One of the most beautiful man-made lakes in the country, Lake Lure is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Located about 27 miles from Asheville, Lake Lure sits in the Hickory Nut Gorge, surrounded by lush mountain tops and sheer granite cliffs. Look up to see the famous Chimney Rock. From the top of Chimney Rock, there are spectacular views of the lake and gorge. It has been a filming location for scenes from the movies Thunder Road, Dirty Dancing, A Breed Apart, Forrest Gump, The Last of the Mohicans, The Passion of the Christ and Firestarter. Don't miss the Dirty Dancing Festival!
Take a relaxing walk on the boardwalk any time of the year (free) and cross the Flowering Bridge. Enjoy a picnic by the lake. Nearby is shopping and restaurants in the village of Chimney Rock. The lake is owned by the town of Lake Lure, with private homes surrounding most of the lake. Access is provided via a town marina and park. You can rent a pontoon or electric boat, canoe or kayak at the marina. Guided tours of the lake are also available in April-October.
While the beach and lake is owned by the town, a private company maintains the beach and its amenities that include a waterslide into the lake and a water park perfect for a hot summer day. There are also restrooms, changing rooms, snack bar, picnic tables and a clean sandy beach. It's open every day 10 AM-6 PM, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. 2015 admission is $8/adults, $7/seniors, $6/children 4-12. No pets allowed. The beach is along US Highway 64 / 74A. Street address is 2930 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure, NC 28746.
Lake Lure is located 27 miles from downtown Asheville. Follow I-240 East to Exit #9, Highway 74A East to Bat Cave and continue on Highway 74A (and Highway 64) to Lake Lure.
Things To Do at Lake Lure
Lake Lure Flowering Bridge: See the bounty of blooms covering the historic 1925 Rocky Broad River bridge in Lake Lure. The bridge was closed to traffic in 2011, volunteers came together to create gardens on the 155 feet of the bridge and along the 3/4-mile Town Center Walkway that continues past Morse Park and Lake Lure Beach with great views of the Gorge and Chimney Rock. See our Lake Lure Flowering Bridge Guide.
Morse Park: Enjoy beautiful vistas of the mountains of Hickory Nut Gorge and is a popular choice for an impromptu picnic, sunbathing, reading, bird watching and catching an afternoon nap in a lawn chair by the lake. This 23-acre community park in the center of town at the western end of Lake Lure. Home of the local visitor center too.
Lake Lure Tours (2930 Memorial Hwy) offers guided boat tours and boat rentals. In April-October, relax on one of their covered tour boats while your skipper guides you past local attractions and landmarks such as the locations used in filming the popular Dirty Dancing. Listen to the legends, and learn about the natural and cultural history of Hickory Nut Gorge. Tour tickets are sold at the Marina. Tickets for the hourly tour are sold on a first come first serve basis the day of the tour. No pets allowed on tours. They must have at least 6 passengers to conduct any tour. Also check out their lunch and dinner cruises.
Mountain Biking (and hiking): New for 2015! Buffalo Creek Park is the gateway to 1,500 acres of conserved land that protects the northern headwaters of Lake Lure. When fully developed, it will offer over 10 miles of intermediate to advanced mountain biking trails and picnic facilities along Buffalo Creek. The trail system is accessible from two trail heads, a public one at Buffalo Creek Road and a second trail head inside Rumbling Bald Resort for their residents and guests. The two trailheads are connected by 1/3 mile of smooth, flat pathway and a bridge over Buffalo Creek (pic on right). The current mountain trail snakes upward in a 3.5-mile loop that climbs approximately 500 feet through forest terrain and boulder fields. An additional one mile trail is open for two miles out and back. In the next phase, the trail will head west for an additional 5-7 miles to connect with state park property at Eagle Rock near Shumont Mountain. This will be the first leg of the Lake Lure Summits Trail, which will eventually circumnavigate mountain peaks around Lake Lure and connect the area’s recreational lands, offering day hiking and through-hiking opportunities. It's dog friendly.
Directions: From Asheville, drive the curvy road around Lake Lure on U.S. Highway 64/74A about a mile past the dam to Bill's Creek Road. Turn left and go about 2 miles and turn left on Buffalo Creek Road. Follow this road for 2.2 miles, past the golf courses and Farifield condos. Turn right at the sign for Rumbling Bald Resort, cross the small bridge and continue for 1.6 miles. The park entrance will be on your left, just past the "Rambling Bald Come Back Soon" sign.
