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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 05-17-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Still planning our vacation in the Asheville and surrounding areas in early September (weekend after Labor Day). There seems to be so many wonderful things to see/do, I am overwhelmed!

If you could reccommend one lake (within a 2 hr or so drive of Asheville) for leisurely/peaceful canoeing and swimming, with beautiful scenery and CLEAR/CLEAN water, what lake would it be?

Thank you so much!
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:08 AM
 
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Default The best lake

Watauga Lake in east Tenn. is all that you're looking for.We rent a cabin/house there annually.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:54 AM
 
Location: "The Gorge"
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Check out Lake Lure. It is about 45 minutes from downtown Asheville. The only public access for swimming is via The Beach. They usually close Labor Day weekend though. Canoe rentals are available at the Marina adjacent to the beach..
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Hanging by a rope of mediocrity
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Lake James in Marion
N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation: - Welcome to Lake James State Park

Lake Norman near Charlotte (may be a little too far though)
Visit Lake Norman's Homepage

Lake Chatuge (still may be too far but is really great)
Lake Chatuge


And as the previous poster mentioned - Lake Lure
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudgie68 View Post
Still planning our vacation in the Asheville and surrounding areas in early September (weekend after Labor Day). There seems to be so many wonderful things to see/do, I am overwhelmed!

If you could reccommend one lake (within a 2 hr or so drive of Asheville) for leisurely/peaceful canoeing and swimming, with beautiful scenery and CLEAR/CLEAN water, what lake would it be?

Thank you so much!
Hands down your number 1 choice should be Lake James near Morganton. It is only about 45 minutes from Asheville, is great for canoeing and has very clear water for swimming at its state park beach.

Lake James is absolutely my favorite lake in NC

http://share.triangle.com/sites/share-uda.triangle.com/files/images/Lake%20James%20-%206.preview.jpg (broken link)
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Thank you so much everyone. I love that I have more than one option! I am so excited!
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
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The mountains surrounding Lake Lure are beautiful. The town of Lake Lure has more to offer in the way of restaurants.
For canoeing I would think Watauga would be the winner. For boating Lake James would be my first choice but it is out there by itself.
If you want to find a nice "swimming hole" go up Brown Mountain Beach Road besides Wilson Creek.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Asheville
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All the lakes will be too cool to swim in, altho as mentioned Lake Lure does have a beach when it's in-season to swim. Therefore, you could just go to Lake Julian right here in Asheville, on the south side of town, and do some paddle boating, feed the ducks, picnic. You cannot swim there, ever, tho, becuz the water is used to cool the energy plant on the lake. But the access road is Long Shoals Road, and there are so many trees and views, since the plant off to the side, that you don't pay much attention to it.

Another lake right in town, just north of downtown, is Beaver Lake, you just go north on Merrimon Avenue a mile or two or three, and it's on the left. You can boat there, canoe or rowboat, there's ducks, and a walk around most of the lake with dogs, AND there's a little nature boardwalk just before you get there, a place to pull over, very pleasant. Homes are all around the lake, so it's not as woodsy as Lake Julian, nor as large, but it's convenient. Both those lakes are public and within the Asheville City Limits.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Hanging by a rope of mediocrity
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There's also another lake just about an hour south of Asheville called Lake William C. Bowen
Spartanburg Water - Lake Bowen (http://www.sws-sssd.org/lakes/bowen-details.html - broken link)

I've driven over it several times on my way to/from Spartanburn area and it always seemed really nice.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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Default Lake Lure beach open

I was just having breakfast at Lake Lure this past Saturday, and the sign said the beach would open on weekends beginning that day. I don't know how warm it is, but it must be warm enough for some if they're staffing the beach. That turned out to be a very hot day, in the high 80s.
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