Lake Lure NC Travel Guide

Lake Lure NC is a town that is literally built around a lake, nestled in the steep rocky cliffs of Hickory Nut Gorge area of NC, and south of the city of Asheville NC.  Lake Lure is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in not only the Blue Ridge Mountains, but in the United States as well.  

Hickory Nut Gorge, including Chimney Rock Village and Lake Lure, have been enticing people to visit since before the early 1900s, due its beauty and reputation for being one of the Grand Canyons of the east.

Lake Lure NC is an excellent spot of visit and vacation, and is just prefect for that quiet getaway you've been longing for.

Where is Lake Lure NC?

Lake Lure is located in Western NC, about 30 miles south of Asheville, and east of historic Hendersonville NC.  The lake and town of the same name, are nestled into the valley below the tall surrounding mountains of Hickory Nut Gorge.

What's in Lake Lure NC?

While Lake Lure NC is a quiet and relaxing small town, there are numerous small shops, restaurants, and of course numerous outdoor activities including activities on the lake, and at nearby Chimney Rock State Park.  Whether you want to relax or be active, you're bound to find something to do just for you.

Where to stay in Lake Lure?

Lake Lure Inn

Lake Lure and the surrounding areas has a number of lodging options to pick from, including:

  • Cabins
  • Inns
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • and exclusive resorts.

The original Lake Lure Inn is a great and historic option.  This was the original Inn built when the lake was built, and offers exceptional lake views, and close proximity to the beach and marina.   Regardless of your lodging needs, there are many different options, all at very reasonable prices.

Where to Eat in Lake Lure NC?

Lake Lure offers a number of great dining options, from budget to luxury, and a number of different styles of food.  Some of the more notable restaurants include:

  • La Strada
  • Point of View
  • Medina's (located in Chimney Rock village)
  • Legend's at the lake
  • The Lakehouse Restaurant

There are also a number of smaller shops for ice cream, shakes, and finger foods.

Top 10 Things to do in Lake Lake NC

As we mentioned, there are lots of things to see and do when visiting Lake Lure NC, here are our top 10 picks!

1- Water activities

Boating at Lake Lure NC

As with any lake, Lake Lure offers boating, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing.   You can bring your own boat and se the ramps at the Marina, or you can rent boats at the Marina as well.  With more than 720 acres of water, you'll have plenty of room to enjoy and explore.

2 - The Beach

Beach at Lake Lure NC

Located at the center of town, across from the Lake Lure Inn, is the beach.  This town owned beach is operated and maintained by a private company  The beach is well kept, clean, and groomed.    The beach area includes swimming, and waterslides that plunge you into the lake at the bottom.

Restrooms, changing rooms, picnic tables and a snake bar are also here for visitor use.

The beach is open memorial through Labor Day yearly.  There is a fee for admission, and no pets are allowed on the beach.  For more information, see the Lake Lure Beach webpage.

3 - Take a Guided Boat Lake Tour

Lake Lure Tours offers a number of options for guided Lake Boat Tours.  You can enjoy a relaxing and covered boat tour, while your guide highlights many of the local attractions, and famous landmarks, including various Hollywood film locations.  The most notable being Dirty Dancing.  Reservations and tickets are available online or at the Marina.

We did the sunset tour, which included a gourmet picnic dinner, including Champagne.  The tour, food, and sunset where amazing.

4 - Hiking and Mountain Biking

Lake Lure and the surrounding areas offer a number hiking options, including:

  • Lake Lure Town Center Walking Trail - This 2 mile, and easy trail starts at Morse Park, near the Marina and will take you on a beautiful waterside tour of the Lake, offering incredible scenic views of surrounding Hickory Nut Gorge
  • Bearwallow Mountain Trail (Photo above)- This 2 mile roundtrip, moderate to strenuous trail takes you up to a huge pasture at the top of Bearwallow Mountain, at an elevation of 4,232 feet.  The summit provides 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.  The summit is privately owned, and during the summer there are cows here, which are a real treat to see!
  • Buffalo Creek Park - This is a park that offers a 3.5 mile loop trail for hiking and biking.  There is also a boulder field for climbers.
  • Hike to Little Bearwallow Falls - 2.3 miles roundtrip, this Strenuous trail provides a close-up view of the beautiful Bearwallow Falls.

5 - Visit Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock NC

One of the highlights of visiting Lake Lure, is a visit to Chimney Rock State Park, located up on the cliff sides of Hickory Nut Gorge.  This beautiful and unique state park offers hiking trails, and incredible views from its famous rock Chimney and an a number of scenic view points on the way to the Chimney and above it.

You can also hike out to both the top and bottom of the 404 foot Hickory Nut Falls.

See our Chimney Rock State Park Guide for more information, photos, and video.

6 - Go Ziplining at Canopy Ridge Farms

If you want a little more thrill during your visit to Lake Lure, stop by Canopy Ridge Farms where you can zip along through the tree tops and forest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  You'll soar through the treetops at over 35mph, and 100 feet above the ground on their 6 different zip lines.

7 - Visit the small shops in Chimney Rock Village

Chimney Rock Village is a quaint little town located almost right next to Lake Lure.  The town not only provides great views of Chimney Rock State Park, but also many restaurants and small and unique shopping venues.

Be sure to park on the main street, and walk around and browse the many different privately owned shops, many of been here for years.

8 - Golf

One of the first things built when the town of Lake Lure was established was the Golf course.  This 9-hole public gold course offers the surrounding beauty of Hickory Nut Gorge, and also a challenging game of golf.   The course has a clubhouse, driving range, and putting greens.  

This nine-hole public course offers a challenging golf game amidst the beautiful scenery of Hickory Nut Gorge. The course is open year round and has a clubhouse, driving range and two putting greens.

The course originally opened in 1927 and was designed by Donald Ross, the famous course designer.  The course was originally 18-holes, but was made into a 9-hole course after the financial struggles of the Great Depression.

9 - Visit the Town Center Walkway and the Magical Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

Lake Lure Flowering Bridge

We mentioned the Town Center Walkway under hiking, and the walkway is a great way to get some exercise and tour the lake.   What we didn't yet mention is the magical and whimsical Lake Lure Flowering Bridge that is part of the walkway.  This is an attraction you will not want to miss.

The old bridge from Lake Lure to Chimney has been turned into a beautiful flower garden full of small details, fountains, whimsical displays, and of course beautiful flowers.   You'll want to block some time off to spend some time here, it's just wonderful

You can learn more about the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge in our guide, which includes photos a full video of our visit.

10 - Morse Park and Greenway

Morse Park and Greenway is located near the main city, and next to the marina.   The park features beautiful mountain views of Hickory Nut Gorge and is a popular place with visitors for a picnic, or just relaxing by the lake.

The park is 23-acres and open to the public year-round and is conveniently located next to the Municipal Center.

Morse Park consists of four distinct areas, the meadow, the gardens, the wetlands, and the riverside.

Park facilities include: 

  • A field for festival events and other recreational use
  • Two lighted tennis courts
  • A basketball court
  • Children's play area including, slides, swings, and climbing apparatus
  • Covered picnic tables with grills
  • A visitor center for information on area attractions
  • A network of over a mile of walking/jogging paths with benches along the way
  • A large covered gazebo for events Two wooden wharfs
  • Landscaped gardens
  • Fishing areas along Rocky Broad River side as it empties into Lake Lure
  • Wooded wetland areas and large pond for wildlife viewing and birding
  • Restrooms
  • Approximately 225 parking spaces
  • Pet friendly (please keep dogs on a leash)

The park is a great place to visit, and just relax and is great for families as well!

Lake Lure NC

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.

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