Lake Norman, located near Charlotte, is the largest manmade body of water in North Carolina. Its immense size has gained it the nickname the "inland sea". There are four parks along the lake's 520 miles of shoreline, including Lake Norman State Park.
Formerly known as Duke Power State Park, Lake Norman State Park resides on the shores of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in the state. Visitors may enjoy swimming, boating, fishing and camping. Lake Norman was created by Duke Power Company between 1959 and 1964, when Cowans Ford Dam was constructed across the Catawba River to generate electrical energy. The creation of the lake led to further industrialization of Mecklenburg County, helping to establish Charlotte as a major trade center. In September 1962, Duck Power Company donated 1,362 acres of land on the northeastern shore of Lake Norman for a state park. Note: There is a large variety of nonpoisonous and poisonous snakes that call this park home.
Park Hours: November-February 8 am-6 pm; March, October 8 am - 7 pm; April, May, September 8 am - 8 pm; June-August 8 am - 9 pm. Office hours: 8 am-5 pm Monday through Friday. Gates will remain locked, except in emergency situations, when the park is not in operation. Please plan accordingly. The park is closed Christmas Day.
Lake Norman is a mecca of outdoor recreation opportunities. It is known for being one of North Carolina's best fishing lakes. Game fish include crappie, bluegill, yellow perch and striped, largemouth and white bass. There is also a small lake within the park boundaries that offers a quieter spot for fishing. Crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and yellow perch can be found here. The park provides a boat dock and boat ramp in addition to restrooms and rowboat or canoe rental available June through Labor Day.
A sandy swim beach is open June through Labor Day. A bathhouse with showers, toilets, changing rooms and vending machines serves the area. There are two picnic areas one with a shelter which accommodates up to 125 people. Use of the shelter is free of charge unless reservations are requested. Because of popularity, reservations are advised. The second picnic area is near the parking lot serving the group camping area.
Join a park ranger for a closer look at Duke Power State Park. Programs are given throughout the year. Contact the park office for more information. Environmental Educational Learning Experience (EELE)--Testing the Waters. Grades: 4, 5, and 6. Introduces students to aquatic organisms and using watersheds properly to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems and clean drinking water. Mayor concepts covered include: water quality, watersheds, aquatic sampling, preservation of natural areas,and stewardship. No handicapped accessible buildings.
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