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Lake Hickory – Splashing Fun Day Trips

North Carolina lakes

In the foothills of North Carolina, there’s no shortage of fun activities to enjoy when the great weather motivates you to go outside.  And one of the very favorite things to do in Hickory North Carolina, is to head for the lake.

Lake Hickory is fully recreational, which means that swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, water skiing and jet skis are all allowed.  There are 16 access areas.  It covers over 4200 acres and has more than a hundred miles of shoreline, about 20 per cent of which is maintained as nature reserve.

Lakes in North Carolina are justifiably popular with fisherman, and Lake Hickory is particularly renowned for its large mouth and striped bass.   The fast-moving waters from the lake’s four dams are especially attractive to those species, and they draw anglers to high-profile bass fishing tournaments during the year. Crappie and channel catfish are other fish that flourish in Lake Hickory and its tributaries.  The mean depth of the water is 33 feet, and yearly temperatures range from 39 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit.

Busy though it is, Lake Hickory has maintained every bit of its natural beauty.  There are spectacular mountain views from many points on the water, and it’s easy to spot blue herons and their nesting grounds plus a variety of native ducks, osprey and bald eagles.

For boaters, the marina store is open every day and has everything necessary to make the most of the Lake Hickory experience, including batteries, life preservers, rods and accessories, a gas dock and live bait.  There’s plenty of free advice, too, from the local experts who have helped people catch the big ones!

Renting a vessel all day or just a half day is another option.  A jet boat for water boarding, a deck boat for skiing, a fishing boat, a pontoon boat or even a party barge for up to thirteen people…you’ll find something that’s perfect for almost any activity.  All you need is current identification and a deposit.

When a group or organization is looking for things to do in Hickory North Carolina, members often recommend one of the popular dinner, party or charter cruises.  Lakes in North Carolina are traditional social gathering places for families and friends, too, and in the summertime it’s not unusual to see as many as a hundred boats tied up together at Lake Hickory’s Sandbar Cove as people watch water skiers and wakeboarders demonstrate their skills.  From there, Rink Dam Boat Dock is a short trip to buy drinks and snacks. 

On the west side, near the 321 bridge, you’ll find a tiki bar and George’s On The Lake for come-as-you-are dining and even live music a few nights a week.  And there are plenty of other things to do nearby after a fun day on the water.  If you’re staying at the lake, a number of campgrounds and RV facilities are available.

Lake Hickory, one of several man-made reservoirs on the Catawba River, is located in the foothills NC, near the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway and about 30 miles north of the town of Hickory.   

Boat Rentals:

Lake Side Marina – 81 Marina Drive, Hickory, NC 28601

(828) 495-8181

Lake Hickory Marina – 6706 Limbaugh Lane, Hickory, NC 28601

(828) 855-2916

Rivers Edge Marina – 5803 Icard Ridge Road, Hickory, NC 28601

(828) 495-8833

Boat Cruises:

Lake Hickory Adventures – 6706 Limbaugh Lane, Hickory, NC 28601

(828) 358-2384

Fishing Guide:

David Chubb’s Guide Service

(704) 663-9441

RV Park:

Lake Hickory RV Resort – 6641 Monford Drive, Conover, NC 28613

(828) 256-4303

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 70 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills and Lake Hickory.

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Exploring the area for the first time?

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The Coves Mountain River Club magazine