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The Visitor's Center preserves and shares the history of Smith Mountain Lake, which was created in 1963 to produce hydroelectric power. Here, visitors can learn the science behind the dam and also find information about recreational activities. There are both indoor and outdoor exhibits at the Visitor Center that explain how hydroelectric power is generated, as well as the environmental issues surrounding the creation of man-made dams.


Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia is a man-made lake created in 1963. It was created by the Appalachian Power Company for the purpose of a hydro-electric power plant. As to be expected, the lake brought recreational opportunities. 

The visitor center is located at the Smith Mountain Lake Dam Site. Visitors can walk through the center to read information, watch a video in a small theatre, and see a 3-D light-up model of the dam and how it works-all telling about the history and development of the lake. There is also a 3-D interactive map with buttons that tells information about the lake. The center also gives interesting information about generating electricity and offers other fun activities and fun facts for children and adults alike.

In addition to the indoor activities, visitors can go outside to walk along a path on the side of the mountain and look over the dam from above. Seeing the dam helps make the information learned throughout the indoor adventure come to life. Visitors can also cook on the charcoal grills outside and enjoy a picnic.

http://smith-mountain-lake.com/ http://www.visitsmithmountainlake.com/index.php/local-historical-sites/sml-history-a-dam