Monday June 3, 2019

“Stella’s Day Trips”

Philpott Dam.


The sight is majestic to feel—a concrete wall massively towers high above a rushing river of aqua green.   It is strong and solid and holds Philpott Lake, which seems touched only by the hands of nature, lush forests, mountains, birds and sky.


Endless views surround the park, from mountain level to the water’s edge.  Beauty is abundant, scented of cool water and sunshine and warm dried pine needles. The earth is damp, blooming burgundy trillium, ferns, and swallowtail butterflies.


Philpott Dam’s stately barrier releases the Smith River from confinement through a small channel at its base.  The loud, splashing roar quickly smooths within the rocky shore banks that glitter of fool’s gold and shimmering mica.   


The river’s flow freshens the air and quickly mellows its course, gently lapping broken boulders and washing sand to the river’s depths.  Among rhododendron groves, weathered foot paths carefully trail through serene escapes and scale the scene through short, steep switchbacks.


All outdoor recreational activities are accessible at Philpott Dam: camping, fishing, bird watching, hiking and biking.  People of all ability levels can enjoy the visit, with or without their dog companion.


A visitor’s center features the history of the man-made masterpiece as well as local wildlife information.  Parking, bathrooms, picnic tables, benches, shelters and a playground are all on site.


Good gripping shoes are recommended.


Directions:  from Roanoke, take 220 South to VA-57 West/Fairystone Park Highway at Bassett.  Turn right onto Philpott Dam Road to reach the Philpott Dam Visitors Center, 1058 Philpott Dam Rd, Bassett, VA.


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