Lake Norman Boat Tour

Today I’m taking you on a video tour of Lake Norman so you can see all that this lake has to offer for its residents.

What’s it like to be on Lake Norman?

I could tell you about it but why don’t I show you instead?

Follow along with me in the video above as I take you on a full lake tour and check out some of the notable harbors, coves, and restaurants.

Highlights of this tour include stops at:

  • Hello, Sailor. This is a new waterfront restaurant in Cornelius that’s currently under construction. The concept is a modern, upscale fish camp with a chef-driven menu and a Palm Springs feel.
  • The North Harbor Club. This is another waterfront restaurant that’s boat accessible. It has both a patio and an inside eatery.
  • The Lake Norman Cottage. Located right next door to the North Harbor Club, this is a wine shop that also features a retail shop.
  • The Davidson Landing. This area features many of the lake’s condominiums, and each complex has its own name.
  • The Trump National Golf Course and Clubhouse. This 18-hole golf course was designed by Greg Norman. You can join via a golf membership, social membership, or sports membership.
  • Cocktail Cove. This cove is a place where boats like to anchor up so their passengers can enjoy a beverage or two.
  • The Peninsula Yacht Club. Located inside the peninsula, which is a waterfront golf course community in Cornelius, you can join this club as a social member or a yacht member. Both memberships provide access to the dining rooms and the pool. The yacht club membership allows you to rent a boat slip.
  • The home of Nascar’s Denny Hamlin. This home is 30,000 square feet and features a full-size indoor basketball court, a two-lane bowling alley, an Imax movie theater, a helicopter pad, two piers, and a swimming pool.

If you have any more questions or need any more information about any of these places or the geography of Lake Norman, just give us a call.

If you’re thinking about buying a place on Lake Norman, we’d love to take you out on the water and show you around.
Lake Norman Boat Tour
Living on Lake Norman is a lifestyle, and there are plenty of ways to access the lake without being waterfront. There are condos and homes that have deeded boat slips, and if you have your own boat, many neighborhoods offer boat storage, and there are plenty of marinas that offer both dry storage and wet storage. If you’re not ready to buy a boat or you’re not sure which boat you should buy, you can always get started with a boat club membership.

Well, hopefully this gives you a good feel of Lake Norman If you any questions, please reach out. We are here to help. Looking for a waterfront home? Check out these lake norman waterfront homes for sale.

Lakes all around the country are handled differently in regards to maintaining lake levels. Lake Norman as well as Lake Wylie have dams operated by Duke Energy that control the water levels in these lakes.

The lake has target levels as well as minimum and maximum levels that Duke maintains. You can go to Duke Energy’s Lake Service website to get the current lake level and the target levels. We created a shortcut that will take you directly to the page you need, just go to Let’s take a look at that page.

You can see that the current level today is 96.4 ft. You can also call 800-829-LAKE to get this level by phone. This measurement is based on a full pond reading of 100’. As you can see this is right around the target level that Duke has set. If we look at the 13 month history, you can see the variation throughout the year.

Lake Norman Lake LevelsThe black line is the max level at full pond. The blue line is the minimum and the green line is the target. The light blue line is the actual lake levels throughout the year. You can see that there were variations but the actual lake levels hoovered around the target level. So while there are changes in the lake’s levels, they are not nearly as drastic as you will find on many lakes. You can also see that the target level is the highest between April and September which corresponds with the peak periods of recreational activity.

Lake Norman Facts:

  • Year Built: 1959-1964
  • Area: 32,510 acres at full pond
  • Length: 33.6 miles
  • Width: 9 miles
  • Shore Line length: 520 miles
  • Maximum Depth: 110 feet
  • Average Depth: 33.5 feet
  • Capacity: 3.4 trillion gallons of water
  • Volume: 1,093,600 acre-feet

Referencing these tables is also beneficial when you’re out looking at waterfront properties. You want to make sure that your dock has good water depth especially where you are going to be pulling your boat in and out. So if you are out on a dock on February 1st and you have good water when the target level is 94’ and the actual water level is 96’ then you will have a feel for what the water depth will be like on May 1st when the target level is 98’ and actual water level this past year was 98.9’. You can also use the minimum target levels to get a gauge of what the water levels would be at the extremes.

