If you are looking for a large lake with lots of boating and fishing activities, in North Carolina, look no further than Lake Norman. Lake Norman is just one of the amenities of the larger state park, Lake Norman State Park.

Lake Norman is the largest man-made Lake in North Carolina. There are many reasons that the residents of North Carolina enjoy Lake Norman, including mountain biking, boating, fishing, and even swimming.

If you are reading this you love the water as much as we do, although an excellent mountain bike or hike is great from time to time, let’s face it you are here for the water. Here is all the information you need about boating, fishing, and swimming at Lake Norman state park.


The primary season for swimming at Lake Norman State Park is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Although this is considered to be the summer and the prime time, the park is open for swimming year-round. Although there are times throughout the year that most people wouldn’t even want to dip a toe in.

The swimming area at Lake Norman is free to swim unless a lifeguard is on duty. If the lifeguard is there, you will essentially have to pay for their services. For children under 12, this is going to be $4.00 a day, and for anyone 13 and over, it is $6.00 per day.

The lifeguards are on duty from 10-5:30 pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day only.

Overall the swimming area is quite nice. It is a protected spot, and there are 125 yards of access to the water. You must stay within the designated area for your safety. Make sure you leave the pets at home as they are not going to be allowed to join you for a swim.

You can bring a cooler with you when you head down to the beach area of Lake Norman state park but just don’t bring any glass or metal cans. Overall if you obey the lifeguard, swim in the designated areas, this is an excellent spot for a summer cool off.

Amenities at Lake Norman State Park

  • Large man-made lade
  • 30.5 miles of mountain biking trails
  • 125-yard long swim beach
  • Bathhouse complex
  • Boat ramp
  • Fishing spots
  • Campground – with 32 sites
  • Community building-available for rent
  • Visitor center
  • Child-friendly Dragonfly Trail
  • Canoe and Pedalboat Rental


Lake Norman is large enough to accommodate several marinas and boat ramps. Lake Norman State Park has its own boat ramp, and it is free of charge. The marinas located within the Lake have boat slips available for longer-term storage options.

When you have your boat out on Lake Norman, you can certainly just cruise around, but there is quite a bit more to do. The Lake is a perfect spot for water sports like water skiing, wake-boarding, and rowing.

There is lots of fishing that goes on out at Lake Norman State Park. Catch and release is encouraged while fishing, but you certainly will have time to snap a picture with your prize catch.

If you don’t have your own boat, you should get one. Just kidding.

If you don’t have your own boat, there are boat rentals available at several areas around Lake Norman. At Lake Norman State Park, you can rent canoes and pedal boats for a very minimal fee. Rentals are usually available in the summer season.

When you take your boat out on Lake Norman, you will have lots of stops where you can fill up for gas or even have your boat repaired should you need to. Another great thing about Lake Norman is the restaurants accessible by boat.

You will have your choice of outdoor restaurants that you can easily take the boat too. There is certainly no shortage of activities when taking your boat out on Lake Norman.


Lake Norman is known for some great fishing opportunities. You can fish in the Lake all year long (make sure you have a fishing license). Certain times of the year, the fish will bit a little more than others.

Fishermen tend to have good luck in the early spring and summer.

The most common fish caught out at Lake Norman are bluegill, perch, catfish, crappie, and largemouth and spotted bass. The catfish seem to be quite popular.

Each year Lake Norman hosts several fishing tournaments. Some of them are national fishing events that bring in some larger crowds. Always make sure that if you are fishing Lake Norman, you are following the North Carolina Department of Resources regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

If we have sparked your interest in Lake Norman State Park and all that it has to offer, you may have a few additional questions. Here are the most common inquiries that we have come across.

What Are The Lake Levels Of Lake Norman?

If you need to check on the lake levels before heading out to Lake Norman, you can take a look at the Duke Energy Website. When dealing with drought conditions, there could be restrictions in certain areas. If you have a trip planned, it’s a good idea to check the levels before you head out.

Can you swim at Lake Norman State Park?

Absolutely. There is a 125 Yard swimming beach at Lake Norman State Park. The beach is open all year and only costs money to swim when there is a lifeguard on duty. If you stay within the ropes and don’t do anything to annoy the lifeguard, this is an excellent spot for a summer cool off with the family.

Where can you swim in Lake Norman Lake Norman State Park?

There are two areas that you can swim off the shore of Lake Norman. The first is the Lake Norman State Park, and the second is Ramsey Creek Park.

What is the deepest part of Lake Norman?

Lake Norman is the largest man-made Lake in North Carolina. The average depth of Lake Norman is 33.5 feet, but the maximum depth is 112 feet. The Lake was built between 1959 and 1964, and it was formerly called Duke Energy Park.

Can You Eat The Fish You Catch In Lake Norman?

The fish in Lake Norman have been tested throughout the years. Most of the time, the test results show that the fish are safe to eat. This is really up to you and how comfortable you feel consuming the fish in Lake Norman. It is encouraged that you catch and release the fish.


Lake Norman State Park is a great place to spend the day fishing and boating. There are many attractions along the Lake that make this a very popular destination. If you are going to be anywhere near the Charlotte area, Lake Norman state park is a stop that you need to add to your list.