Hiking and Biking
With 30.5 miles of hiking/mountain bike and about 7.5 of hiking-only trails, the park is a great place for a hike or bike ride! See the Trails page for more information.
Pedal boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and canoes are available for rent at the visitor center on Park Lake. Contact the visitor center for days and hours of operations. Privately owned boats and watercraft may access Lake Norman from the public boat launch area located at the south end of the park, on Boat Launch Drive. Use of the boat launch is free.
Check lake levels at the Duke Energy website.
Popular fish in Lake Norman include crappie, bluegill and perch, catfish, as well as striped, largemouth and spotted bass. The smaller park lake also has some choice fishing spots. Regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission apply for both lakes.
There are three picnic areas at Lake Norman. One is located near the swimming area and accessible fishing pier, one is next to the visitor center, and another is located on Shortleaf Drive. All have restrooms, tables and grills.
Use of picnic tables is free of charge and they cannot be reserved. Unreserved picnic shelters are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the shelters are very popular, so reservations are strongly suggested.
A swim area is located in the south area of the park at the end of State Park Road near an accessible fishing pier and the pier picnic area. The complex includes a 125-yard-long sand beach, parking area and bathhouse with concession stand, restrooms, changing stalls, warm showers and lockers. Lifeguard service and locker rooms are only offered from 10am to 5:30pm from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day. The concession stand is also open daily from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day as staffing allows. The concession stand offers drinks, ice cream and snacks. The park charges a fee to swim only when lifeguards are on duty. For more information see the Fees/FAQs/Rules page.