Smith Mountain Lake is located midway between the Northeast and the Southeast. The area is less than a days drive from Maine or Florida... Smith Mountain Lake was formed in the mid 1960’s when Appalachian Power Company built the hydroelectric dam at the base of Smith Mountain. At first, development surrounding the lake proceeded slowly and sporadically. Today, there are approximately 18,000 permanent residents in the area. Located approximately midway between the Northeast and the Southeast, the area is less than a day’s drive from Maine or Florida. The lake is bordered by Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties, where residents enjoy leisurely lifestyles, breathtaking scenery and low taxes. One resident speaks for many when he remarks, “Living here is like being on a permanent vacation.”.