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Lake Norman Boat Tour Video

Lake Norman Boat Tour

Today I’m taking you on a video tour of Lake Norman so you can see all that this lake has to offer for its residents.

What’s it like to be on Lake Norman?

I could tell you about it but why don’t I show you instead?

Follow along with me in the video above as I take you on a full lake tour and check out some of the notable harbors, coves, and restaurants.

Highlights of this tour include stops at:

  • Hello, Sailor. This is a new waterfront restaurant in Cornelius that’s currently under construction. The concept is a modern, upscale fish camp with a chef-driven menu and a Palm Springs feel.
  • The North Harbor Club. This is another waterfront restaurant that’s boat accessible. It has both a patio and an inside eatery.
  • The Lake Norman Cottage. Located right next door to the North Harbor Club, this is a wine shop that also features a retail shop.
  • The Davidson Landing. This area features many of the lake’s condominiums, and each complex has its own name.
  • The Trump National Golf Course and Clubhouse. This 18-hole golf course was designed by Greg Norman. You can join via a golf membership, social membership, or sports membership.
  • Cocktail Cove. This cove is a place where boats like to anchor up so their passengers can enjoy a beverage or two.
  • The Peninsula Yacht Club. Located inside the peninsula, which is a waterfront golf course community in Cornelius, you can join this club as a social member or a yacht member. Both memberships provide access to the dining rooms and the pool. The yacht club membership allows you to rent a boat slip.
  • The home of Nascar’s Denny Hamlin. This home is 30,000 square feet and features a full-size indoor basketball court, a two-lane bowling alley, an Imax movie theater, a helicopter pad, two piers, and a swimming pool.

If you have any more questions or need any more information about any of these places or the geography of Lake Norman, just give us a call.

If you’re thinking about buying a place on Lake Norman, we’d love to take you out on the water and show you around.
Lake Norman Boat Tour
Living on Lake Norman is a lifestyle, and there are plenty of ways to access the lake without being waterfront. There are condos and homes that have deeded boat slips, and if you have your own boat, many neighborhoods offer boat storage, and there are plenty of marinas that offer both dry storage and wet storage. If you’re not ready to buy a boat or you’re not sure which boat you should buy, you can always get started with a boat club membership.

Well, hopefully this gives you a good feel of Lake Norman If you any questions, please reach out. We are here to help. Looking for a waterfront home? Check out these lake norman waterfront homes for sale.

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Fixed Dock On Lake Norman

Docks, Piers & Boat Slips on Lake Norman Waterfront Homes Explained

Often the terms docks, piers and boat slips are used interchangeably when discussing waterfront structures on Lake Norman. This article provides a base definition of the terms and some of the guidelines that go along with them.

Any construction or existing of a pier, dock or boat slip below the 760 elevation level (considered full pond and sometimes listed as 100 ft) on Lake Norman comes under the regulation of Duke Energy Lake Services (DELS). The maximum square footage over the water (beyond the 760 line) for piers, docks or boat slips is 1000 sq.ft. If there is a roof over a boat slip then the total square footage of the uncovered area added to the square footage undercover cannot exceed 1000 sq.ft. Here is a detailed article about covered boat slips on Lake Norman.

Piers: A pier is a fixed structure that protrudes from the water’s edge into the 760 elevation line and into the water. Typical width is around 5 feet but they vary. The length is determined by many factors including the distance needed to get adequate water depth and specific design to stay within the maximum sq.ft. allowed. A dock/boat slip can be added to the end of the pier based on 1,000 sq.ft. regulations.
Lake Norman Waterfont Home Pier

Pier with Gazebo

Docks: A dock is wider than a pier and can be fixed or floating. Floating docks, like their name indicates, have flotation devices attached underneath that allow them to float in the water. On the other hand, fixed, docks are attached directly to the pilings and do not rise and fall with the lake level. With a fixed dock you access lake by stairs and/or a boat lift. If your property gets a lot of wake, a fixed dock can substantially reduce the wear and tear on your dock. In the past, fixed docks were more expensive than a floating dock. Today most dock builders say they have similar costs.
Covered Boat Slip with Lift on Waterfront Lot

Covered Boat Slip with Lift

Waterfront Fixed Dock with Stairs

Fixed Dock with Stairs

Floating Boat Slip

Floating Boat Slip

Boat Slips: If a dock is constructed with a space for a boat, it is called a boat slip. It’s like the lake version of a parking space. The slip will vary depending on size but most will accommodate the width of a pontoon boat.

Note: There have been significant changes over the past decade which has created more restrictive guidelines. If you see homes with permitted docks over 1,000 sq. ft., they are considered “grandfathered” (Non-compliant but permitted). The footprint of these docks can be maintained but no additions or modifications can be made unless you are to conform to current guidelines.

If a dock/boat slip exists but needs repairs a maintenance application is required for any updates or improvements including but not limited to: replacing dock boards, framing, or structural changes. When replacing pilings, floats, or boat lifts a permit is not required.

