Philpott Lake in Martinsville, VA

By Kevin Litwin on May 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm EST
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A beautiful destination to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is Philpott Lake, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lake is 15 miles long and features 100 miles of overall shoreline, and serves residents within the counties of Henry, Franklin and Patrick.

Philpott Lake is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is managed primarily for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. Construction of Philpott Dam started in 1948 and was completed in 1952, and the Philpott Dam Powerhouse started generating electricity in 1953.

Recreational opportunities along the waterway today include boating, camping, hiking, hunting, picnicking and wildlife viewing. However, the most popular activity on the lake is fishing, and Philpott boasts good populations of smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, crappie and catfish. The walleye fishery is actually unsurpassed by any other reservoir in the Commonwealth, at least in terms of fish.

Major highways to Philpott Lake include US 220, Highway 57 and State Road 605 (Henry Road). There is no residential development along its shoreline, but there are numerous facilities scattered throughout the reservoir, such as boat landings, campgrounds, picnic areas, beaches and hiking trails.

Find more on the outdoors in Martinsville, VA.

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