Discover and explore some absolutely gorgeous lakes near Asheville in the North Carolina mountains. Soak in the views all year round, and enjoy many water activities in the summer.
Lake Lure (photo at top) has been the movie location for Dirty Dancing and other films. Surrounded by the cliffs of the Hickory Nut Gorge, the lake features a sandy beach, lakeside greenway and boat tours. Don't miss walking across the Flowering Bridge with a garden covering a former highway bridge. And see the view of the lake from atop Chimney Rock nearby. Located 26 miles southeast of Asheville. Read more about Lake Lure.
Fontana Lake is the largest in the mountains with 231 miles of shoreline. Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, you can drive or walk the Appalachian Trail across the dam for a unique perspective (featured in the movie A Walk in the Woods). And stop at the visitor center to see how the tallest dam in the eastern USA was built. Enjoy views from overlooks along NC Highway 28 or from the train on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad from Bryson City. Located 75 mile west of Asheville. Read more.
Lake Glenville is pristine reservoir near Cashiers and sits at the highest elevation of any lake east of the Mississippi. It offers plenty of things to do, including tubing, skiing, paddle boarding, knee boarding, swimming and fishing. Signal Ridge Marina (located on NC Highway 107) rents a variety of Bennington pontoons and tritoons for you to explore the lake complete with several waterfalls. Or enjoy a small public beach across from the High Falls parking area. Located 68 miles southwest of Asheville. Read more.
Lake James State Park gives you access to this beautiful lake near Linville Gorge. Find a sandy beach, hiking trails, camping, fishing and mountain bike trails. New this year is boat-in camping! Rent a canoe or kayak at the park or bring your boat to nearby marinas. Located 47 miles east of Asheville. Read more.
Lake Santeetlah in the far western part of North Carolina is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest on 80% of its 76-mile shoreline. Located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, find plenty of fishing and water activities - including a lakeside campground and beach. Read more.
Lake Junaluska is a small 200-acre lake, but it's big on beauty and amenities including a 2.6-mile trail around the lake and lakefront hotels and cabins. Located near Maggie Valley and Waynesville, the retreat center there welcomes visitors to see the gardens, take a boat tour, hike their trails or play a round of golf. Located 28 miles west of Asheville. Read more.
Lake Toxaway is the largest private lake in North Carolina and has 14 miles of scenic shoreline with many million dollar homes. Since there are no public access points, the best way to enjoy this pristine lake at 3,000 feet elevation is staying at the Greystone Inn with plenty of water related resort amenities and lake cruise. Surrounded by Pisgah National Forest, it’s located along US Highway 64 between Brevard and Cashiers. Read about staying at Greystone Inn.