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Lake Norman State Park

Lake Norman State Park is a nearly 2000-acre park in Iredell County on Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina.  The park is on the northeastern shore of the lake at the mouth of Hicks Creek.  Lake Norman was created between 1959 and 1964 when Duke Power constructed the Cowans Ford Dam on Catawba River for hydroelectric power generation.  The park was formed in September 1964 when Duke Power donated land for the creation of a state park.  Today, the park features a swim beach on the lake, individual and group campsites, a boat launch, hiking trails and more than 30 miles of single-track mountain biking trails.

Contact Information:

759 State Park Road
TroutmanNC 28166

Phone: (704) 528-6350

GPS: 35.67255,-80.93250


The park is located about 30 miles north of Charlotte.  From Charlotte, go north on I-77 for about 30 miles to exit 42 and turn left on NC-115 North/US-21 North.  Go 2 miles and turn left on Autumn Leaf Road.  In just under 2 miles, turn left again onto Perth Road.  In 0.3 miles, turn right onto State Park Road to enter the park.



There are about 7 miles of hiking trails in the park.  Two short trails start from the Visitor Center and the longer Lake Shore Trail starts from near the family campground.  Additionally, the Itusi Trail is open to both hikers and mountain biking.

Alder Trail:

Length: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: White Diamonds

Alder Trail is a short loop that starts from behind the visitor center and follows the shoreline around a small peninsula.  The trail is named for the Alder trees that grow along the shoreline.  The trail has nice views of the park lake, the dam that forms the lake, and Hicks and Norwood Creeks.

Dragonfly Trail:

Length: 0.25 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: None

Dragonfly Trail is a short, paved trail that is handicapped accessible.  It starts from behind the Visitor Center and leads a short ways to an overlook.  There are several informational signs along the way.

Lake Shore Trail:

Length: 5.0 miles (shorter and longer options available)
Blaze: White Diamonds

Lake Shore Trail makes a loop around the peninsula between Lake Norman and Hicks Creek.  The trailhead is before the family campground.  A short spur leads from the family campground and a longer one on the north end of the loop leads to the group campground.  The Short Turn Trail splits the loop into shorter loops of 2.6 and 3.2 miles.

Itusi Trail:

Itusi Trail is a 30-mile network of single-track trails open to hiking and mountain biking.  They were closed due to wet conditions when we visited the park.


The family campground has 33 sites for tent and RV camping along the southern end of the park.  The sites are nice and spacious for a developed campground.  The campground is close to the lake and a short spur trail leads to lake Shore Trail.  Where the spur meets the main trail is a nice spot facing west - great for watching sunset when camping and just a five minute walk back to the campground.

Blog Entries:

22-Dec-2018: Lake Norman Camping

External Links:

Friends of Lake Norman State Park website: https://www.friendsoflakenormanstatepark.org/