Additional Information

Catawba Basin Lakees

Catawba Basin Lakes



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Slanting Bridge Road

Lake Norman Bridge Heights

We have created a map that shows all the different bridge heights around Lake Norman.  (See Below).  On the southern part of the lake, there are not really any bridges to be concerned about besides the Williamson bridge which is located on the southeast side. The bridge connects you to a couple of waterfront restaurants as well as some waterfront homes and condos. The bridge height is 6′ at full pond so you will want to check the current lake level and your access will depend on the size of your boat. Personally, I usually don’t have a problem in a pontoon boat, sometimes I do have to put down the bimini. If you have a sail boat then you will need to stay south of the 150 bridge.

We also added some of the waterfront restaurants, marinas and public boat ramps to the map. You can click on the top right corner of the map to make it larger.

Slanting Bridge on Lake Norman

This is a photo of the slanting road bridge which is an iconic bridge on the northwest side of Lake Norman right next to The Boat Rack marina and The Landing Waterfront restaurant.

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Lake Norman Lake Level Video

Lake Norman Lake Levels

Lakes all around the country are handled differently in regards to maintaining lake levels. Lake Norman as well as Lake Wylie have dams operated by Duke Energy that control the water levels in these lakes.

The lake has target levels as well as minimum and maximum levels that Duke maintains. You can go to Duke Energy’s Lake Service website to get the current lake level and the target levels. We created a shortcut that will take you directly to the page you need, just go to Let’s take a look at that page.

You can see that the current level today is 96.4 ft. You can also call 800-829-LAKE to get this level by phone. This measurement is based on a full pond reading of 100’. As you can see this is right around the target level that Duke has set. If we look at the 13 month history, you can see the variation throughout the year.

Lake Norman Lake LevelsThe black line is the max level at full pond. The blue line is the minimum and the green line is the target. The light blue line is the actual lake levels throughout the year. You can see that there were variations but the actual lake levels hoovered around the target level. So while there are changes in the lake’s levels, they are not nearly as drastic as you will find on many lakes. You can also see that the target level is the highest between April and September which corresponds with the peak periods of recreational activity.

Lake Norman Facts:

  • Year Built: 1959-1964
  • Area: 32,510 acres at full pond
  • Length: 33.6 miles
  • Width: 9 miles
  • Shore Line length: 520 miles
  • Maximum Depth: 110 feet
  • Average Depth: 33.5 feet
  • Capacity: 3.4 trillion gallons of water
  • Volume: 1,093,600 acre-feet

Referencing these tables is also beneficial when you’re out looking at waterfront properties. You want to make sure that your dock has good water depth especially where you are going to be pulling your boat in and out. So if you are out on a dock on February 1st and you have good water when the target level is 94’ and the actual water level is 96’ then you will have a feel for what the water depth will be like on May 1st when the target level is 98’ and actual water level this past year was 98.9’. You can also use the minimum target levels to get a gauge of what the water levels would be at the extremes.

If we scroll down you will also see this statement; “Normal Full Pond Elevation = 100ft = 760.0 ft..” I wanted to take a second and explain the 760 line which is what the 100ft number we mentioned earlier is based on. Let’s jump over to a topo map of Lake Norman that shows the elevation contour lines. When we zoom in you will see the elevation numbers. The 760 lines runs roughly along the shoreline. The 760 elevation line is where Lake Norman is at full pond. It also demarks where Duke Energy’s oversight starts on stops. Any activities that would require permitting or approval at the 760 or below would go through Duke. Above the 760 line, oversight would depend on if the activities were in the buffer zone as well as the specific county and neighborhood guidelines.

Well, I hope this article gave you some good background info into Lake Levels on Lake Norman. If you any questions, please reach out. We are here to help. Looking for a waterfront home? Check out these lake norman waterfront homes for sale.

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Beatty Ford Park Expansion

Beattys Ford Park Expansion

Update on Beatty’s Ford Park & Access Area Expansion.

Duke Energy will be adding a fishing pier, swimming area and additional paved parking. These items are in red on the photo above and are required. Duke Energy is legally bound by the federal operating license and the CRA (Catawba-Wateree Hydro Project Comprehensive Relicensing Agreement) to implement these recreation improvements.

Beatty Ford Park Expansion

Please note that this is representative in nature and not based on construction drawing.

These enhancements will be added to the existing recreation facilities which consist of four 1-lane boat ramps, two courtesy docks, vehicle with trailer parking (including ADA), picnic facilities and restrooms.

The items in blue are optional. These are non-project recreational enhancements that may be completed by Lincoln county. These enhancements include: picnic tables, picnic shelters, restrooms, bathhouse, concessions, and expansion of existing emergency management office, dock & parking.

This would add to the existing non-project recreation facilities which consist of a splash pad, playground, walking trail, sand volleyball court, emergency management office, emergency management dock and emergency management ramp.

Please note that this is representative in nature and not based on construction drawing.

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Lake Norman Boat Slips: Can you cover them?

There’s no simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. Whether you’re allowed to have or own a covered boat slip will depend on your specific property and boat design. To get started, there are two sets of guidelines that you need to be aware of.

The first are the CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions) issued by a homeowners association. An HOA may prohibit a covered boat slip or may have additional restrictions that must be adhered to. If you’re considering a property with an HOA, then you’ll want to check out their CC&Rs first.

The second set of guidelines are the shoreline management guidelines (SMG) issued by Duke Energy’s Lake Services.

As we get into these guidelines, it’s helpful if we separate new docks from existing docks because the guidelines for an existing dock are a little more nuanced. Let’s begin with new docks.

