Swimming, wading, snorkeling, scuba diving, and water skiing are all permitted at Philpott Lake, except at launching sites, public docks, or other areas restricted by the District Commander. We strongly encourage all swimmers to use the designated swim areas to ensure their safety. Philpott Lake has six designated swim-beach areas to serve our visitors.
Philpott Lake has 10 public boat ramps. Ramps are conveniently located to serve visitors coming from any direction. A canoe launch is located just below the dam on the Smith River for the white water enthusiasts. Vessels that are allowed on the lake include, but are not limited to, motor and manually powered boats, canoes, kayaks, and personal water crafts. All vessels MUST be operated in accordance with Federal and State laws. The waterway marking system at Philpott Lake includes mileage markers along the shoreline and buoys. Rules and regulations are enforced by Corps of Engineers’ Rangers, Conservation Police Officers with VDGIF, and local Sheriff’s Deputies. Copies of the rules and regulations governing boat operation may be obtained at our Visitor Center or by contacting the VDGIF at (804) 387-1000. For on-line information regarding boating requirements go to https://dwr.virginia.gov/boating/boaters-guide/.
From the backpacker with a sleeping bag to the family with the full size RV, Philpott Lake has camping areas to satisfy everyone’s needs. Four park areas have campgrounds with water and electric hook-ups, and hot showers. Another park, Deer Island, accessible only by water, offers primitive camping. Since most campgrounds are operated on a seasonal basis, you may wish to contact the Philpott Lake Visitor Center before planning your fall or winter camping trip. During the regular recreation season from April 1 through October 31, campsites at Goose Point and Salthouse Branch may be reserved by contacting The National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS) at 1-877-444-6777 or by visiting their website at www.recreation.gov. Campsites at Horseshoe Point may be reserved from May 1 through September 30. Select picnic shelters may also be reserved.
Henry County Parks and Recreation also provides a group camp area at Philpott Park with full hook-up (water, electricity and sewer) and showers. Please contact HCP&R at (276) 634-4640 regarding reservations for the group camp area.