Laurel Bed Lake, in Russell County VA:
The earthen dam (at 36.954461, -81.813218), off in the distance here (you’ll get to see it closeup just in a minute), was piled up 1967 to create a 330-acre lake at around 3540′ above sea level. We got here by coming through Saltville on 813 up to Allison Gap and following the road to a right turn on 747. This devolves into a more-or-less one-lane gravel road (note: as of early August, 2012, a new bridge on this road was about halfway completed) that seemingly goes on FOREVER until you glance over and, ha!, the lake. There are no direction signs in the area around the lake, but it you turn left and go over a well-made bridge over a creek, you’ll either hit a boat ramp area, or you’ll get to the dam. Here’s the dam, by the way:
Google Earth shows the water is higher than the dam, for some reason. That annoys me, but nothing is perfect.
The Sunday we were there, I counted five fishermen. That’s one fisherman for every 66 acres of lake. Here, a man or woman can stretch out when fishing.
Here’s looking at you, lake, from the dam. It’s a peaceful place. Until more people and their unwanted trash come to visit. The people leave, the trash stays.