For a new dock, your design can include a covered boat slip, assuming all the requirements are met for a conforming dock, including the following guideline that can be found in Section 4 of the SMG:

Canopy roofs are permitted, provided the sides are not enclosed. The canopy must not block cross vision any more than a “standard pitched roof.”

When you are applying for a new dock, Lake Services will review your design and verify if it’s permissible on your specific property.

Before moving onto existing docks, there’s one important difference between covered and uncovered docks that we need to address. It’s essential to understand that the square footage is calculated differently for a covered dock versus an uncovered one. For example, to calculate the square footage of an uncovered dock, you would take the area that you can actually walk on. If you covered it, you would have to include the entire area under the cover as well.

This difference in how to calculate the square footage can potentially be a major factor; many docks have already been built to the maximum square footage allowed.

Now let’s get back to existing docks. Is the existing dock a conforming or nonconforming (aka grandfathered) structure? If the dock is nonconforming and it already exceeds the current maximum allowable square footage, then according to the guidelines, no additions may be made, including but not limited to adding roofs or decks above the existing portion of the dock. If it is conforming, you are allowed to cover the boat slip, as long as it abides by the applicable guidelines and doesn’t violate other guidelines.

What if you wanted to cover your boat slip and double it up as a sun deck? According to the guidelines, decks, gazebos, covered boat slips, and boat shelters may be roofed and designed to allow second-story use—like a sun deck. However, the second story must not be roofed to create a two-story roof structure.

Here are three more guidelines that you might find beneficial to know:

  • Covered boat slips and boat shelters may have one 4-by-6-foot enclosed storage closet on one of the corners of the structure closest to the shore.
  • The sides of gazebos, boat shelters, and covered boat slips are not to be enclosed, which includes but is not limited to siding and latticework.
  • No new or expanded docks will be authorized in cove areas less than 25 feet wide.

What we’ve discussed today is intended to give you a general understanding of the guidelines that surround covered boat slips. Ultimately, Lake Services will have the final say in what is and is not allowed. They state this in their guidelines under the title of “Special Ruling,” reading:

“Since every possible scenario cannot be anticipated, Duke Energy Lake Services reserves the right to make special rulings in cases not specifically covered by these guidelines or to prevent violating the intent of the permitting programs.” To download the shoreline management guidelines, go to

I hope that this has been helpful and insightful. Discussing the rules was not intended to make the process seem complicated, only to help you understand the guidelines better. If you’re working with a dock builder or Lake Services, they know all the guidelines inside and out.

Well, I hope this article gave you some good background info into Covered Boat Slips on Lake Norman. If you any questions, please reach out. We are here to help. Looking for a waterfront home? Check out these lake norman waterfront homes for sale.

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Lake Norman Marinas

Lake Norman Marinas Boat Rentals and Dealerships

Lake Norman Marinas Boat Rentals and Dealerships

Lake Norman Marinas are scattered over the 520 miles of shoreline of Lake Normann, The largest man-made body of water in North Carolina, Lake Norman is often referred to as “the inland sea.” At 34 miles long and 8 miles wide at its widest point, the lake covers nearly 50 square miles.

Obviously, with that much available to explore, lake enthusiasts have long known the best way to get to know Lake Norman is to get out on the water. Boating is extremely popular all around the lake, and the demand for adequate boat storage, docking, and launch access has resulted in a large number of public and private marinas that have sprung up in seemingly every community that includes waterfront.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of Lake Norman Marinas and some of the less formal boat launches available, along with a few details about location, usage, and whether or not fees are required. For ease of organization, we’ve listed the marinas in order of their position on the lake, starting in Statesville at the northern tip and proceeding clockwise around the lake, ending in the Long Island/Catawba area of eastern Catawba County. (See the map to follow along.) We encourage you to visit the individual marina websites for further details.

The northeast section of Lake Norman

This section includes southwestern Statesville, Troutman, and most of the city of Mooresville. The northeastern section of Lake Norman’s shoreline includes a diverse geography and equally diverse collection of communities, parks, green spaces, and scenic drives.

This area also includes several beautiful residential waterfront communities, including The Point, Falls Cove, Bay Crossing, Beacon Pointe, Bells Crossing and Windemere.

Lake Norman State Park in Troutman

Although not technically a marina, the Lake Norman State Park offers public access to boat launches as well as kayak and paddleboat rentals alongside public swimming and picnicking areas, hiking and cycling trails, rentable pavilions, and a snack shop.

Skipper’s Landing Marina on Lake Norman in Troutman

Skipper’s Landing is one of several Lake Norman marinas operated by Morningstar Marinas. The facility houses 415 dry slips and 7 wet slips for short- and long-term storage. In addition, the facility offers boat rentals, washing/waxing/detailing, full winterization/de-winterization, and a fully stocked Ship’s Store for all your boating essentials. A complimentary shuttle service is provided to minimize your launching/loading time and maximize your time on the water.

River City Marina in Mooresville

The River City Marina offers all the basics the experienced boat owner wants and needs: boat launches and docks, parking, gas, and a pumpout station. Plus, the facility includes a well-stocked grocery store and it’s right next door to the Beach House LKN restaurant if you want dinner and drinks before you head home for the night.