If we scroll down you will also see this statement; “Normal Full Pond Elevation = 100ft = 760.0 ft..” I wanted to take a second and explain the 760 line which is what the 100ft number we mentioned earlier is based on. Let’s jump over to a topo map of Lake Norman that shows the elevation contour lines. When we zoom in you will see the elevation numbers. The 760 lines runs roughly along the shoreline. The 760 elevation line is where Lake Norman is at full pond. It also demarks where Duke Energy’s oversight starts on stops. Any activities that would require permitting or approval at the 760 or below would go through Duke. Above the 760 line, oversight would depend on if the activities were in the buffer zone as well as the specific county and neighborhood guidelines.

Well, I hope this article gave you some good background info into Lake Levels on Lake Norman. If you any questions, please reach out. We are here to help. Looking for a waterfront home? Check out these lake norman waterfront homes for sale.

Lake Norman MarinasAs the largest man-made body of water in North Carolina, Lake Norman is often referred to as “the inland sea.” At 34 miles long and 8 miles wide at its widest point, the lake covers nearly 50 square miles and provides over 520 miles of shoreline to explore.

Obviously, with that much available to explore, lake enthusiasts have long known the best way to get to know Lake Norman is to get out on the water. Boating is extremely popular all around the lake, and the demand for adequate boat storage, docking, and launch access has resulted in a large number of public and private marinas that have sprung up in seemingly every community that includes waterfront.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of Lake Norman Marinas and some of the less formal boat launches available, along with a few details about location, usage, and whether or not fees are required. For ease of organization, we’ve listed the marinas in order of their position on the lake, starting in Statesville at the northern tip and proceeding clockwise around the lake, ending in the Long Island/Catawba area of eastern Catawba County. (See the map to follow along.) We encourage you to visit the individual marina websites for further details.

The northeast section of Lake Norman

This section includes southwestern Statesville, Troutman, and most of the city of Mooresville. The northeastern section of Lake Norman’s shoreline includes a diverse geography and equally diverse collection of communities, parks, green spaces, and scenic drives.

This area also includes several beautiful residential waterfront communities, including The Point, Falls Cove, Bay Crossing, Beacon Pointe, Bells Crossing and Windemere.

Lake Norman State Park in Troutman

Although not technically a marina, the Lake Norman State Park offers public access to boat launches as well as kayak and paddleboat rentals alongside public swimming and picnicking areas, hiking and cycling trails, rentable pavilions, and a snack shop.

Skipper’s Landing Marina on Lake Norman in Troutman

Skipper’s Landing is one of several Lake Norman marinas operated by Morningstar Marinas. The facility houses 415 dry slips and 7 wet slips for short- and long-term storage. In addition, the facility offers boat rentals, washing/waxing/detailing, full winterization/dewinterization, and a fully stocked Ship’s Store for all your boating essentials. A complimentary shuttle service is provided to minimize your launching/loading time and maximize your time on the water.

River City Marina in Mooresville

The River City Marina offers all the basics the experienced boat owner wants and needs: boat launches and docks, parking, gas, and a pumpout station. Plus, the facility includes a well-stocked grocery store and it’s right next door to the Beach House LKN restaurant if you want dinner and drinks before you head home for the night.

Inland Sea Marina in Mooresville

The Inland Sea Marina contains 100 slips for mooring and storage with rentals/leases available on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. For when you’re using your boat, they also offer gas, snacks and drinks, dockside water, electric, and cable, bathhouses with hot showers, and a fully-stocked ship’s store carrying all the essentials for a fun day on the lake.

Stutts Marina on Lake Norman in Mooresville

The Stutts Marina is a small marina specializing in partially covered births built to accommodate 50’ to 80’ boats. A gas dock is also available, along with a grocery store, public boat launch, and paddleboard rentals.

The southeast section of Lake Norman

Including the southern end of Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius and the growing city of Huntersville, the southeast end of the lake has become the go-to spot for trendy, upscale lake living that’s conveniently close to Charlotte and elsewhere for work.

