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monsoon

Public Swimming in the Lakes

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The Mecklenburg Parks & Recreation Dept. has asked the Mecklenburg county council to abolish their ban on swimming in the lakes from the shores of the county parks. If the county commission agrees to lift the ban, then the P&R Dept. would like to reopen the beaches at Ramsey Creek Park on Lake Norman and Latta Plantation on Mountain Island Lake for swimming. Ramsey Creek park is probably the closest park to Charlotte (more or less) on Lake Norman. Latta Plantation is closer, but a little more obscure in location. Basically go west on Beatties Ford Rd. There was no mention if they would also do this for Lake Wylie.

IMO, this would be nice if they did this. Right now the only public beach anywhere on the lake is at Lake Norman State Park, and this is way up I-77 near Troutman. It's a long ride from Charlotte. Latta Plantation and Ramsey Creek are very nice so these would be nice add-ons to what they have to offer. I did see where there was also consideration, to also open up public swimming on the West side of Lake Norman. (off Hwy 16) This probably wouldn't be as attractive to Charlotte residents, but maybe worth a trip as it is right on the main channel and has good views.

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They have a little sand beach and swimming at Jetton Park in Cornelius as well.

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I went swimming with my dog at Ramsey Creek a few weeks ago. It has a nice sandy beach in a cove. The water in the lake is incredibly warm. Whenever swimming in a populated body of water like Lake Norman, I wonder how much of a chemical stew I am swimming in (bacteria, pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer).

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Having moved down here from Upstate New York in the early 90's, I've always been baffled by the banning of swimming in lakes. In the Adirondacks, such activities are a God-given right that the local governments know better than to ban. It's encouraging that we may soon be able to jump in a local lake. That said, I am concerned about the purity of that water, too.

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That said, I am concerned about the purity of that water, too.

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.... I don't even want to come into contact with the lake water. .....

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After living on the coast for so long I just have never really gelled to the lake scene around here much. Don't like feeling hemmed in I guess. Or maybe it's mental angst from the mandatory cross lake swims from summer camp days in New Hampshire. brrrr :shok: My sister got to go to Camp Med in Maine and jet ski all day, but nooo Marc needed "structure"....I need to call home and let it out! :lol:

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LOL, If you live in Charlotte then every time you turn on the tap you are in contact with the lake water. Lake Norman and Mountain Island Lake are where CMUD gets its water from. There is a constant flow of water through this lake from the mountains down to Charleston and out to the Atlantic.

I've gone to the lake for years and don't know anyone or have even heard of anyone from getting sick in it. If you go by the sheer number of people in the water on the weekends, there is no problem at all. See these photos from LKN last weekend

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^Nothing wrong about being scared of the water, lots of people fall into this category, but the lake water isn't toxic.

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No, you are not allowed to swim there. The Park and Rec dept said they don't want to offer it at this location for that reason; it is too small. It's also a place you don't want to swim illegally as the cove is full of submerged stumps.

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Are there any private lake access places nearby anymore? Part of The Peninsula is built on what used to be a big 'club' with a cinder block dining hall, covered eating area, and acres of fields on the water. In the late 80's and early 90's they used to have all day music festivals and reggae shows there. We also used to go to some beach on Lake Norman where it was sort of a campground and you could play and swim in the water -- i was young and don't remember where it was.

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You are referring to the Duke Power camp ground that used to be there. Duke Power would lease lots for campers on a 5 year basis, I believe. (maybe there were other terms too) So people would park a camper there on a permanent basis and would use it for weekends. I knew a number of people in Charlotte in the 1980s and early 90s who did this. We would go up there, boat some go back to the camper, which you could boat right up to, cook out. Great in the evenings too. And it was nice to spend the night without having to go back to Charlotte. I did see some of the cinder block buildings that you are refering to, but I thought these were showers. Maybe there was more there beyond that.

The lease rates were very cheap. If I remember right it was less than $100/year. It was a great way to have access to the lake. Duke had several of these campgrounds on the Lake, but they are all gone now. Duke sold them off as McMansion neighborhoods in the 1990s and through the 2000s. There are still a few commercial camp grounds on the lake. They are generally on the west side of the lake around the Denver area. In fact one of the roads is called Campground Rd. Unfortunately the one park I know about is on a very shallow cove. Hard to boat into as the depth is less than 2ft in places which most boats have issues with. During the drought a couple of years ago, this entire cove turned into a grassy field.

If you go far north on the lake, back to where it turns into a river, as you head towards I-40 there are several places that are fairly easy to get to right off the roads there. It's fairly nice there as there isn't any development. Beyond that, I believe the only other places for public access are the marinas, the boat landings, and the few municipal parks. It's a big lake though and I haven't seen all the shoreline.

One note about the Peninsula. If you are there you will notice that you will cross over a very small road called Beatties Ford Rd. This is in fact part of the same road that goes all the way back into Charlotte, but was cut off from the rest of it when they flooded the area to make Lake Norman. The name originally came from the fact is this was the road that people in Charlotte would take to cross the river back in days gone by. Originally there was a ford (river crossing) there which later became a steel truss bridge. The bridge was demo'd when they created the lake.

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You are referring to the Duke Power camp ground that used to be there. Duke Power would lease lots for campers on a 5 year basis, I believe. (maybe there were other terms too) So people would park a camper there on a permanent basis and would use it for weekends. I knew a number of people in Charlotte in the 1980s and early 90s who did this. We would go up there, boat some go back to the camper, which you could boat right up to, cook out. Great in the evenings too. And it was nice to spend the night without having to go back to Charlotte. I did see some of the cinder block buildings that you are refering to, but I thought these were showers. Maybe there was more there beyond that.

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You can swim in Lake Wylie at Ebenezer Park in Rock Hill, off Mt Galant Road...I've gone swimming off of friends boats in both lakes also as well as in Lake Wateree further south in SC, and have had no problems w/ any of them...of course, you do smell like lake water when done and so definitely need to shower off...and I do prefer swimming in the ocean, but it would be nice to have more places to swim from shore on our lake, since not that many people have access to boats.

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Nationally, the water that we drink in the tap has gone through a human body an average of eight times. Of course it is purified over and over again. Personally, I drink bottled spring water. Beer is even safer in my humble opinion.

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