Inland Sea Marina in Mooresville

The Inland Sea Marina contains 100 slips for mooring and storage with rentals/leases available on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. For when you’re using your boat, they also offer gas, snacks and drinks, dockside water, electric, and cable, bathhouses with hot showers, and a fully-stocked ship’s store carrying all the essentials for a fun day on the lake.

Stutts Marina on Lake Norman in Mooresville

The Stutts Marina is a small marina specializing in partially covered births built to accommodate 50’ to 80’ boats. A gas dock is also available, along with a grocery store, public boat launch, and paddleboard rentals.

The southeast section of Lake Norman

Including the southern end of Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius and the growing city of Huntersville, the southeast end of the lake has become the go-to spot for trendy, upscale lake living that’s conveniently close to Charlotte and elsewhere for work.

Several gorgeous waterfront communities offer unparalleled residential options, including The Peninsula, Flagship, Captain’s Point, Patrick’s Purchase, Sisters Cove, Sterling Pointe, Stinson Cove, and Bluff Point Road.

All Seasons Marina on Lake Norman in Mooresville

All Seasons Marina offers 220 slips for docking or storage, open year round. Facilities include Lake Norman’s only 25-ton lift, electricity, water, and showers, repair facilities, drinks and snacks, and the Ship Store, where you’ll find everything you need to get your boat clean and safely ready for a fun day on Lake Norman.

Holiday Marina on Lake Norman in Cornelius

The Holiday Marina is a full-service boating maintenance and storage facility with 593 slips and storage from jet skis to yachts, repair facilities, boat ramp, electricity, water/ice, shower, and The Rusty Rudder restaurant if you need to kick back with a good meal after a day on the water. A large, fully enclosed dry storage facility is also available if you want to keep your boat or luxury jet ski closer to the lake over the winter.

Kings Point Marina on Lake Norman in Cornelius

Kings Point Marina offers boat rentals along with full-service storage and 793 available slip options. Pontoons and deck boats are available to rent. The property also includes repair facilities, electricity, water/ice, a shower, a phone, a clubhouse perfect for formal events, and outdoor picnicking and cookout areas for a more casual get-together.

Blythe Landing in Cornelius

Blythe Landing is a small park and public access boat launch managed by the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department (fees apply based on residence status.) There are six boat launch sites within the 26-acre park, floating piers, a playground, picnic areas, sand volleyball courts, and the Dockside Café where you can grab a snack and drink.

Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius

Ramsey Creek Park is a public waterfront park managed by Mecklenburg County. It covers 46 acres and features a public swimming access area, boat launching and docks, a new playground, picnic shelters, nature trails, and a fishing pier. Shelters are available for rent for picnics and casual events along the shores of Lake Norman. Several walking trails offer a great place to walk and admire nature at its finest.

Peninsula Yacht Club in Cornelius

The Peninsula Yacht Club offers all you’d expect from an upscale Lake Norman marina, with a special leaning toward larger vessels. You’ll find 410 slips/storages, diesel, pump out repair, boat ramp, electricity, water/ice, shower, phone, restaurant, and store. Since it is a private members-only marina, the Yacht Club offers several different membership options that each provide different levels of service and amenities.

Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve in Huntersville

The Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve offers something for everyone – the historic Latta Plantation itself, where early American life is recreated, a Nature Center, a full-service Equestrian Center, 18 miles of hiking trails and horseback riding, a picnic area with shelter overlooks, fishing and kayak tours and boat launch area. From the small boat launch, you can paddle out to Mountain Island Lake where you’ll find plenty of great fishing spots.

The southwest section of Lake Norman

Moving over to the “quieter side of the lake” on the western shores, you’ll find Denver along with waterfront communities.

Along with several public and private marinas and boat launches, the following waterfront communities hug the lake in this region: Norman Estates, Cowan’s Ford, Governor’s Island, Pebble Bay, Sailview, Cove Key, Harbor Oaks, West Bay, and Webbs Chapel Cove.

Westport Marina on Lake Norman in Denver

Westport Marina of Denver is one of the largest marinas on the lake, with over 600 wet and dry berths, indoor storage facilities, Lake Norman’s only full-service diesel engine shop, free pick-up and drop-off service, gas, and a well-appointed ship’s store. In addition, Westport Marina offers boat rentals, new and used boat sales, and storage for jet skis.

The northwest section of Lake Norman

In the northwest shoreline area, the primary communities are Sherrills Ford, Terrell and Long Island (part of the village of Catawba.) Although upscale golfing communities and other exciting recreational activities abound here too, this area caters as much to the average recreational boater and day tripper as to the lifelong Lake Norman resident.

The full-time lakeside resident hasn’t been forgotten, however, with incredible lake views afforded from all of these waterfront communities: Mirror Lake, Northview Harbor, and Pearl Springs Estates.

The Lake Norman Marina on Lake Norman in Sherrills Ford

The Lake Norman Marina in Sherrills Ford has been family owned and operated since it opened in 1974. Along with selling Cobalt boats and Bennington pontoons, the marina offers service, storage, and rentals. It’s also the home of the Lake Norman Boat Club. If you’re in the market for a new boat, you can view over 40 new and used boats in Carolina’s largest indoor waterfront showroom.

