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What if Charlotte had been built around Lake Norman?


voyager12

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We would have one of the prettiest cities in the country IMHO. I think one of Charlotte's drawbacks is the fact that we don't have a geographic asset that makes our city stand out. I know the mountains and beaches are within easy driving distance but that is not the same as having a Lake Michigan or Puget Sound in our front yard, natural features that are inextricably linked to Chicago and Seattle. Maybe we can just uproot Uptown and transport the burgeoning skyline to Lake Norman. I don't think folks up there would mind at all! It would end their daily commute :P

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Lake Norman is a artificial lake. Prior to 1963 it wasn't there but Huntersville, Cornelus, and Davidson were so it would be hard for Charlotte to have developed up that way. Mountain Island Lake actually bound Charlotte's EJT. (Lake Norman doesn't) Below the Mountain Island dam is the Catawba river which borders most of the rest of Charlotte's EJT as Lake Wylie doesn't start to form until you get ot the extreme SW part of the county. Unfortunatly the river is only 6-7 ft deep north of Hwy 74 so there isn't much you can do with it.

But I agree, the Catawba river and lakes are remarkable but there really isn't a way to see much of it unless you have a boat. Mountain Island Lake is absolutely beautiful, most of the shore line is undeveloped, and it offers plenty of areas on the northern park where you can have a section to the lake to yourself even on Saturday's during the summer. There is also a quite interesing very large submergered beach where people beach their boats, cookout and play volleyball in foot deep water. LOL Mountain Island Lake is named as such due to Mountain Island which is found at the southern end of the lake. You can see it from the Hwy 16 bridge.

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One of my favorite places on Mountain Island lake is up in the section just below the Cowan's Ford Dam (Lake Norman). This secton of the river it is in a deep valley and since the water there just came out the bottom of Lake Norman via the hydro plant, it is quite cold, even in the summer. Lake Norman is about 110 ft deep at that point so that water does not get a chance to warm up much. As a result, this cool water flowing into Mountain Island Lake makes kind of a micro climate there where it can be 10 degrees or so cooler than the surrounding area which is nice on those 90+ degree days. Its also a great place to see some wildlife as this area is where one finds the Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge. Of course the water quickly warms up as it flows downstream into Mountain Island lake.

You can see this section of the lake from the Hwy 73 bridge at the Meck/Lincoln county line.

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I think Lake Norman history is fascinating, how it got built, and what was there before considering it is manmade.

Well it was just the Catawba River. When they built the dam at Cowans Ford, it flooded close to 40,000 acres so entire towns, farms, and factories had to be evacuated. If you ride across Lake Norman on a boat with a digital fish finder, you will see outlines of buildings on the bottom of the lake. We were quite surprised this summer to discover an old farm house on one of the islands. It was apparently abandoned when the farm was submerged and the house, which must have been built on the highest part of the property remained above the flooded part.

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Well it was just the Catawba River. When they built the dam at Cowans Ford, it flooded close to 40,000 acres so entire towns, farms, and factories had to be evacuated. If you ride across Lake Norman on a boat with a digital fish finder, you will see outlines of buildings on the bottom of the lake. We were quite surprised this summer to discover an old farm house on one of the islands. It was apparently abandoned when the farm was submerged and the house, which must have been built on the highest part of the property remained above the flooded part.

metro, thats pretty cool. did you go inside and check it out? something like that would make for an interesting photo.

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metro, thats pretty cool. did you go inside and check it out? something like that would make for an interesting photo.

Indeed we did. However in this particular location, we tend to anchor about 25 feet off from the island and go swimming. We swam to the island upon seeing this strange rooftop in the trees which is why I did not take my camera. Its not waterproof. haha. I might get some photos next year when it becomes warm enough to go out again. There is a place to beach the boat so we can get out without getting wet.

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