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Basic Information About the State Park

Basic Information About the State Park

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September of 1962 marked the inauguration of Duke Power State Park in Iredell County, whose initial 1,328 acres lined Lake Norman along its northwestern shore. Although the park did not officially welcome visitors until July of 1965, the original donation marked important efforts made by the power company to provide public access to the lake (Jarid Church, LNSP Park Ranger: “In September of 1962, Duke donated the land”; it opened in July, 1965).

In 2004, the park acquired more land and its size grew to appoximately 1600 acres. It is also around this time that park changed its name to the Lake Norman State Park, although Jarid Church, a LNSP Park Ranger stated, “People around here still call it Duke Power State Park”, showing the impact that Duke Energy still has on the land.  The North Carolina State Park System continues to expand the state park by acquiring plots of adjacent lands. They hope to create a buffer to protect park headwaters from the severe effects of nearby development.

The North Carolina State Parks and Recreation Department credits Lake Norman State as the fifteenth state park in the state created in North Carolina (NCSP and Recreation pamphlet) and in 1965 the state park recorded 528,520 annual users of the state park. This statistic is consistent with the most recent state park records that estimate about 500,000 annual visitors to the Lake Norman State Park (Church and State Park pamphlets).

Jarid Church, a current Lake Norman State Park Ranger, stated that the goal of Lake Norman State Park, “is to set aside an area for recreation in a space that is being quickly diminished.” The park offers free public education programs about the local ecology and ecosystems of the park as well as its history (Church).

Another function of the state park is to provide public access to the shoreline, which totals 520 miles. Although the waters of Lake Norman are open for public recreational use, there are, as of 2015, only ten public access points to Lake Norman and one of these is at the state park (Lake Normans web.com; Lake Normans boaters guide; google.com) (Lake Norman Maps Offered). However, the state park is the sole location for public swimming lake access, boasting a beach with lifeguards (Jarid Church).

The park is open most of the year and is found off of I-77 in Iredell County. For more information on visiting the park, visit their website: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/lano/main.php

Map of Lake Norman State Park

Map of Lake Norman State Park

Sources