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Lake Norman

Cowans Ford Dam created the largest manmade body of fresh water in North Carolina when it dammed the Catawba River in 1963. The total length of the facility is 7,387 feet, including more than a mile of earthen dam. The concrete portion of the dam is 1,279 feet long and 130 feet high.

Lake Norman is an "inland sea" with 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 32,475 acres. Named after former Duke Power president Norman Cocke, Lake Norman is nearly as large as the other ten lakes on the Catawba combined.

Full pond elevation at Lake Norman is 760 feet. The water of Lake Norman is used in two ways to provide electricity to the Piedmont Carolinas. It is used to power the generators at Cowans Ford Hydroelectric Station and by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives the turbines. This steam is condensed back to water so it can be pumped back through the plants and used again.

The lake provides a dependable supply of water to Lincoln County, Davidson, Mooresville, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Huntersville, North Carolina.

Duke Energy partnered with the state in the establishment of the Lake Norman State Park. In addition, Duke Energy has 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.

Public Access Areas

Upper Section

  • Long Island Access Area
  • Lake Norman State Park 1-704-528-6350
  • Bill's Marina 1-704-241-3438
  • Long Island Marina 1-828-241-4877
  • Stumpy Creek Access Area (Leased to Iredell County)
  • McCrary Creek Access Area
  • Pinnacle Access Area
  • Marshall Fishing Area
  • North Bridge Marina 1-704-663-4600
  • River City Marina 1-704-663-6600
  • Skipper's Marina 1-704-528-9880

Lower Section

  • Lake Norman Marina 1-704-483-5546
  • Mountain Creek Marina 1-704-483-0077
  • Lake Norman Motel, Restaurant & Marina 1-704-478-2817
  • The Boat Rack Marina 1-704-478-2118
  • Hager Creek Access Area
  • Little Creek Access Area
  • Westport Dry Storage 1-704-483-5172
  • Holiday Harbor 1-704-892-0561
  • Beatties Ford Access Area
  • Jetton Road County Park (Operated by Mecklenburg County) 1-704-896-9808
  • Ramsey Creek Access Area (Leased to Mecklenburg County) 1-704-892-7852
  • McGuire Fishing Area
  • EnergyExplorium
  • Blythe Landing County Park (Operated by Mecklenburg County) 1-704-896-9808
  • All Seasons Marina 1-704-892-3478
  • Stutts Bait & Tackle 1-704-664-3106
  • Inland Sea Marina 1-704-664-4414

Upper Section

Lake Norman Map

Long Island Access Area Long Island Access Area Parking Launching Ramp
Lake Norman State Park Lake Norman State Park Parking Launching Ramp
Campground Picnic Area Swimming Horseback Riding
Bill's Marina Bill's Marina Parking Launching Ramp Gas Station Grocery Store Fishing
Long Island Marina Long Island Marina Gas Station Grocery Store


Lake Norman Map

Stumpy Creek Access Area Stumpy Creek Access Area Parking Launching Ramp Restrooms
(Leased to Iredell County)
McCrary Creek Access Area McCrary Creek Access Area Parking Launching Ramp


Lake Norman Map

Pinnacle Access Area Pinnacle Access Area Parking Launching Ramp
Marshall Fishing Area Marshall Fishing Area Parking Fishing Restrooms
North Bridge Marina North Bridge Marina Parking Launching Ramp
Gas Station Grocery Store Food Service Fishing Pumpout Station
River City Marina River City Marina Gas Station Food Service


Lake Norman Map

Skipper's Marina Skipper's Marina Launching Ramp Gas Station Grocery Store Food Service


Lower Section

Lake Norman Map

Lake Norman Marina Lake Norman Marina Gas Station
Mountain Creek Marina Mountain Creek Marina Launching Ramp Gas Station Grocery Store
Lake Norman Motel, Restaurant & Marina Lake Norman Motel, Restaurant & Marina
Launching Ramp Gas Station Lodging Grocery Store
The Boat Rack Marina The Boat Rack Marina Gas Station Grocery Store
Hager Creek Access Area Hager Creek Access Area Parking Launching Ramp
Little Creek Access Area Little Creek Access Area Parking Launching Ramp


Lake Norman Map

Westport Dry Storage Westport Dry Storage Gas Station
Holiday Harbor Holiday Harbor Gas Station Grocery Store Food Service Pumpout Station
Beatties Ford Access Area Beatties Ford Access Area Parking Launching Ramp
Jetton Road County Park Jetton Road County Park (Operated by Mecklenburg County)
Parking Grocery Store Restrooms Hiking Trail Picnic Area Fishing
Ramsey Creek Access Area Ramsey Creek Access Area (Leased to Mecklenburg County)
Parking Launching Ramp Grocery Store Restrooms Hiking Trail Picnic Area Picnic Shelter Fishing Handicap Accessible


Lake Norman Map

McGuire Fishing Area McGuire Fishing Area Parking Fishing Restrooms Handicap Accessible
EnergyExplorium EnergyExplorium Parking Restrooms Point of Interest
Blythe Landing County Park Blythe Landing County Park (Operated by Mecklenburg County)
Parking Launching Ramp Grocery Store Restrooms Picnic Area Fishing Handicap Accessible


Lake Norman Map

All Seasons Marina All Seasons Marina Parking Gas Station Grocery Store
Stutts Bait & Tackle Stutts Bait & Tackle Parking Gas Station Grocery Store
Inland Sea Marina Inland Sea Marina Gas Station Grocery Store

View Access Area Legend