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Lake Norman (Lower)

Lake Norman also known as the inland sea is the largest lake in North Carolina and is often described in terms of Upper and Lower Lake Norman due to its massive size. This page describes lower Lake Norman. Unlike the northern part of the lake where much of the land remains undeveloped and the lake takes on much more of a naturistic feel the Lower part of Lake Norman is a bustling Hub of activity. Residents and guests alike flock to the area for amenities including upscale shopping, year-round golfing, NASCAR, fishing and other water activities.


Lake Norman Facts

  • Year Built: 1959-1963

  • Area: 32,510 acres at full pond

  • Length: 33.6 miles

  • Shore line length: 520 miles

  • Maximum Depth: 110 feet

  • Average Depth: 33.5 feet

  • Maximum Draw-down: 15 feet

  • Capacity: 3.4 trillion gallons of water

  • Volume: 1,093,600 acre-feet

  • Elevation at full pond: 760 feet above MSL

  • Retention Time: 207 days (average)

  • Drainage Area: 1,790 square miles

  • Average River Flow at Cowans Ford Dam: *1,726 MGD

  • Named for: Norman Atwater Cocke (former president of Duke Power)

  • Lake level: Call 1-800-829-5253

  • Location: Latitude: 35.5177689 Longitude: -80.9557724


Surrounding the Lake are several bustling cities that offer something for everyone. 

Town of Cornelius

Cornelius was established in 1905 and originated as a mill and farm community. Originally incorporated as ‘Liverpool’, the town’s name was changed to Cornelius to honor Joseph Benjamin Cornelius. When Lake Norman was formed, Cornelius added 54 miles of shoreline. Today, Cornelius is a laid-back town offering unique attractions, restaurants, lakeside parks and shopping.


Town of Davidson

Davidson is a charming, Southern college town. The town was founded in 1837 with the establishment of the Presbyterian Davidson College which remains a vital part to the town’s identity today. In 2011, Davidson was awarded its first Tree City USA designation. Davidson one of just 72 communities in North Carolina and just 3,000 nationwide to receive the award. In 2004, Davidson was a Smart Growth Award winner for Overall Excellence in town planning and design, the main street of Davidson offers a variety of shops, restaurants, wide sidewalks and a public library. Davidson is bicycle and pedestrian friendly, so take a walk around the town and enjoy Davidson’s more than 12 miles of greenways and bike lanes, parks, national arboretum, and beautiful flowers throughout town.


Town of Huntersville

Incorporated in 1873, Huntersville has grown from a small, mill town, to a new, dynamic area combining retail and residential areas with historic cultural attractions. Home to diverse attractions and entertainment, shopping, Huntersville Logo NASCAR and natural parks, Huntersville has something for everyone! The town’s historic sites include the historic homesteads Rural Hill and Latta Plantation. Visitors can tour the sites and explore the beautiful grounds and nature preserves. Huntersville is a destination for shopping and dining. Birkdale Village offers shopping, dining and entertainment, with its colorful buildings, bubbling fountains and beautiful gardens.


Town of Denver

Denver lies along the less populated but growing daily western side of Lake Norman. Denver and the west side of the lake feature close proximity to three great golf courses including Verdict Ridge, Westport, and Cowans Ford Country Club. Verdict Ridge often hosts a regional US open qualifier and is known to have some of the fastest and most challenging greens in Western North Carolina. Denver has experienced fast growth since the development of the 4 lane Hwy 16 making the Charlotte city limits a quick 15 minute drive. The Denver area features some of the best pricing on Lower Lake Norman and has become one of our more requested areas.


Public Access Areas

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