Mountain Creek Marina on Lake Norman in Sherrills Ford

Mountain Creek Marina is a small marina catering to brief stops for gas, groceries, and other essentials during a day on the water. The Aquaventure Watercraft Rentals location is the real star of the show, offering some of the best boat rental selections on Lake Norman, and access to a valuable membership plan that can put boat ownership within reach of most.

The Midway Marina on Lake Norman in Terrell

The Midway Marina in Terrell offers 200 slips for temporary or long-term storage, repair facilities, boat ramp, electricity, water/ice, phone, grocery, restaurant, and store. And if you don’t own a boat, that’s not a problem. Lake Effects Marine boat rentals has you covered.

Long Island Marina on Lake Norman in Catawba

Although the Long Island Marina has day-use and storage slips available, their real claim to fame is a huge selection of new and used boats for sale and a comprehensive suite of services available, from repair to keel painting, and everything in-between.

As you can see, Lake Norman is a true boater’s paradise. And it’s not just a great place to play. It’s also a great place to live. If you’re considering owning a home near Lake Norman, we can help. Contact Lake Realty today.

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Deep Water Measurements on Lake Norman

Lake Norman Deep Water

What is Considered Deep Water on Lake Norman?

When looking at Lake Norman Waterfront homes for sale, potential buyers often ask ‘what is considered deep water on Lake Norman?‘ While there is not an official number, if you have at least 10 feet of water at full pond where your boat will dock we consider that deep water.  Here’s the thinking behind that number.

During the primary recreational season, mid-March to October, Duke Energy has a target level of 96 ft. to 98 ft.  (Lake level is based on full pond reading of 100 ft.  Watch this video for a detailed explanation of Lake Norman Lake Levels).  So, if you have 10 ft’ of water at full pond this would correspond to a depth of 6 to 8 feet when the lake level varies between 96 ft to 98 ft.  This provides plenty of depth for most boats to get in and out.  I will note that over the last 3 years the actual level has ranged from 97 ft. to 100 ft during the primary recreational season.

If you plan to leave your boat in the water year around without using a lift, you will want to be cognizant of the lake level during winter months when the lake is lower.  (If you want to know more info about the lower extreme levels, check Lowest Lake Norman Lake Levels.)

Slide on Lake Norman

How You Use Your Dock Matters

Do you like to float and swim around your dock?  Lots of people primarily use their docks for hanging out and boating in & out.  Others like to float (with or without cocktails), swim or use sliding boards on their docks.  In this case, a foot or two can make a big difference.   For example, at a depth of 5 feet you can stand up and may bottom out when landing the classic cannon ball off your dock.  But just two feet more at a depth of 7′, you can swim without touching the bottom.

There can also be a big difference from the front of your dock to the end of your dock.  Docks will average around 30 ft in length and depending on the slope of the lake bed the depth can change quickly.  Along those same lines you may only have to go out a few extra feet from your dock to be in deeper water.

Because the lake was flooded, the lake bed follows the typography of the land below.  As result the level can change drastically.  I’ve been on parts of the lake that drop 80 feet in a very short distance.  The typography of the lake bed is why you may notice ‘Shoal’ (i.e. shallow) signs out in the middle of the main channel.   How deep is Lake Norman?  The answer varies slightly depending on the source but the stats range from between 110 to 130 ft at Lake Norman’s deepest point.

There are lots of variables to consider when buying a Lake Norman home.  Each property is unique and has its own characteristics when it comes to the house, location, dock and the water.    The houses will vary by size, style, age and layout.  The location on the lake will offer different amenities and feel.  The docks can be covered or uncovered, with or without a lift and old or new.  The water choices will include big view vs small view, cove view vs main channel view, depth of the water and the existing dock set up.   Hopefully, this article helped you further understand the term ‘deep water’ on Lake Norman.

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Lowest Lake Norman Lake Levels

Lowest Lake Norman Lake Levels

If you are thinking about buying a Lake Norman waterfront or listing a Lake Norman waterfront home, you may be wondering, ‘how low does the lake level get?’

You would think this would be easy information to find.  You can easily access the 13 month history on Duke Energy’s website but it does not provide data beyond that.   After googling and searching through old news articles without a definitive answer, I reached out to Duke Energy’s Hydro Operations to get the answers.

So what is the lowest lake level on record for Lake Norman?  Drum roll please…….

Drum Roll


The lowest level on record for Lake Norman was 93.1 ft. in 2007. 

I want to point out that the lake level is based on a reading of a 100 ft at full pond which corresponds to the 760 typographical line.   Think of it this way, at 93.1 ft the lake was 6.9 feet lower then when it is full.   We created a video that further explains the Lake Norman lake level and the 760 line.

The chart below displays the lake levels from January 2008 to October 2019.  The blue lines are the actual levels and the red lines are the target levels.  Notice that it only dipped below 95’ in 2 of the last 12 years.  The lowest reading for those 2 years, October 2014 and January 2016, were during the second driest period on record when they bottomed out below 94’.  It’s important to note that lowest reading for each year are typically during the winter months when the target levels set by Duke Energy are lower. 

Lake Norman Lake Level History


Lake Norman Water Level History

For many, what’s most important is the lake levels during the recreational months.  From mid-March to October the target lake levels are from 96 ft to 98 ft.  I’ve added another chart below that marks the lake level during July. See the green lines.  Notice that in the last 12 summers the lake level has only gone below 98 ft during July during one year.  That year was 2014 during the dry period noted above.