Rumbling Bald Mountain: Now part of the Chimney Rock State Park, this is a popular spot for rock climbing, bouldering and hiking. The new 1/2 mile East Side hiking trail was constructed in 2012 by the volunteer efforts. It takes you through a hardwood forest to the popular east side boulder fields and climbing walls. Parking is limited, especially in winter months (the busiest time for climbing). The Nature Conservancy owns the property on the south face of Rumbling Bald and allows climbers age 18+ and non-profit groups to climb. Directions: As you enter Lake Lure from Chimney Rock, turn left on Boys Camp Road. Drive about 1.5 miles to a gravel road at the top of the ridge on your left. Follow this gravel road for a short distance to a parking area.
The Lake Lure Golf Club is a great nine-hole public course offering a challenging golf game amidst the beautiful scenery of Hickory Nut Gorge. The course is open year round and has a clubhouse, driving range and two putting greens. The course is located at the southeastern end of town along US64/74. From the white tees, this course is 2,738 yards for nine holes and par 35.
Canopy Ridge Farm: Soar on zip lines through the lush green forests of the Blue Ridge Foothills and gain a new perspective for a truly unique and exciting experience in nature.
Lake Lure Adventure Company: Dedicated to providing a safe, fun, exciting, and adventurous experience on Lake Lure with watersport trips, wakeboard, wakesurf, waterski, kneeboard, tube, fishing and more. Boat rentals also available.
The Right Track Toy Train Museum is an interactive toy train museum with 100% of the proceeds going to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It is a fun place for children as well as adults. Open Wednesday-Sunday. 2414 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure.
Lake Lure History: At a Glance
The idea of this resort community in western North Carolina was the vision of Dr. Lucius B. Morse. Soliciting the financial backing of his brothers, Dr. Morse purchased 400 acres around Chimney Rock in 1902 to create Chimney Rock Park. Additional acreage was acquired over the next several years to bring the total to 8,000 acres. Dr. Morse conceived the idea of building a dam on the Rocky Broad River to create a lake and a year-round resort. The dam was completed in September 1926, forming the lake which was named Lake Lure by Dr. Morse’s wife, Elizabeth Parkenson. The Town of Lake Lure was incorporated in 1927.
See more cool North Carolina mountain small towns.
Lake Lure Cabin Rentals & Timeshares
Lake Lure Events
May 23-25, 2015: Lake Lure Arts Festival
Featuring handmade creations from more than 60 artisans from across the region, visitors enjoy a sophisticated collection including painting and graphics, photography, jewelry, leather, metal, soaps and candles, wood, glass, pottery, textiles or fiber art and more. Festival admission is free. Located across from The Beach at Lake Lure, 2771 Memorial Highway.
August 14-16, 2015: Dirty Dancing Festival at Lake Lure
The Dirty Dancing Festival at Lake Lure is a dance and music festival for all ages that pays tribute to the classic American movie filmed in Lake Lure. Fans can relive their favorite "Dirty Dancing" moments with a film screening, live music, dance performances and lessons, special guests, games and more! Fans from more than 24 states and two foreign countries have attended this coveted affair. See our Dirty Dancing Festival Guide.
August 14-16, 2015: Lake Lure Olympiad
This 3-day family sports festival showcases the beautiful scenery of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. Compete in a sprint triathlon, junior Olympiad, 10K Dam run, Race to the Rock and a 2-Mile Open Water Championship. Try 3 races in 3 days! Plus, there’s plenty to do and see for families and non-athletes, including games, a beach BBQ, free water ski show and fireworks display. Go to their Web site for details.
October 17-18, 2015: Lake Lure Arts Festival
With 60+ vendors from nearly 20 disciplines, plenty of food and live music, and talent from across the region, visitors shop for fine, hand-made goods and enjoy the stunning beauty of Lake Lure all in an effort to fight hunger in the area. Festival admission is free. Located across from The Beach at Lake Lure, 2771 Memorial Highway.
December 2015: WinterFest
Join the fun as they "Light up the Gorge" with a holiday spectacular, with trolley and hay rides in Chimney Rock Village, Flowering Bridge lights, Main Street lights, Village Tree and Lake Lure Beach bonfire and s'mores.
January 1, 2016: Lake Lure Polar Plunge
Take a chilly dip in the lake! See our Polar Plunge Guide.
Also see nearby Chimney Rock Park Events.