Several gorgeous waterfront communities offer unparalleled residential options, including The Peninsula, Flagship, Captain’s Point, Patrick’s Purchase, Sisters Cove, Sterling Pointe, Stinson Cove, and Bluff Point Road.

All Seasons Marina on Lake Norman in Mooresville

All Seasons Marina offers 220 slips for docking or storage, and it’s open year round. Facilities include Lake Norman’s only 25-ton lift, electricity, water, and showers, repair facilities, drinks and snacks, and the Ship Store, where you’ll find everything you need to get your boat clean and safety ready for a fun day on Lake Norman.

Holiday Marina on Lake Norman in Cornelius

The Holiday Marina is a full service boating maintenance and storage facility with 593 slips and storage from jet skis to yachts, repair facilities, boat ramp, electricity, water/ice, shower, and The Rusty Rudder restaurant, if you need to kick back with a good meal after a day on the water. A large, fully enclosed dry storage facility is also available if you’d like to keep your boat closer to the lake over the winter.

Kings Point Marina on Lake Norman in Cornelius

Kings Point Marina offers boat rentals along with full service storage and 793 available slip options. Pontoons and deck boats are available to rent. The property also includes repair facilities, electricity, water/ice, shower, phone, a clubhouse that’s perfect for formal events, and outdoor picnicking and cookout areas for a more casual get together.

Blythe Landing in Cornelius

Blythe Landing is a small park and public access boat launch managed by the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department (fees apply based on residence status.) There are six boat launch sites within the 26-acre park, along with floating piers, a playground, picnic areas, sand volleyball courts, and the Dockside Café where you can grab a snack and drink.

Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius

The Ramsey Creek Park is a public waterfront park managed by Mecklenburg County. It covers 46 acres and features a public swimming access area, boat launching and docks, a new playground, picnic shelters, nature trails, and a fishing pier. Shelters are available for rent for picnics and casual events along the shores of Lake Norman. Several walking trails offer a great place to walk and admire nature at its finest.

Peninsula Yacht Club in Cornelius

The Peninsula Yacht Club offers all you’d expect from an upscale Lake Norman marina, with a special leaning toward larger vessels. You’ll find 410 slips/storages, diesel, pump out repair, boat ramp, electricity, water/ice, shower, phone, restaurant, and store. Since it is a private members-only marina, the Yacht Club offers several different membership options that each provide different levels of service and amenities.

Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve in Huntersville

The Latta Plantation Nature Center and Preserve offers something for everyone – the historic Latta Plantation itself, where early American life is recreated, a Nature Center, full-service Equestrian Center, 18 miles of hiking trails and horseback riding, picnic area with shelter overlooks, fishing and kayak tours and boat launch area. From the small boat launch, you can paddle out to Mountain Island Lake where you’ll find plenty of great fishing spots.

The southwest section of Lake Norman

Moving over to the “quieter side of the lake” on the western shores, you’ll find the large town of Denver along with numerous small hamlets and waterfront communities.

Along with a number of public and private marinas and boat launches, the following waterfront communities hug the lake in this region: Norman Estates, Cowan’s Ford, Governor’s Island, Pebble Bay, Sailview, Cove Key, Harbor Oaks, West Bay, and Webbs Chapel Cove.

Westport Marina on Lake Norman in Denver

Westport Marina of Denver is one of the largest marinas on the lake, with over 600 wet and dry berths, indoor storage facilities, Lake Norman’s only full-service diesel engine shop, free pick-up and drop-off service, gas, and a well-appointed ship’s store. In addition, Westport Marina offers boat rentals, new and used boat sales, and storage for jet skis as well.

The northwest section of Lake Norman

In the northwest shoreline area, the primary communities are Sherrills Ford, Terrell and Long Island (part of the village of Catawba.) Although upscale golfing communities and other exciting recreational activities abound here too, this area caters as much to the average recreational boater and day tripper as to the life long Lake Norman resident.

The full-time lakeside resident hasn’t been forgotten, however, with incredible lake views afforded from all of these waterfront communities: Mirror Lake, Northview Harbor, and Pearl Springs Estates.

