North Carolina Lake Recommendation

I have a chance to spend a few days up in the NC mountains. Any recommendations for the best lake to spend a day kayaking in?



fontana lake
big, beautiful, near the heart of the cherokee nation

I’ll second that!
Fontana is a must.

I’ll third that!
just came back from nanthalla and loved it! check out a small town called Bryson also. and plan a day for tubing deep creek there,splurge and get the 4 dollar inner tube . a full day of fun for pocket change!

Check out the lakes below Fontana.
I like Calderwood, which is deeply entrenched, almost always near full pool, and almost devoid of development. It is accessed at a campground at the NW corner where hwy 129 crosses the river north of Robbinsville.

Fontana is often down in dry years, and it was down a good bit when I last saw it in June. I don’t care for Fontana unless it reaches full pool.

The NC mountains encompasses…
…a lot of area.

What part are you staying in?

A few more in addition to the ones listed above are Lake James which is in Marion below the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Watauga Lake which is in Tenn. but not too far from Boone, NC and a beautiful large lake.

Also there is a very small lake, (Price Lake) on the Blue Ridge Parkway close to Blowing Rock and Boone. Only paddle craft are allowed on it, but it is very small, (good for an afternoon outing or some training).

Cheers, and stay happy!


Lake Bear Creek
It’s a beautiful pristine man-made lake near Cashiers, NC with a big waterfall and lots of lovely little ones flowing in. Unfortunately, developers had a nice handshake with Duke Power, who used to own all the land around it. It will be jam packed with docks and people soon - please enjoy this beautiful place before it gets spoiled.

Fontana Lake a nice paddle, would love to paddle the area in the fall for the leaf change. I normally camp at the Tsali National Forest Campground, between Bryson city and Fontana Dam.

Bring your mountain bike or horse also, nice trails starting at campground. Launch your kayak from the same place also. You can also whitewater kayak the Nantahala river near by.

28 is the highway, Almond point is on the map with Tsali campground a little further west.