I also found it interesting that the variation in the lake levels was a lot less over the last three years indicated by the tighter grouping of the blue line.  During this time period, the lake level was mostly above the target level set by Duke Energy.  This makes sense when you note that 2018 was the 5th wettest year on record and the Jan to Feb of 2019 was the 9th wettest Jan to Feb on record.

Lake Norman Lake Levels Boating Season


You do see a sharp drop in the lake level in October of 2019 which is unusual considering that Lake Norman experienced the 9th wettest Jan to Feb on record.  Personally, I think there were a few events that contributed to this level.  In June, after a tremendous amount of rain in 12 hours, the lake level reached its max level and as a result Duke Energy released a large amount of water from the damn which led to flooding on Mountain Island lake.  Then in September hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas and as it moved up the east coast there was a potential for a large amount of rainfall in our area.  The lake level was dropped in anticipation.  The rain never materialized and then we experienced abnormally dry conditions.

You may also be interested in another related article, ‘What is Considered Deep Water on Lake Norman’.


















May to October












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Maximize Your Lake Norman Lakehouse

Maximize Your Lake Norman Lakehouse

Being in a lake house means being transported to a different world, away from the ordinary. By definition alone, a lake house is built to be charming, relaxing and rejuvenating, but there are small hacks you can apply that can bring increased delight to your property by the water.

Here are just a few ideas:

Optimize your colors.

Keep the theme of stunning nature flowing through your lake house with relevant colors. Experiment with shades and variations: blues capture the sky, greens to represent plants and trees, browns for earth tones, and rustic autumn colors like yellows, golds, reds and oranges for when the leaves fall.

Let the sunshine in.

Raise the shades! Add large picture/plate-glass windows and natural light wherever possible. The more of a complete 180-degree view you can accomplish (windows on all sides of the room), the brighter your living experience can be.

Bring in the outside.

Your lake house is more than likely surrounded by peaceful, beautiful woods. Bring some of it inside: tree bark, driftwood, potted plants and shrubs, dark-stained hardwood floors and plenty of flowers.

Bring out the inside.

Connect your walkways, patios and dog runs with dirt paths to make them easy to access. Line them with nature: potted plants and flower gardens.

Modern it up.

Even if your lake house is rustic and old-fashioned, the use of state-of-the art technical gadgets can invite pleasant surprises and also make life easier. Smart lighting and thermostats, bluetooth speaker sounds and large-screen TVs are welcome high-tech additions to country living. Try an outdoor movie projector for binging under the stars.

Mix it up.

Introduce different styles and trends to keep it kicky and informal. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your wall coverings, furniture textures, countertops, area rugs and lighting fixtures.

Think iron and wood.

These two materials lend themselves to the very definition of “rustic.” As basic as they are, they can look very sophisticated and cool when used on outdoor tables and chairs. Looks great as “no-frills.”

Sync up the imagery.

Your guests won’t forget they’re experiencing the joy of a lake house, but be sure to weave nautical and aquatic decor into your scheme: anchor logos, glass vases filled with seashells, illustrated fish and birds, sea ropes, water skis and main sails hung on the wall, and even navy trunks for storage of extra blankets and pillows.

Add sleeping space.

If you own a lake house, you never know when you are going to have surprise overnight guests. Make sure there are plenty of comfortable, inviting sleeping spaces. Hang cotton curtains to create privacy. You may consider inflatable beds that can be stored away when not needed.

Hang up the family.

As beautiful as your lake house can be, it’s going to be missing something if it’s not made truly yours. Place framed, happy family photos throughout to add to a personalized, joyous, warm atmosphere.

Light it Up!

Mixing up the lighting in your Lake Norman can be the difference between a dreary residence and a warm, properly illuminated lake home. One amazing way to do this is to tie your home lighting into your yard and dock as well, creating a uniform lighting design throughout the property.

You can employ the help of a local electrician or designer to help you with the overall design and installation. If you are handy and capable of handling the updates yourself, you can simply stop by a Charlotte lighting store to pick out your fixtures and employ the help of a friendly Lake Norman neighbor if you need an extra set of hands with the installation!

Bottom line

At your lake house, being outdoors does not mean you have to leave the outdoors outside! Use innovative, creative ways to further define your interior with a little help from Mother Nature.

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The difference between Lake Wylie and Lake Norman

The Point Lake NormanIf you want to be close to Charlotte NC and live on the lake you have lakes to choose from:  Lake Norman, Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake.  Lake Wylie and Lake Norman are the larger lakes so many people want to know the difference between the two.  I’ve spent a lot of time on the water on both Lake Norman and Lake Wylie but I haven’t ‘lived’ at Lake Wylie so I will share my thoughts with that important disclaimer.  If you have any additional insight,  I would love for you to share in the comment section below.

