The Lake Norman area provides laid-back waterfront living and endless options for outdoor recreation just miles from Uptown Charlotte. The 10 communities surrounding this expansive lake feature a wide range of housing options, amenities and attractions.
Lake Norman homes can be roughly divided into two categories, depending on their position around the lake. The east side of the lake is slightly more developed with larger populations and impressive estate homes. Median home prices in this area are much higher than the west side, reaching more than $300,000. The west side of the lake provides more of an “old lake living” feel, with larger lots sizes, lower prices and a slower pace of life. Lake Norman waterfront homes are extremely desirable, providing lake views and immediate access to the water’s edge.
Lifestyle and Attractions
Lake Norman is the largest man-made body of water in North Carolina, and is often referred to as the “Inland Sea”. It measures 33 miles long and nine miles wide, and has 520 miles of shoreline, making this an ideal place for boating, fishing, swimming and other water sports. There are a number of parks surrounding the lake, which provide a public setting to enjoy the lake, and other desirable amenities like sports facilities, playgrounds, picnic areas and more.
The Lake Norman area is comprised of four counties and 10 communities. The counties in Lake Norman include Catawba County, Iredell County, Lincoln County and Mecklenburg County encompassing the nine surrounding communities of Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Denver, Westport, Mooresville, Troutman, Sherrills Ford and Terrell. The communities on the west side of the lake have smaller populations and provide a slower pace of life while the eastern communities are larger with more local attractions and nearby amenities.
Lake Norman has grown in popularity over the years, spurred by the opportunity to enjoy recreational activities in a secluded area. The lake’s location is even more desirable because of its proximity to Uptown Charlotte for employment and the city’s many attractions. In fact, many residents of Lake Norman make the commute to Charlotte for work.
The Lake Norman region has 35 public schools. The largest school system in the state, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, services Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson. Huntersville has 13 public schools in its vicinity, while Cornelius has five and Davidson has three. There is an outstanding number of private school options in Lake Norman, as the area holds 20 private schools. There are several colleges in the area, including Davidson College, Mitchell Community College, Catawba Valley Community College, Gaston College and NASCAR Technical Institute.
Before the lake was its main attraction, the area focused on agriculture when European settlers arrived in the 1700s. The region began to grow with the arrival of the railroad in the 1850s, particularly in Mooresville and Huntersville. The area experienced substantial growth after the construction of Lake Norman itself between 1959 and 1964.
Duke Energy built the lake as part of its hydroelectric dam system along the Catawba River. Beneath the lake waters lies another layer of area history, as homes, farms and entire towns ended up under water, including Long Island, a busy river town with three textile mills. In addition to the lake’s beneficial value of generating energy, it helps with flood control as it can hold heavy precipitation due to its expansive size. The lake also serves as a water source for Mooresville and the city of Charlotte.