The lake isn’t only for boating, swimming and fishing. Consider these events and outdoor activities happening right on Lake Norman when planning family adventures or solo trips. Celebrate spring and summer days off with boat rides or lake concert series or simply enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake.
Water activities worth venturing out of your comfort zone
• The Night Paddle Excursions and Full Moon Paddle tour begins at dusk at 17505 W. Catawba Ave. in Cornelius. Participants will get to experience a full moon tour on a glowing stand-up paddle board. This tour will use headlamps, LED lights around the board and LED lite paddles. It is required for each person to bring their own board and paddles. It is also required to have previous paddle boarding experience, but beginning lessons are also offered prior to the event. Details can be found at www.standuplkn.com. Ticket prices vary. It costs $35 with your own board, plus LED lights/headlamp supplies, and $65 includes all rental equipment (paddleboard/paddle and LED lights).
• Feeling adventurous? Take a swim at The Quarry at Carrigan Farms, 1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy. in Mooresville. The swim includes plunging off rocky cliffs into blue-green water. The water at the quarry is 25 feet deep. For those interested, you must be able to pass a swim test (without a life jacket) to participate. Guests must be at least 12 years old to take the swim test. The cost is $12 per person, cash and check only. For details, go to www.carriganfarms.com.
• Scoot around Lake Norman waters. Lake Norman Marina, 6965 N.C. 150 in Sherrills Ford, offers a wide range of boat rentals. LNM is one of several outlets that offer boating equipment. And with several marinas along the shores, other family-friendly lake activities include sailing, kayaking, rowing and canoeing.
• Learn to sail at Lake Norman Community Sailing, Blythe Landing N.C. 73 in Huntersville. Sailing is one of the many adult and youth programs offered at LNSC. Classes are typically offered on the weekends on the Flying Scot or Sunfish with the goal of becoming a “skipper,” according to the website. For details and times, go to www.lnsailing.org.
Events happening on Lake Norman
• The Charlotte Dragon Boat Race and Asian Festival that celebrates Asian cultures, diversity and history, will be held on May 19 at Ramsey Creek Park, 18441 Nantz Road in Cornelius. Attendees will get a chance to explore heritage with live music and dance performances, food and retail vendors along with dragon boat races. The day-long festival will bring dragon boat race teams from the greater Charlotte region and several states together to compete along the banks of Lake Norman. Boats line up to launch from the shore of the lake to race for the finish, while onlookers get a close-up of what it takes to win. The festival begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Parking will be available at Rubbermaid Medical Solutions, 16905 Northcross Drive, in Huntersville with free shuttle service to the festival site. Onsite parking is not available. The festival and races are free and open to the public. Details are available at www.charlottedragonboat.com.
• Hosted by My Aloha Paddle and Surf, Paddle 4 Purpose is an annual fundraiser event that raises money to contribute to local charities. This year, an international charity, Smile Train was added to the list of six benefitting nonprofit organizations, including Big Day at the Lake, Peninsula Community Foundation, Pat’s Place, Young Elites, Surfrider Foundation and Ignite. The event will be held on May 5 at the Port City Club, 18665 Harborside Drive in Cornelius. The May 5 event will feature elite, 6.2 miles; and recreational, 2 miles for kid’s races; and open class paddle crafts. All races are open to the public with some prior paddle craft experience recommended. Limited paddle board rentals will be available on a first-reserve basis.The fundraising event begins at 7 a.m. with racers checking in, and the silent auction will be held at 7:30 a.m. with the elite and recreational races to follow. The races will continue from 8-10:45 a.m. followed by a live auction at 11 a.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. and will be followed by a luau lunch provided by Port City Club, featuring the Island Hula Girls along with island music, food and fun activities for all ages.
Details can be found at www.standuplkn.com.
• The Fourth Annual Lake Norman Top Shelf Fishing Festival remembers veterans and supports wounded and disabled veterans as well as their caregivers. The festival will highlight a day of fishing and fellowship featuring 70 wounded and disabled veterans. The veterans will have the opportunity to go fishing with some of the state’s anglers and tournament fishermen.
The event lasts from 6:15 a.m. until 5 p.m. The weigh-in will begin at 3 p.m. Hosted by Operation North State, the festival will be held on Friday, April 20 at the Pinnacle Access Ramp, 1580 River Hwy. in Mooresville. This event is one of eight that will be hosted by ONS. To register for the festival or offer support, email email@example.com or call 336-764-5967.
• Enjoy dinner with a view on Queens Landing, 1459 River Hwy. in Mooresville. Offering dinner and daytime cruises on Lady of the Lake, a 90-foot-yacht and Catawba Queen, a Mississippi riverboat, the lakeside dinner scene is one to experience. Dinner cruises take place Friday through Sunday. Prices and schedules may vary. Go to www.queenslanding.com/cruise-schedule for more details.
• The Lake Norman area will experience its first cycle boat party cruise. The event requires attendees to pedal to power the charter cruise. The next Open Party Mixer Cruise will be hosted at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., beginning Saturday, April 14. The two-hour open cruise or full private rental event will be held at 17505 W. Catawba Ave. in Cornelius. Attendees should bring their own beer, wine and snacks. The activity is $37 per person or $525 for a full boat rental. Go to www.charlottecycleboats.com for more details.
• Hang out at Ramsey Creek Beach in Cornelius. The 43-acre lakeside park is Mecklenburg County’s only public beach on Lake Norman. The beach, 18441 Nantz Road in Cornelius, officially opened two years ago. The swimming area is open late May through Labor Day with lifeguard service from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. A free shuttle will operate from Northcross Park and Ride lot in Huntersville (17126 Northcross Drive) to Ramsey Creek Beach on weekends and holidays. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Beach-goers who use the shuttle will have free access to the beach. Those who choose to park at the beach will have to pay. For more information, go to www.mecknc.gov.
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