ATTENTION: The parking lot at Seven Oaks Preserve Trail is temporarily closed due to a downed tree. The trail is still accessible via Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

Catawba River Blueway - Lake Norman Section

31-mile stretch along the Catawba River starting at the north terminus of Lake Norman. This section brings you past Lake Norman State Park and Latta Plantation Preserve.
Trail Uses
Paddling
Locations
Catawba (NC), Catawba Springs (NC), Cornelius (NC), Davidson (NC), Denver (NC), Huntersville (NC), Mooresville (NC), Troutman (NC)
Length
31.1 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Moderate
Motorized Vehicles
Unknown
Fees
No
Pets
Unknown
Parking Spaces
varies
Restrooms
Unknown
Hours
Dawn - Dusk

Description

If you wish to paddle the other sections of the Catawba River Blueway (see "View Connector Trails") you will need car because there are no portage trails.

Lake Norman is home to the towns of Davidson, Denver, Cornelius, Huntersville and Mooresville. Located only 15 miles from uptown Charlotte, Lake Norman provides an escape from the city and connection to nature. Created in 1963 by Duke Energy, Lake Norman is 34 miles long and offers numerous attractions to explore. 

"Lake Norman is an "inland sea" with 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 32,475 acres. Named after former Duke Power president Norman Cocke, Lake Norman is nearly as large as the other ten lakes on the Catawba combined. Full pond elevation at Lake Norman is 760 feet. The water of Lake Norman is used in two ways to provide electricity to the Piedmont Carolinas. It is used to power the generators at Cowans Ford Hydroelectric Station and by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives the turbines. This steam is condensed back to water so it can be pumped back through the plants and used again. The lake provides a dependable supply of water to Lincoln County, Davidson, Mooresville, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Huntersville, North Carolina.

Duke Energy partnered with the state in the establishment of the Lake Norman State Park. In addition, Duke Energy has built two bank fishing areas and eight public boating access areas along the shoreline. One site is leased to Mecklenburg County and one to Iredell County." - Duke Energy - Lake Norman

Other Information

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT EVEN THE EASIEST SECTIONS OF THE RIVER CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS DURING PERIODS OF HIGH WATER FLOW. 

It is strongly recommended that you check the release schedule for the dam above the section that you are paddling before starting the trip because water levels can increase quickly on the Catawba. Information about scheduled releases and the impact on downstream flow on the Lake Norman section of the Catawba River is available on the Duke Energy website or by calling 800-829-5253.  

Available Paddling Services:

Cannon Water Adventures

(980) 222-4470

Trail Manager

Duke Energy manages the following boat launches:

  • Long Island Access Area
  • Stumpy Creek Access Area 
  • Pinnacle Access Area
  • McCray Access Area
  • Hagers Access Area
  • Little Creek Access Area
  • Beatty's Ford Access Area

Lake Norman State Park manages Lake Norman State Park access.

Ramsey Creek Park  and Blythe Landing are managed by Mecklenburg County-North Region Park and recreation

Mecklenburg County-North Park Region
North Park Region Office
6301 Beatties Ford Road
Charlotte, NC 28216
980-314-1001
NorthParkRegion@mecklenburgcountync.gov
View website
Duke Energy
800-829-5253 or 800-829-LAKE
View website
Lake Norman State Park
759 State Park Road
Troutman, NC 28166
704-528-6350
lake.norman@ncparks.gov
View website

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Trail Tips

Conscious Crossing
Make eye contact with oncoming drivers before crossing a street, even at a crosswalk. Use crossing signals when available.
Legend
Hide All
View Connector Trails
Catawba River Blueway - Lake Wylie Dam to Landsford Canal State Park
Catawba River Blueway - Lake Wylie Section
Catawba River Blueway - Mountain Island Lake Section

Trailhead Information

The Lake Norman section of the Catawba River has a number of boat launches located along this corridor. The north most put-in is located at the Long Island Access Area in Catawba, NC.

Launch 1: Long Island Access 

Address - 8400 Long Island Road, Catawba, NC 28609 MAP

 

Launch 2: Lake Norman State Park Access (Approximately 5.5 miles from Long Island Access)

Address - 759 State Park Road, Troutman, NC 28166 MAP

*Please note: You can not see this access from the water.

 

Launch 3: Stumpy Creek Access (Approximately 5.5 miles from Lake Norman State Park, 6.5 miles from Long Island Access)

Address - State Rd 1301, Mooresville, NC 28117 MAP

 

Launch 4: Pinnacle Access (Approximately 2.5 miles from Stumpy Creek Access)

Address - 1580 River Highway, Mooresville, NC 28117 MAP

 

Launch 5: McCrary Access (Approximately 1 mile from Pinnacle Access)

Address - 1459 River Highway, Mooresville, NC 28117 MAP

 

Launch 6: Hagers Creek Access (Approximately 3.5 miles from McCrary Access)

Address - 788 State Road 1115, Mooresville, NC 28117 MAP

 

Launch 7: Little Creek Access (Approximately 2.5 miles from Hagers Creek Access)

Address - 4906 Burton Lane, Denver, NC 28037 MAP

 

Launch 8: Beattys Ford Access  (Approximately 6.5 miles from Little Creek Access)

Address - 8335 Seipel Dr, Denver, NC 28037 MAP

 

Launch 9: Ramsey Creek Access (Approximately 5.5 miles from Beattys Ford Access)

Address - 18441 Nantz Road, Cornelius, NC 28078 MAP

 

Launch 10: Blythe Landing Access (Approximately 2 miles from Ramsey Creek Access)

Address - 15901 NC Highway 73, Huntersville, NC 28078 MAP

Click on an icon to get custom directions
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