Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

BB in QC

Lake Property in the Charlotte Area

9 posts in this topic

Hey all. This weekend I made a trip up to Morganton to look at some lake property on Lake James. I have lived in Charlotte for 15 years and have never even heard of the lake until recently. I feel like I have found a diamond in the rough as far as development goes. There are very few houses there, the water is crystal clear, and the drive is only 1.5 hours. Has anyone else visited this lake and has opinions/suggestions? Are there any other lakes that anyone has visited that they love?

Post your opinions but my comments are more centralized on lakes with an outdoorsy feel, not overpopulated lakes studded with McMansions like Norman.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Personally, I live on Lake Wylie and find it to be a fun recreational lake. If you are looking for a more sparse locale try Lake Wateree. It has about the same surface area as Lake Wylie with nearly 100 less miles of shoreline - which can be a good thing. I have some friends that own a cabin on the lake, and it is still fairly undeveloped. Located right off of I-77, it is about an hour from Charlotte and maybe 30 minutes from Columbia.

As for my favorite lake in the Carolinas that would have to be Lake Jocassee. It is nestled in the mountains in northwest South Carolina. While not as big as the lakes around here, it is known for having crystal clear water and great fishing. Also, the many streams that empty into this lake usually do so through cascading waterfalls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lake James is an awesome area, located just below the Pisgah National Forest. Few people realize that is the first lake in the Duke Power reservoir system and the Catawba River orginates not too far from it, creating the lake with the help of the Linville River, before it continues on through Charlotte. There are places there where you can easily walk across the Catawba because it is so small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lake James is an awesome area, located just below the Pisgah National Forest. Few people realize that is the first lake in the Duke Power reservoir system and the Catawba River orginates not too far from it, creating the lake with the help of the Linville River, before it continues on through Charlotte. There are places there where you can easily walk across the Catawba because it is so small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Additionally, Crescent has done such a fantastic job creating zoning and regulation to make the lake seem remote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree 100%. Like I said I had never seen it. The water is so clean and clear and the scenery is just beautiful. Additionally, Crescent has done such a fantastic job creating zoning and regulation to make the lake seem remote. Very few lake front homes can be seen from the water, and so much conservation have gone a long way to make that lake quite a nice getaway. Are there any other lakes around that have done such a good job planning and zoning? I was blown away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have boated on Lake James many times and agree that it is a beautiful lake. I will also agree with the poster above in that it is like that despite Crescent's aka Duke Energy managment of the lake. It does suffer from the same, let's build as any McMansions as possible philosophy that exists on their lakes on the Catawba and Savannah river basins.

The best day trip lakes in the general area around Charlotte are those NOT managed by Duke Energy and their subsidiary Crescent.

My preference are as follows:

  • Lake Hartwell in SC. This lake is about the same driving distance as Lake James, but is much larger, has excellent navigational markers (also in very bad repair or completly missing on Dukes lakes) and excellent facilities. This is a federal lake so most of the land around it is undisturbed. While you are in that area you can up upstream to the two lakes that Duke manages there and see the same wretched development or poor maintenance that exists on the lakes around Charlotte. The difference is very apparent.

  • Lake Murray in SC (near Columbia). Again it's about the same distance as Lake James and is also much larger. This lake is a little more developed than Hartwell but better managed than any Duke Lake.

  • Fairly close to Charlotte is Kerr Scott reservoir just outside of N. Wilkesboro. It's closer than Lake James but is a small lake on the size of Mountain Island Lake. It has some development but because it is a federal lake there are plenty of access points and it is well maintained, and the setting is similiar to Lake James.

Generally find that all of Duke's are poorly maintained, lack public facilites and access points, and are surrounded by excessive development. I hope Lake James does not end up like all the other lakes extending from there into SC, but I don't hold out much hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two different sides that are nearly polar opposites of Lake James. The East side (Divided by the bridge) is far more developed and I agree is littered with McMansions. However, there are only 10 or so houses you can even see on the West end of the lake. While this must be due to heavy lobbying from the environmentalists, it is the case none the less. There is a state park on both sides and roughly 150 homesites total on the west end. That is also the best end for viewing the Pisgah National forest and the blue ridge mountain view. It is truly an outdoors experience on the west end IMHO.

Can anyone speak to the difference other than myself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


For the past two years, I have been going to a friend's lakehouse on Lake Tillery. It is near Albermarle so it is about a 45min-1 hr. drive from UNCC. It is pretty quiet, compared to Lake Norman that is, and development is really at a minimum IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.