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Rocky Mount Outdoors
Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve
Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve is owned and managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The preserve is a prominent landmark on the west side of Rocky Mount. The site is characterized by rocky slopes forested with hardwood species and scattered patches of Virginia pine. Several rare plants grow in small grassy openings near the hill's summit.
Grassy Hill features a 6.6 miles hiking trail system with kiosk and signage. The East Loop Trail includes an overlook that offers a view of Rocky Mount and Franklin County.
Parking for trail users is available adjacent to the preserve. Please obey parking capacity, park only in designated spaces, stay on designated trails and minimize your impacts to the natural resources at Grassy Hill. If you arrive to find the preserve at full capacity, please come back later.
Learn more about the Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve!
The Pigg River has headwaters in the Blue Ridge foothills of western Franklin County. The river's path through the County offers multiple access points for paddlers and floaters to enjoy a quiet, peaceful river. In recent years several dams have been removed that have improved the experience for paddlers and floaters. The Pigg River is home to the endangered Roanoke Logperch, a federally designated endangered species.
Trout fishing is a popular activity in the Pigg River. Waid Park, located upstream of Rocky Mount, is stocked with rainbow trout and is a a Heritage Trout Stream.
In addition to the trout in the Pigg River, Gilly's Park features two ponds that are stocked with catfish and have reproducing populations of largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish.
Franklin County is known as "The Land Between the Lakes" with Philpott Lake to the southwest and Smith Mountain Lake to the northeast. Rocky Mount is located directly between the two lakes making it an ideal basecamp for a fishing excursion.
Smith Mountain Lake is a 20,600 acre lake that borders Franklin, Bedford, and Pittsylvania counties. Black bass are the most sought after species by anglers at Smith Mountain Lake. Largemouth bass comprise the bulk of this fishery and far outnumber smallmouth bass. Smith Mountain Lake is consistently one of the top producers of bass citations in Virginia and has hosted ESPN Bassmaster Elite events. Smith Mountain Lake's striper fishery is also very notable with striped bass ranking as the second most popular sport fish at Smith Mountain Lake. Striped bass have been stocked into this reservoir since impoundment in 1963. Channel catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, and sunfish are also popular among anglers at Smith Mountain Lake
Philpott Lake is a quite, picturesque lake with an active fishery. Largemouth Bass are the most sought after, but the lake is also home to a healthy population of Smallmouth Bass and Walleye. There is no residential development along its shoreline, but there are numerous facilities scattered throughout the lake such as boat landings, campgrounds, picnic areas, beaches, and hiking trails.
Learn More about fishing at Smith Mountain Lake!
Rocky Mount is also home to multiple public parks with amenities such as walking trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, pickleball, and picnic pavilions.
Learn more about: Celeste Park, Mary Elizabeth Park, Mary Bethune Park, Gilly's Park.
After Your Adventure
Whether you spent your day fishing, hiking, or biking, Rocky Mount has plenty to keep you entertained into the evening. Catch a show at the Harvester, listen to live local music, or grab a bite to eat. Our Interactive Map will help you find your lodging, dining, and shopping. Then check out this month's events to finish planning your trip!