9 outdoor adventures to take this summer in Bedford County

Between Smith Mountain Lake and Peaks of Otter, there are a ton of iconic outdoor spots for you

(Mirko Popadic, Getty Images)

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Oh, the places you can go to in Bedford County!

From the mountains to the lake, there are plenty of outdoor activities up everyone’s alley, especially with summer just around the corner.

Hikes & Bikes

Who doesn’t love a good stroll in the wilderness? With tons of mountains and scenery to explore, Bedford County has it all for you to venture out on your heels or your wheels.


  • Peaks of Otter Trails: With six trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hikers of all skill levels can enjoy this spot! Looking for a leisurely stroll? Elk Run Loop’s the trail for you. Want a strenuous hiking journey? Check out the most popular trail, Sharp Top Trail.
  • Appalachian Trail: Yes, you can access the iconic Appalachian Trail in Bedford County!


  • Montvale Park: A nice bike ride in the woods never hurt anyone! That’s what you’d get with Montvale Park. You can expect over seven miles of an entirely wooded single-track trail with stream crossings with bridges.
  • Falling Creek Park: This park is a mountain biker’s paradise! It was specially built for mountain bikers, and even BMX bikers, to gain confidence in treading trails. Any level biker can enjoy this 10-mile trail as the courses vary from easy to advanced.

On The Water

With about half of the 500 miles of shoreline of Smith Mountain Lake in Bedford County, the opportunities to make a splash are endless. You can find fun lake activities here from fishing to swimming to boating.

  • Virginia Dare Cruises: Steamboat Willie can step aside because the Virginia Date Cruise is sailing through! You can enjoy a lovely meal, sailing along Smith Mountian Lake on this cruise boat. The boat offers special meals like a Sunday luncheon and a Hawaiian dinner.
  • Wilderness Canoe Company: Canoes, kayaks and tube rentals are available for all my adventure seekers out there! Just imagine it: You’re floating along the James and Maury Rivers on a beautiful summer afternoon. Can’t get better than that!
  • Abbott Lake at Peaks of Otter: Catfish, smallmouth bass, golden shiners, sunfish and bluegill are all yours at this lake! To fish here though, you’d need to have a Virginia fishing license or purchase a short-term permit at the Peaks of Otter Lodge.

Getting Sporty

Hiking and lake activities, not your style? No worries! Bedford County has even more activities to bring a little competition to your outings.

  • New London Tech Disc Golf Course: Opening just this year in April, New London Tech Disc Golf Course is Bedford County’s newest public course hidden in the woods. The 18-hole championship course was designed by a five-time World Champion Disc Golfer, Paul McBeth. Sounds legit to us!
  • Spring Valley Horse Farm: Explore the farm’s 600 acres of land with a trusty steed! Spring Valley Horse Farm is an equine riding, boarding and training facility that also offers trail rides, carriages, pony rides and a petting zoo.

About the Author:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.