Disclaimer: This area is amazing, but definitely exercise caution while navigating around. Many of the access roads hug the mountains and have large drop-offs/cliffs on the other side. Before you go, always check with the USDA Forest Service regarding any potential rules, regulations, or hazards.
Forest Supervisor’s Office
5162 Valleypointe Parkway
Roanoke, VA 24019
Switzer Lake/Lake Switzer/Switzer Reservoir/ Switzer Dam/ Skidmore Lake…it’s known by a lot of names.
Switzer Lake is located where 33 meets West Virginia. It is actually the water supply for the City of Harrisonburg. There is a turn off for it, you’ll see the water in all of its Appalachian glory, and then you’ll start heading down the mountain. The road gets rough – pavement, to dirt, to rockier dirt, to dirtier dirt, to a river, back to rocky dirt, and then you’re there. In the words of Rascal Flatts…or the opposite implied by the movie “Deliverance”: “you go till you hear a banjo”.
It is an intimidating ride, but the following vehicles have made it successfully:
– TWO wheel drive 4Runner
– 4wd Suburban
– Mazda Miada
– Nissan Altima
– My friend’s mom’s minivan
Once you get used to the uneasing sounds of rocks scraping your under carriage, it’s really a nice ride.
The camping area is flat, open, has plenty of trees for you hammock campers, and allows cars to pull right up to unload firewood. We have never had a problem with anyone complaining with 2am songs. There is plenty of privacy here.
This is a great anchor spot to enjoy a weekend of cliff diving, fishing, hiking, makin’ stuff go boom, kayaking, or any other outdoor shenanigans in Shenandoah’s grandeur. Enjoy!