While Smith Mountain Lake gears up to celebrate 50 years; the State Park marked its 30th anniversary over summer. According to the Smith Mountain Eagle, not long after Smith Mountain Dam construction started in 1963 there was talk of acquiring land for a state park. Appalachian Power, the company building the dam and developing the lake, donated acreage on the Bedford County side of the lake. Further land acquisition followed and the park’s footprint, including 16 miles of shoreline. The Roanoke and Blackwater Rivers filled the lake in 1966.