The biggest knock for years on Lake Wylie was the amenities.  In the past, there wasn’t a lot down there.  There was one waterfront restaurant, T-Bones and it was typically crowded for boaters.  They sold it a few years back and now it is Papa Doc’s Shore Club.   In 2022, another waterfront restaurant named Drift opened.  According to their website, Drift is a modern lakeside chophouse featuring locally-inspired favorites, fresh seafood, and the best steaks.  The area has grown and there are restaurants and breweries close by depending on where you are on the lake.
Lake Norman is a little over twice as big.  49.81 square miles vs 21 square miles.  Lake Norman has 533 miles of shoreline while Lake Wylie has 325 miles of shoreline.  Lake Wylie feels more like a really wide river so to speak and doesn’t have the expansive open water like Lake Norman does especially on the southern end.  Think of Lake Wylie like the stretch on Lake Norman from Kiser Island up past the 150 bridge.
Also many people notice a difference in water color between the two lakes with Lake Norman being clearer and more blue.   The water color on Lake Wylie is more akin to the water color on the northern area of Lake Norman which is not as clear after a rain or in the shallower sections.
Most people went to Lake Wylie because they could get more bang for their buck.  Property values on Lake Wylie have risen over the years and the actual value of the property will come down to location on the water, the view and size and quality of the home.
I’ve also had people tell me that you can hear more air traffic on Lake Wylie from the Charlotte Douglas airport.  However, I believe that depends more on where you buy because the area I visit often has very little noise from airplanes.  (Side note:  parts or Mountain Island Lake are in the direct flight path so be aware of that if air traffic is a concern.)
Here are some side by side stats of Lake Norman, Lake Wylie and Mountain Island Lake.


AttributesLake NormanLake WylieMountain Island Lake
Year Built196319041924
Shoreline520 Miles325 Miles61 Miles
Area32,475 Acres12,177 Acres3,281 Acres
Length33.6 Miles32 Miles14.7 Miles
Width (widest point)9 Miles5 Miles*2.5 Miles
Average Depth33.5 Feet23 Feet17.7 Feet
Maximum Depth130 Feet94 Feet58.4 Feet
Capacity3.4 Trillion Gallons8.75 Billion Gallons**
Full Pond Elevation760 Feet569 Feet647.5 Feet
Public Access Ramps2862
Public Parks411
*How wide is Lake Wylie?  5 miles is the width from the damn to the further point west.  However, this not a straight line of clear open water.  Using google maps, the widest section of uninterrupted water is 2.33 miles.
**Mountain Island Lake Capacity:  I could not find a number.  MIL is not damn controlled.
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Lake Norman News & Development

We are collecting articles about developments in the Lake Norman Area.  If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment.

Lincoln County passes 1 acre min lot size

Bank of London Building First US Headquarters in Charlotte

The Bank of London has just announced plans to build its first US headquarters right here in Charlotte, creating 350 new jobs with a total annual payroll of $33 million…READ MORE

Zillow Group still wants to help people quickly sell their home.

The Seattle real estate giant announced a partnership with Opendoor that allows home sellers on Zillow’s platform to request an instant cash offer from Opendoor, one of the leading “iBuyer” companies that aim to make real estate transactions more seamless.

Zillow last year decided to shut down its own iBuyer business, Zillow Offers, marking a surprising end to an ambitious home-flipping bet that resulted in a $405 million write-down and a 25% workforce reduction. Zillow was unable to accurately forecast the price of homes and said the business ultimately required too much capital.

Now, Zillow users will still be able to get an instant cash offer for their home, but the transaction is facilitated by Opendoor. Zillow will get a referral fee when a customer sells to Opendoor.

Zillow CEO Rich Barton said the deal expands the company’s addressable market, allowing it to create a suite of seller services.

“This isn’t just a lead-gen distribution deal,” Barton said on a call with analysts Thursday. “This is going to be a deep integration.”

Barton said Zillow will take advantage of the investment it made developing Zillow Offers. More from Barton on the call:

“We invested quite a bit of time and treasure and IQ figuring out how to integrate the cash offer into our home details page and our user flow, to attract sellers to interact with us. All of those learnings can be brought to bear on this partnership. It’s interesting because it involves deep integration of the Opendoor offering into our set of services. That gives us the opportunity to quarterback the process and introduce our customers who request an Opendoor cash offer to Premier Agents, mortgages, Zillow closing services, and a myriad of other things that we have our hands on.”

Homesellers will be able to compare the cash offer from Opendoor to a traditional open-market sale that can be facilitated by a real estate agent from Zillow’s Premier Agent program.

Customers “can evaluate their selling options and easily package it with other Zillow services to buy and finance their next home,” Zillow Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement.

Opendoor reached a $62 million settlement this week with the FTC, which said the company used misleading marketing practices and deceived customers “into thinking that they could make more money selling their home to Opendoor than on the open market using the traditional sales process.”

(Bigstock Image)
Zillow says the partnership with Opendoor builds on its strategy to offer a “housing super app,” described by executives earlier this year as a digital experience that “connects all the fragmented pieces of the moving process and brings them together on one transaction.”

“Building out a suite of complementary seller offerings over time opens up meaningful opportunities for us across agent transactions and adjacent services like mortgage and title & escrow,” Barton wrote in a shareholders letter Thursday, which you can read below. “When it’s fully rolled out, this will create another way for Zillow to serve potential sellers across more than 50 U.S. markets, while growing our business in the capital-light manner we described when we exited iBuying.”

