Lake Norman provides plenty of recreational opportunities and scenic views for the residents of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville, North Carolina. Created by Duke Energy in the early 1960’s. It is the largest manmade body of freshwater in the state. The lake lies just 15 miles north of Uptown Charlotte.Lake Norman is fed by the Catawba River, and drains into Mountain Island Lake to the south. Lake Norman is sometimes referred to as the “inland sea” of North Carolina; it offers 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 50 square miles. Full pond at Lake Norman is 760 feet above mean sea level. Interstate 77 and North Carolina Highway 150 cross Lake Norman at different points.
Lake Norman provides electricity to the Piedmont region of the Carolinas. It powers the generators at the hydroelectric station at Cowans Ford Dam, and is used by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives their turbines. The lake supplies water to Lincoln County, Catawba County, Iredell County, Mooresville, Charlotte, and other towns in Mecklenburg County, particularly Davidson and Huntersville.
Duke Power partnered with the state of North Carolina to establish Lake Norman State Park. It has also built two bank fishing areas and eight public boating access areas along the shoreline. One site is leased to Mecklenburg County and one to Iredell County. Popular game fish in Lake Norman include catfish, crappie, bluegill and yellow perch, as well as striped, largemouth, white bass along with multiple types of turtles.
Lake Norman is also the location for one of the International Jet Sport Boats Association (IJSBA) tour stops, and home to the Lake Norman Yacht Club, which hosts many South Atlantic Yacht Racing Association (SAYRA) sailboat races throughout the year. Davidson College also owns and operates a “Lake Campus” for students on Lake Norman.*
The Lake Norman area also offers the convenience of many shopping and dining options. Popular Birkdale Village is a pedestrian-friendly center offering local boutiques, national retailers, restaurants, bars and entertainment.