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 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, beach and park.
Things To Do at Lake Lure
The Beach: While the wide sandy 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 well-maintained 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 Flowering Bridge: See the bounty of blooms covering the historic 1925 Rocky Broad River bridge in Lake Lure. After the bridge was closed to traffic in 2011, volunteers came together to create gardens atop and on both sides of the bridge. A must see! See our Lake Lure Flowering Bridge Guide.
Town Center Walkway: From the Flowering Bridge, walk the Town Center Walkway along the lake for spectacular mountains views, extending 3/4 of a mile by Morse Park, the Marina and the beach.
Morse Park & Greenway: Enjoy spectacular vistas of the Hickory Nut Gorge with a picnic or stroll at this 23-acre community lakeside park. Get lots of great information at the Rutherford County Visitors Center there.
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. Tour tickets are sold at the Marina.
Mountain Biking (and hiking): 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. 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.
Lake Lure Golf Club: This nine-hole public course offers 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.
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 fun for children as well as adults. Open Wednesday-Sunday. 2414 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure.
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.
See more cool North Carolina mountain small towns.
Lake Lure Cabin Rentals, Timeshares & Attractions
Lake Lure Festivals
May 28-30, 2016: 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 19-20, 2016: 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 12-14, 2016: 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 15-16, 2016: 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.
January 1: Lake Lure Polar Plunge
Take a chilly dip in the lake on New Year's Day! See our Polar Plunge Guide.
Also see nearby Chimney Rock Park Events.
Lake Lure Brief History: 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.