The Lake Norman Marina on Lake Norman in Sherrills Ford

The Lake Norman Marina in Sherrills Ford has been in family owned and operated since it opened in 1974. Along with selling Cobalt boats and Bennington pontoons, the marina offers service, storage, and rentals. It’s also the home of the Lake Norman Boat Club. If you’re in the market for a new boat, you can View over 40 new and used boats in the Carolina’s largest indoor waterfront showroom.

Mountain Creek Marina on Lake Norman in Sherrills Ford

Mountain Creek Marina is a small marina catering to brief stops for gas, groceries, and other essentials during a day on the water. The Aquaventure Watercraft Rentals location is the real star of the show, offering some of the best boat rental selection on Lake Norman, and access to a valuable membership plan that can put boat ownership within reach of most.

The Midway Marina on Lake Norman in Terrell

The Midway Marina in Terrell offers 200 slips for temporary or long-term storage, repair facilities, boat ramp, electricity, water/ice, phone, grocery, restaurant, and store. And if you don’t own a boat, that’s not a problem. Lake Effects Marine boat rentals has you covered.

Long Island Marina on Lake Norman in Catawba

Although the Long Island Marina has day-use and storage slips available, their real claim to fame is a huge selection of new and used boats for sale and a comprehensive suite of services available, from repair to keel painting, and everything in-between.

As you can see, Lake Norman is a true boater’s paradise. And it’s not just a great place to play. It’s also a great place to live. If you’re considering owning a home near Lake Norman, we can help. Contact Lake Realty today.

What is Considered Deep Water on Lake Norman?

When looking at Lake Norman Waterfront homes for sale, potential buyers often ask ‘what is considered deep water on Lake Norman?‘ While there is not an official number, if you have at least 10 feet of water at full pond where your boat will dock we consider that deep water.  Here’s the thinking behind that number.

During the primary recreational season, mid-March to October, Duke Energy has a target level of 96 ft. to 98 ft.  (Lake level is based on full pond reading of 100 ft.  Watch this video for a detailed explanation of Lake Norman Lake Levels).  So, if you have 10 ft’ of water at full pond this would correspond to a depth of 6 to 8 feet when the lake level varies between 96 ft to 98 ft.  This provides plenty of depth for most boats to get in and out.  I will note that over the last 3 years the actual level has ranged from 97 ft. to 100 ft during the primary recreational season.

If you plan to leave your boat in the water year around without using a lift, you will want to be cognizant of the lake level during winter months when the lake is lower.  (If you want to know more info about the lower extreme levels, check Lowest Lake Norman Lake Levels.)

Slide on Lake Norman

How You Use Your Dock Matters

Do you like to float and swim around your dock?  Lots of people primarily use their docks for hanging out and boating in & out.  Others like to float (with or without cocktails), swim or use sliding boards on their docks.  In this case, a foot or two can make a big difference.   For example, at a depth of 5 feet you can stand up and may bottom out when landing the classic cannon ball off your dock.  But just two feet more at a depth of 7′, you can swim without touching the bottom.

There can also be a big difference from the front of your dock to the end of your dock.  Docks will average around 30 ft in length and depending on the slope of the lake bed the depth can change quickly.  Along those same lines you may only have to go out a few extra feet from your dock to be in deeper water.

Because the lake was flooded, the lake bed follows the typography of the land below.  As result the level can change drastically.  I’ve been on parts of the lake that drop 80 feet in a very short distance.  The typography of the lake bed is why you may notice ‘Shoal’ (i.e. shallow) signs out in the middle of the main channel.   How deep is Lake Norman?  The answer varies slightly depending on the source but the stats range from between 110 to 130 ft at Lake Norman’s deepest point.

There are lots of variables to consider when buying a Lake Norman home.  Each property is unique and has its own characteristics when it comes to the house, location, dock and the water.    The houses will vary by size, style, age and layout.  The location on the lake will offer different amenities and feel.  The docks can be covered or uncovered, with or without a lift and old or new.  The water choices will include big view vs small view, cove view vs main channel view, depth of the water and the existing dock set up.   Hopefully, this article helped you further understand the term ‘deep water’ on Lake Norman.