Founded in 2014, Opendoor went public in 2020 and reported revenue of $8 billion in 2021, up from $2.6 billion the year prior. It was one of the first to use the iBuyer model, which gives homesellers the certainty and immediacy of an all-cash offer in exchange for paying a fee. Redfin and Offerpad also have their own iBuyer businesses.

In addition to fees, which are similar to real estate commissions, Opendoor also makes money on the difference between what it buys and sells a home for. It also offers ancillary services including home repairs and mortgage. The company acquired Seattle startup last year. Its market capitalization is just below $3 billion, down from around $8 billion last year.

“For parents looking to upsize, a young professional moving for a new job, and millions of others who regularly use Zillow to explore their home selling options, we will provide them with the ability to move with a tap of a button,” Opendoor President Andrew Low Ah Kee said in a statement.

Zillow shares were down more than 10% Thursday after announcing its second quarter earnings report. Zillow’s stock is down nearly 40% this year. Its market capitalization is more than $9 billion.

Zillow 2Q22 Shareholders’ Letter by GeekWire on Scribd

Taylor Soper is GeekWire’s managing editor, responsible for coordinating the newsroom, planning coverage, and editing stories. A native of Portland, Ore., and graduate of the University of Washington, he was previously a GeekWire staff reporter, covering beats including startups and sports technology. Follow him @taylor_soper and email

Massive Lake Norman nature park to offer miles of hiking, biking. Here are details.

Outdoors enthusiasts from across the Charlotte region are the target market of a 606-acre nature park underway on the northern tip of Lake Norman.

Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford will feature 19 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails when it opens next summer or early fall, along with kayaking and paddleboarding, picnic areas and a fishing pier.

The $8.5 million Catawba County park, on Little Mountain Road off N.C. 150, also will include dog parks, playgrounds, pickleball courts and a park office-educational center. The park is 40 miles from uptown Charlotte.

County Website with Design Info:

Habor Community Updates:

Proposed Development adjacent to the 150 bridge across the near The Blue Parrot.

Rezoning approved for proposed harbor community at Midway Marina

Habor Community Development

The Villages at Sherrills Ford

Development around the Villages at Sherrills Ford

Hwy 150 Expansion along the northern section of Lake Norman.

The project will be split into 2 parts.  The dividing line will be  near the Marshal Steam Plant.

Click image to see the pdf version

Hwy 150 Expansion

Highway expansion causes Mooresville businesses to close, relocate

Project Overview from NC DOT

Photos and Videos from NC DOT

Thousands of homes coming to eastern Lincoln County

Thousands of homes coming to eastern Lincoln County

New Subdivisions:
Fox Chase: 47 lots
Rock Creek: 150 lots
Sylvan Creek: 198 lots
Newton Crossing: 200 lots
Melwood: 200 lots
Westport Lakeside: 275 lots
Villages of Denver: 370 lots
Mariners Points: 80 lots
Canopy Creek: 152 lots
Killian Creek: 54 lots
Creek Park: 170 lots
Essex Homes: 215 lots
Wildbrook: 150 lots
Rivercross: 460 lots
Ingleside Farm: 422 lots
Trilogy: 1,250 lots
Carrington: 302 lots
Matthews-Heathers: 20 lots

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Lake Norman Taxes

Lake Norman Tax Revaluation

You may have heard the buzz about the recent tax revaluation in the Lake Norman area. That’s due in large part because all four counties that border Lake Norman (Mecklenburg, Iredell, Lincoln and Catawba County) under went a revaluation in 2019.

In North Carolina, counties are required to have a revaluation every eight years and those are staggered so that all 100 counties do not have a revaluation in the same year. In 2019, 27 counties had a revaluation including all the counties around the Lake. Counties do have the option to complete a revaluation more frequently with every four years being the most common.

Mecklenburg County which includes the Lake Norman towns of Cornelius, Huntersville and Davidson got a lot of press about the increases in property values. One important fact that is often left out of the discussion is the date of the last revaluation. In Mecklenburg County, the last revaluation was in 2011. This area has experienced tremendous growth and property appreciation during the last eight years. Iredell, Lincoln and Catawba completed a revaluation in 2015. As a result, the change was not as dramatic.

Property Tax

When will the new tax values impact property taxes?

For each county, the tax period runs congruently with their fiscal year which is from July 1st to June 31st. Typically, the property tax is based on the value as of January 1st of the same year. However, the 2019 tax bill will be based on the value established by the revaluation regardless of when the final value was agreed upon. Once the tax rate is set by the end of June, tax bills will be issued. Tax bills are due and payable on September 1st. However, you have until early January to pay without an interest penalty. That ‘no penalty’ date for each county is as follows:



  • No Penalty Date
  • Mecklenburg County: January 7th More Info
  • Iredell County: January 5th the following Year More Info
  • Lincoln County: January 5th the following Year (January 6th this year*) More Info
  • Catawba County: January 5th the following Year More Info
  • *Should January 5th fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the payment period is extended to the next business day.

Did you know?

  • Lincoln County gives a 2% discount if taxes are paid from July 1 through August 31.
  • In Mecklenburg County, delinquent taxpayers are advertised in the Charlotte Observer in March or April.

Thinking about new construction? We often get questions about the taxes for a newly built home. Who pays the taxes, the builder or the buyer? When is the tax value established? When does the asset convert from land value to both land and home value? Read Property Taxes Questions on New Home Construction

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