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Ecology

Viewing the lake through the trees at Lake Norman State Park
The Itusi Bike Trails are OPEN.   

The Itusi Bike Trails are OPEN. 

 Last updated on: Thursday, July 9, 2020

July 3 - Status of park facilities   

The swim beach remains CLOSED. There are NO boat rentals or concessions.

Campsites are open for reservations, with the exception of group campsites, which remain closed.

Hiking trails, boat ramp, and some restroom facilities are open. Bike trails are open, weather permitting. There are no reservations permitted for the community building or picnic shelters. The visitor center remains closed.

With social distancing practices in place, it may be necessary to close the park during the day if overcrowding becomes a problem.

When visiting, please follow social distancing guidelines, regardless of the behavior of others. Please try to stay 6 feet away from other visitors and park staff or wear a mask or face covering. Try to touch as few surfaces as possible and do not enter areas that have been closed off. Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, and stay home if you are sick.

 Last updated on: Friday, July 3, 2020

Family Camp Construction   

Please pardon the noise! We are building a new bathhouse, six new camper cabins, and adding eleven full hook-up sites with water, electricity, and sewer in our Family Campgrounds. The work is expected to last until December of this year.   

 Last updated on: Saturday, May 23, 2020


Map of North Carolina – Lake Norman State Park


Contact the park
 

704-528-6350

lake.norman@ncparks.gov
 

Address
 

Visitor center

759 State Park Road
Troutman, NC 28166

GPS: 35.6725, -80.9325
 

Hours
 

► 

  • November to February:
    7:00am to 6:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to August:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • September to October:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • 24-hour access to campground and boat launch is available through the entrance on St. Johns Road.
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • Open daily:
    8:00am to 5:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

 

 

 

Natural resources

Get plant and animal checklists at the park office.

All of the fields cultivated by past residents of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries have been reforested by pines through natural succession and intentional planting. Today, the park is comprised of a mix of pine and hardwood forests. Due to severe storms and infestation by southern pine beetles, the pine forest exists as smaller pockets surrounded by a forest of hardwoods. Hickories, sweet gum, red maple, dogwood and oaks are the prevalent species. Mountain laurel, wild hydrangea, box elder, strawberry bush and other small trees and shrubs comprise the understory.

Stream banks are dominated by sweet gum, ironwood and river birch while beech may be found in the coves. Alder and willow thickets grow along the lake's edge, and marsh communities include a variety of grasses, rushes and sedges.

Though most of the park's animal species are rarely seen, at least 35 species of mammals have been found in the area around the park. Upland communities are home to coyotes, Virginia opossum, eastern cottontail, gray squirrel, red and gray foxes, and white-tailed deer, as well as the eastern mole and several species of shrews and mice. Muskrat and raccoon may be seen in the marshes along the creeks and lake.

Amphibians and reptiles are abundant and diverse. Frogs, turtles and water snakes inhabit wetlands along the creeks and the perimeter of the lake. Most of the snakes found in the park are harmless and seldom seen. However, the venomous copperhead lives in the park; hikers should exercise caution.

Bird life in the park is typical of the Carolina piedmont. Carolina chickadees, pine warblers, rufous-sided towhees and bobwhites make their homes in the uplands. Red-tailed hawks are common, and wild turkey and osprey also may be seen near the lake.

The waters of Lake Norman attract a variety of waterfowl. Mallards, wood ducks, teal and other ducks, as well as geese, may be seen during certain seasons. Wading birds, including great blue herons, green-backed herons and egrets, may be encountered along lake shallows in summer. Shorebirds rest in these areas during spring and fall migrations. A 3,000-acre waterfowl refuge is located south of Cowans Ford Dam.