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Lake Lookout

River Bend Park

– 1 mile of Lake Lookout shoreline and a 3/4-acre pond for fishing

– Canoe/Kayak access to the Catawba River

– sq. ft. Meeting/Educational facility

– 20 x 45 open Picnic Shelter near river

– Wildlife habitat viewing areas

– 2 acre fenced Dog Park

– 7.8 miles of mountain biking trails

– Picnic Tables

– Leashed dog walking

– A.D.A. accessible river observation platform

– Educational and Volunteer opportunities

Lake Lookout starts as a flowing river before running into the flat water of the main lake a few miles downstream. This rare aspect allows you to enjoy the lake for its swimming, skiing, and power boating while also enjoying the flowing river for its canoeing, fishing, and hiking.


Canoeing the lake is simple.

Put in at the top of the lake at the park when the hydroelectric dam is discharging water. (Prime times are after 3PM during the week and at various times during the weekend) Let the current and your paddling lead you downstream.  From top to bottom it can take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on how hard you paddle, breaks, etc.  At the bottom of the lake there is a public lake access called the Sharon Lake access. You can arrange for a ride to pick you up there.  Or ideally you own a piece of land on the Lake and you simply canoe back to your dock or have a boat pick you up.

Located just north of I-40 and east of hwy 16 is a lake that shares many of the same qualities as other lakes along the Catawba River but also has a few distinct qualities.  It was formed in 1915 when Duke Energy put the Lookout Shoals Hydroelectric plant into use.  Lake Lookout Shoals is one of the smallest lakes on the Catawba River with 37 miles of shoreline and 1,305 acres of surface area.  Although Lake Lookout Shoals is smaller than some of the neighboring lakes there are no restrictions on boat size or speed on the lake.  Locals often refer to the lake simply as “Lake Lookout” and find it to be the least crowded lake in the area.  One of the reasons for this is that Duke Energy, which owns all the lakes in our area, still owns a large portion of the 37-mile shoreline.  The River Bend County Park owns 450 acres bordering the Lake, which is located on the northwest end of the lake.

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