Search Lake Norman Waterfront Homes

If you are thinking about buying a Lake Norman waterfront or listing a Lake Norman waterfront home, you may be wondering, ‘how low does the lake level get?’

You would think this would be easy information to find.  You can easily access the 13 month history on Duke Energy’s website but it does not provide data beyond that.   After googling and searching through old news articles without a definitive answer, I reached out to Duke Energy’s Hydro Operations to get the answers.

So what is the lowest lake level on record for Lake Norman?  Drum roll please…….

Drum Roll


The lowest level on record for Lake Norman was 93.1 ft. in 2007. 

I want to point out that the lake level is based on a reading of a 100 ft at full pond which corresponds to the 760 typographical line.   Think of it this way, at 93.1 ft the lake was 6.9 feet lower then when it is full.   We created a video that further explains the Lake Norman lake level and the 760 line.

The chart below displays the lake levels from January 2008 to October 2019.  The blue lines are the actual levels and the red lines are the target levels.  Notice that it only dipped below 95’ in 2 of the last 12 years.  The lowest reading for those 2 years, October 2014 and January 2016, were during the second driest period on record when they bottomed out below 94’.  It’s important to note that lowest reading for each year are typically during the winter months when the target levels set by Duke Energy are lower. 

Lake Norman Lake Level History


Lake Norman Water Level History

For many, what’s most important is the lake levels during the recreational months.  From mid-March to October the target lake levels are from 96 ft to 98 ft.  I’ve added another chart below that marks the lake level during July. See the green lines.  Notice that in the last 12 summers the lake level has only gone below 98 ft during July during one year.  That year was 2014 during the dry period noted above.

I also found it interesting that the variation in the lake levels was a lot less over the last three years indicated by the tighter grouping of the blue line.  During this time period, the lake level was mostly above the target level set by Duke Energy.  This makes sense when you note that 2018 was the 5th wettest year on record and the Jan to Feb of 2019 was the 9th wettest Jan to Feb on record.

Lake Norman Lake Levels Boating Season


You do see a sharp drop in the lake level in October of 2019 which is unusual considering that Lake Norman experienced the 9th wettest Jan to Feb on record.  Personally, I think there were a few events that contributed to this level.  In June, after a tremendous amount of rain in 12 hours, the lake level reached its max level and as a result Duke Energy released a large amount of water from the damn which led to flooding on Mountain Island lake.  Then in September hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas and as it moved up the east coast there was a potential for a large amount of rainfall in our area.  The lake level was dropped in anticipation.  The rain never materialized and then we experienced abnormally dry conditions.

You may also be interested in another related article, ‘What is Considered Deep Water on Lake Norman’.


















May to October












We are collecting articles about developments in the Lake Norman Area.  If you have a suggestion, please leave comment.

Habor Community Updates:

Proposed Development adjacent to the 150 bridge across the near The Blue Parrot.

Rezoning approved for proposed harbor community at Midway Marina

Habor Community Development

The Villages at Sherrills Ford

Development around the Villages at Sherrills Ford

Hwy 150 Expansion along the northern section of Lake Norman.

The project will be split into 2 parts.  The dividing line will be  near the Marshal Steam Plant.

Click image to see the pdf version

Hwy 150 Expansion

Highway expansion causes Mooresville businesses to close, relocate

Project Overview from NC DOT

Photos and Videos from NC DOT

Thousands of homes coming to eastern Lincoln County

Thousands of homes coming to eastern Lincoln County

New Subdivisions:
Fox Chase: 47 lots
Rock Creek: 150 lots
Sylvan Creek: 198 lots
Newton Crossing: 200 lots
Melwood: 200 lots
Westport Lakeside: 275 lots
Villages of Denver: 370 lots
Mariners Points: 80 lots
Canopy Creek: 152 lots
Killian Creek: 54 lots
Creek Park: 170 lots
Essex Homes: 215 lots
Wildbrook: 150 lots
Rivercross: 460 lots
Ingleside Farm: 422 lots
Trilogy: 1,250 lots
Carrington: 302 lots
Matthews-Heathers: 20 lots

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