What recreational opportunities are available on water in the Charlotte area?

Asked by Gena Riede, Elk Grove, CA Fri May 18, 2007

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Leigh Brown, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri May 18, 2007
Tons! IF you like freshwater lakes and rivers, that is. (If you need the beach, it's a 3 hour drive to salt water.) Lake Norman is our largest lake. It was built in the 1950s by Duke Power to run the nuclear power plant (McGuire Nuclear Station), and is our most popular and most populous lake. You'll still see the occasional fisherman at dawn, but the roar of jetskis and ski boats takes over as soon as it gets warm out. There's a competitive waterski team or three at the lake-watching them train is great fun!

If you're more interested in a quieter, more natural setting, you can head east to Badin Lake and Lake Tillery. They're connected by a dam (but you can't travel from one to the other). Both are bordered by the Uwharrie National Forest so there's a lot of preserved natural area that can never be developed. You'll still see ski boats and jet skis but will also see canoes and more bass boats.

Our newest water activities center around the National Whitewater Center which is positioned on the Catawba River near Mount Holly. This is the new home of the National Whitewater Foundation, and will be the host site for the Olympic whitewater training and trials. You can whitewater on the manmade trails, canoe, kayak, or just walk on the beautiful trails at the facility.
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