Public non-motorized boat ramp at the base of Philpott Dam has convenient parking. The next public access is 6 miles downstream at Bassett Furniture Co. This section of river is scenic and a favorite spot for fishing. The Smith River is nationally recognized for its Native Brown Trout. Paddlers should keep an eye out for blooming rhododendron and mountain laurel in early summer. There are also wildlife viewing opportunities in the area. Paddlers should be aware that the entrance ramp is rustic and that water levels are subject to rapid change due to releases from Philpott Dam. Water temperature is cold year round. NOTE: Paddlers should check USGS gauges and call for water release schedule.