Originally built in 1939, the restored Smith Mountain Fire Tower was opened to the public on June 16, 2012. he view from the cab, which is 80 feet above the top of Smith Mountain, is spectacular and offers panoramic views of Lake Martin. The tower is surrounded by a native longleaf pine forest, large granite deposits and is open to the public sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. In addition to being a good location for hiking, birding the area can prove quite productive. This is one of the better locations in the area for Bachman’s Sparrow, best found when singing its plaintive “heeere, kitty, kitty, kitty” song from March-June. The younger, patchy forest here provides excellent habitat for Prairie Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Field Sparrow, Eastern Towhee, and Common Yellowthroat.