Lake Norman State Park

Posted by in Insider, Mountain Biking | May 09, 2012

Lake Norman State Park

One of the crown jewels of living in Iredell county is Lake Norman State Park. Less than 20 minutes from most of the Lake Norman area this 1,328 acre park holds activities for everyone and truly holds the key to getting locals outdoors.

Activities at Lake Norman State Park

The list is long of the hobbies, sports and leisure you can enjoy at LKN State Park. From the park’s website you can find this list:

Boating Biking
Camping Picnicking
Community Building Swimming
Education and Events

Biking at Lake Norman State Park

Lake Norman State Park Mountain Biking

As a very enthusiastic mountain biker the mountain bike trails are what first pulled me to the park. Formally called the Itusi trail system the milage currently is sitting 22 miles at with several more miles currently under construction.The longest trail system in the Lake Norman and Charlotte area with different trail loops depending on how difficult and how much climbing you would like to endure.

Hiking at Lake Norman State Park

Hikers have many options to chose from at the park. Dedicated hiking paths that you won’t need to worry about mountain bikers flying up to you at 12 mph, but you are also able to hike all the miles of the Itusi trail. I also must note that while we are talking about hiking trail running is super popular and highly recommended. The trails are perfect and fast for anyone trying to find a new trail to run on.

Alder Trail: Begin this easy 0.8 mile loop at the Park Lake parking lot, which is the first area that you’ll come to after entering the main entrance. The trail crosses the picnic area, circles the peninsula between Norwood and Hicks creeks, and then skirts the edge of the lake. Take a short side path to the dam and view the spillway and gates that control the lake’s water level before returning to the trailhead.

Lake Shore Trail: The trailhead for this moderate but lengthy 5.0 mile trail is at a parking lot near the Cove Picnic Area located off of Shortleaf Lane, which is close to the swimming area. The trail passes the boat launch and family campground as it winds along the lake shore. Take the Short Turn trail to cut your hiking distance roughly in half. Do an ‘out and back’ on the group camp spur to add another mile and a half.

Itusi Trail: Hiking is also allowed on the Itusi Trail, although hikers must yield to mountain bikers using this trail. The Itusi Trail is not just a mountain bike trail – it is designed for hikers as well.

Camping at Lake Norman State Park

Lake Norman State Park

If you are remotely interested in camping at Lake Norman the first thing I advise is to go reserve your spot now.

Now that we got that out of the way… I believe camping at Lake Norman is something that locals don’t look at enough. Last year our family went there for Easter weekend. It was beautiful, scenic, amazing lake views, walks and it was perfect for a family camping trip. If we forgot something we were only 20 minutes from home and all of the campsites are well taken care of.

Family Tent/Trailer Camping: Tent pads, picnic tables and grills are available at 33 sites. Occupancy is limited to one family or six people per site. Park gates are locked at the posted closing hours. Campers may not leave the park after closing or before 8 a.m. except in an emergency. The Family Campground is open from March 15th through November 30th.

Group Tent Camping: No more than 25 people are permitted on each site. Drinking water and restrooms are available nearby; picnic tables and a fire ring are provided at each site. The Group Campground is open from April through November.

In Closing

There are tons of things to do at the LKN State Park. Moving forward I’m sure we will focus on specific ones to give you more details. If you visit the park please let us know your insider tips! Visit Lake Norman’s website in the mean time.

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