Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Smith Mountain Lake State Park, VA - Turtle Island Loop

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

GPS Coordinates  37.081694, -79.608133

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Third parking lot on Interpretive Trail.

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

HIKE DISTANCE:  8 miles with 4.5 mile option

From the parking lot, cross the road and start on the red-blazed Chestnut Ridge Trail.
Tobacco barn ruins along the trail.
I don't think this is the Osprey nest with the web cam (don't see the camera) but it's somebody's nest.
Lake view from the Chestnut Ridge Trail.
Mountain laurel in bloom along the trail.
View from the Beaver Den Trail
Tobacco Run Trail view.
Tobacco barn where trail crosses over paved Interpretive Trail.
A mallard couple swimming in the lake.
An owl (?) in the wood duck nest.
Turtle Island
Bridge to Turtle Island.  A short trail loops around the island.
Looking back at Turtle Island from the Striper Cove Trail.
Up to this point I had come across SEVEN turtles on the trails - more than I have seen on all other hikes combined!
A White-breasted Nuthatch

[0.00]    From parking lot cross street on crosswalk to red-blazed Chestnut Ridge Trail
[0.05]    Left at first intersection then few steps later veer right staying on re-blazed Chestnut Ridge Trail when white-blazed Buck Run Trail goes left
[0.25]    Tobacco barn ruins on right
[0.30]    Keep straight at intersection
[0.60]    Left at fork to loop around
[0.90]    Keep straight at completion of loop
[1.15]    Keep left at fork
[1.40]    Tobacco barn from earlier visible through trees on right
[1.55]    Turn left on Beaver Den Trail (unblazed); at fork near water, keep right uphill then at paved road turn left and walk along guardrail
[1.85]    At end of guardrail, trail turns left uphill into the woods
[1.95]    Come out at paved road again, turn left and walk along road
[2.05]    Leave road turning left on blue-blazed Tobacco Run Trail
[2.20]    Turn left at intersection
[2.25]    Bench at end of trail; retrace
[2.30]    Keep straight on blue
[2.40]    Cross road to tobacco barn; turn left just the other side of the barn to continue
[2.50]    Pavilion at end with bench and lake view; retrace
[2.60]    Left on blue-blazed trail
[2.70]    Keep straight beyond tobacco barn, descend to deck and down steps
[2.80]    Straight on light blue-blazed Opossum Trot trail to left of guardrail
[3.05]    Left at fork
[3.20]    Left on green-blazed Turtle Island Trail
[3.25]    Side trail on left to bench loops around and joins back up with green-blazed Turtle Island Trail
[3.70]    At 3-way fork, keep straight on center trail towards bridge to Turtle Island
[3.75]    Cross bridge, circle around Turtle Island, return to bridge, cross and turn left at intersection to continue on the green trail
[4.20]    At intersection turn left on gold-blazed Striper Cove Trail or keep straight on green back to parking lot for 4.5 mile hike
[4.80]    Gold trail skirts parking lot (not the parking lot for this hike)
[4.85]    Cross bridge then shortly thereafter another bridge
[5.00]    Side trail to bench on left just before gold trail veers right
[6.25]    At T-intersection turn right on white-blazed Buck Run Trail when the gold-blazed Stiper Cove Trail goes left
[6.35]    Keep straight on white Buck Run Trail when orange Turkey Foot Trail goes left; cross paved road at crosswalk, continue on Buck Run Trail through parking lot
[6.55]    Turn right on white trail at T-intersection, left goes to campground
[7.25]    Cross bridge
[7.90]    Right on red-blazed Chestnut Ridge Trail then after a few steps, turn right leaving red trail back to parking lot
[8.00]    Cross road to parking lot

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