Smith Mountain Lake State Park.  This is the cam from that nest and maybe the osprey in the picture above is the daddy (mommy has spots on her neck). (Click here for information on the osprey cam.)

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A bench along the Walton Creek Trail.
The beginning of the Turkey Foot Trail.
You can't see it in the hiking pictures because the wording is printed too high up on the bandana, but this is what it says.  Shawnee wore it on all of the hikes on our trip.

[0.00]    Cross Interpretive Trail Road on the white-blazed Buck Run Trail; straight on white-blazed Buck Run Trail when orange-blazed Turkey Foot Trail goes right
[0.20]    Turn right on gold-blazed Striper Cove Trail
[0.65]    Turn left on gold-blazed Striper Cove Trail when White Tail Path to the right leads to Walton Creek Trail
[0.70]    Veer left at fork towards shore - there is a gold blaze but then they stop - the right fork might be the continuation of the Striper Cove Trail but you can stay left along the shore and around to the dock where the trail can be picked up again
[0.85]    Trails continue at sign to the right of the Tournament Headquarters building far side of parking lot
[1.05]    Left on gold-blazed Striper Cove Trail 
[1.35]    Picnic pavillion and tables on left
[1.60]    Come out into parking lot/picnic area; continue along playground on right, cross road and go through opening in stone wall into picnic area.  Watch for trail posts ahead to the left and right - take the left trail for Osprey Point but make note of the trail post on the right for the return route
[1.65]    Left at intersection on green-blazed Osprey Point Trail - straight goes to picnic area
[2.05]    End Osprey Point Trail; retrace
[2.45]    At t-intersection turn right into picnic area and veer left towards the other fence post from earlier in the hike
[2.50]    Take the burgundy-blazed Walton Creek Trail
[2.75]    Keep straight on Walton Creek Trail at access road and canoes
[3.20]    Keep straight on Walton Creek Trail when the White Tail Path goes right
[3.30]    Bench on the left overlooking lake
[3.70]    At T-intersection with park office straight ahead, turn right and follow trail to State Park Road
[3.75]    Cross State Park Road to orange-blazed Turkey Foot Trail
[3.95]    At T-intersection turn left on the white-blazed Buck Run Trail; cross Interpretive Trail Road
[4.00]    Back at parking lot

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