I connsider Franklin County Community Beach to be a treasure that is hidden within the Smith Mountain Lake area of Southwest Virginia. Open since the summer of 2012, it is adjacent to but roped off from the Smith Mountain Lake boating/ jet skiing area. And sits at the foot of a beautiful neighborhood of homes on the lake.
Initially the beach area was free. The website says the cost is now $3.50, but my husband and I were asked to pay only $2.00 when we arrived around 2:00 p.m. on Father’s Day. You can however enjoy the picnic area just above the beach for free. The hours are 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. seven days a week, when there is a lifeguard on duty.
I would advise if you plan to go to this beach on a holiday, you get there early. Last 4th of July we were given wrong directions and by the time we arrived at the beach it was at full capacity. We decided against waiting for someone to leave so we could swim, because the beach was to close at 5:00. So after spending close to two hours trying to find Franklin County Community Beach we, went back home.
Once you get to Interstate 81 in Roanoke, it is about an hours drive, but is scenic and well worth it. Get of the Interstate on the Elm Ave exit headed east. You will travel from Roanoke City through Roanoke County to Vinton, to Bedford County. Hardy Rd.ends at the intersection of Booker T Washington highway, where you turn left.
Drive until you pass two stop lights. At the second you take a right onto Scruggs rd. Continue driving, and you will see the Franklin County sign. Turn left at Blue Water drive and from that point you just follow the signs and soon you will be at the Franklin County Community Beach..
At a distance the water is a beautiful shade of blue. When you stand on the shore line however, you will notice the water closest to the sand is brown, and there is debris in because of the nearby trees. Swimmers can only go out about 30 feet, because the water is roped off for the boating area.
Fresh air, and sunshine, are considered as nature’s antibiotics, and relaxing on the beach, gives us time to unwind. According to the U.S. Water Fitness Association, Swimming is considered therapeutic because it improves strength, circulation, lung capacity, and flexibility.
I agree, as I saw my husband exercising in the water without the pain he experiences when he exercises on dry ground. Because 90% of our bodies are buoyant under water, he could lift his legs higher than when not in the water.
If you live in or visit Southwest Virginia, and do not desire the long drive to Myrtle or Virginia Beach, you may consider spending the day at the Franklin County Community Beach. In addition to swimming and a picnic area, there is fishing, and a hiking trail, that is about one mile.