Boating, Camping, and Weekend Picnicking At The Lake
Looking to get on the lake this summer? These six lakes are packed with fun and beautiful landscapes.
Lake Lure – Located approximately 25 miles southeast of Asheville, this man-made picturesque spot has graced scenes in Dirty Dancing, Forrest Gump, The Last of the Mohicans, and other Hollywood movies. Featuring a lakeside greenway and boat tours, this is the perfect location for an afternoon picnic. View famous Chimney Rock, take a relaxing walk across the Flowering Bridge (a 155-foot bridge featuring whimsical plant and butterfly life), or shop/dine in the nearby village of Chimney Rock.
Fontana Lake– Surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains, this is Western North Carolina’s largest body of water with 238 miles of shoreline. The Appalachian Trail crosses the 480-foot tall Fontana Dam, which is the highest dam east of the Rocky Mountains. Camping is extremely popular at this lake located past Bryson City. Fontana Village Resort, a year round resort offers a lodge, cabins, camping, general store, restaurants, marina, and outdoor pools. In addition this lake is home to over 400 houseboats.
Lake Junaluska – With a “no motorized boats allowed” rule, Junaluska is great for fishing, even stocked with bass, catfish, crappie, and others. This quaint lake is complete with walking paths, mini-golf, tennis, shuffleboard, and an 18-hole golf course. It is also a local hotspot for bird watching.
Lake Glenville – If you feel like cruising around on a Bennington pontoon for the afternoon, head to this pristine reservoir located near Cashiers, approximately 65 miles southwest of Asheville. With 26 miles of shoreline the mountain lake, it is perfect for tubing, paddle boarding, water skiing, fishing, and swimming, Sitting at the highest elevation of any lake east of the Mississippi, Fontana is complete with several waterfalls. Rent boats and water toys from Signal Ridge Marina, or enjoy a picnic at the Pines Recreation Area.
Lake James State Park – When you want to escape to nature, James is a good call with its natural view of wildlife, flora, and fauna. Enjoy the expansive sandy beach at Paddy’s Creek, or launch your boat at Hidden Cove or Canal Bridge. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent from the park, and there are several area hikes, ranging from .3 – 3.6 miles. Located between Marion and Morganton, it is the perfect camping getaway, and even offers 30 paddle-in camping sites.
Lake Santeetlah – Seeking calm and quiet? Spend a day surrounded by the 76 miles of shoreline of Lake Santeetlah. The water is pristine and perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, or jet-skiing. The shoreline is 80 percent National Forest. If you prefer not to camp, stay at nearby Snowbird Lodge, boating by day, and enjoying views and beautiful cuisine and drinks by night. Cheoah Point Recreation Area offers camping, RV sites, and primitive cabins.
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