Beaver Lake, North Carolina, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - North Carolina - Mountains -

One of the most-visible lakes in the North Carolina Mountain region is unassuming little Beaver Lake. The small man-made reservoir is only about 65 acres in size-and completely private. Framed by nearby mountains, the lake is entirely owned by the property owners in Lake View Park. That doesn’t mean that the public is entirely excluded, however. Visitors and guests can enjoy a variety of activities on the lake and shoreline via a fee or annual permit. Not only is Beaver Lake one of the most fashionable addresses in north Asheville, the lake itself is a memorable landmark on any drive along Merrimon Avenue.

Beaver Lake holds channel catfish, bullhead catfish, crappie and bluegill. Largemouth bass garner the most attention, however. A nine-pounder was recently caught on the little lake. There is a fee charged to visitors for fishing, and all anglers must possess a North Carolina fishing license. Fishing is catch-and-release, and no motors are allowed on the lake. All private boats must have permits, and an area is set aside for residents to dock their boats during the season. Visitors may rent canoes, kayaks and pedal boats, and non-residents must pay a small fee for access to the water. A lake ‘warden’ is on site each day to sell permits and see that the regulations are enforced. Most regular users buy annual permits. A small parking area is set aside for visiting cars. Other visitors come to enjoy the gentle hiking trails surrounding the lake. Dog walking garners a rather hefty annual fee to pay for clean-up costs, but most users consider it worth the price to keep the waters clean. The Asheville Yacht Club regularly gathers here to sail their remote-control sailboats; a special area of water is set aside for their enjoyment.

One extremely popular area for visitors is the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, a ten-acre plot of wetland near the east end of the lake. Te Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society owns and manages the sanctuary, where a wide variety of songbirds, waterfowl, hawks, egrets, butterflies and dragonflies can be observed. Boardwalks and paths through the area lead bird watchers into serious birding territory. Heavy leaf cover often hides the birds during warm weather, so the best sightings are from fall through spring. Guided birding walks occur the first Saturday morning of each month from September to April. Those simply looking for a leisurely walk in pleasant surroundings often use the Sanctuary area as their regular route. The sanctuary backs Merrimon Avenue, and the Country Club of Asheville is across the road, making the silence golden here for listening to bird songs.

Few homes are waterfront; most are set opposite the lake on the other side of the perimeter road. Those homes with lakefront property are set back from the lake under a canopy of trees. Other residential streets are farther back from the lake, but all have lake privileges for which they pay an annual assessment. Beaver Lake is not a city-maintained park. This leads to occasional misunderstandings when visitors object to paying the usual fees. However, the excellent park-like setting is expensive to maintain, and activities such as periodic dredging and weed control are paid for in part by these fees and permits.

Beaver Lake was created when an engineering firm dammed Beaver Dam Creek to benefit a new housing development planned surrounding a meadow known as Baird Bottom. Within a few months of the time the 1923 dam was erected, water covered the former cow pasture to a depth of around four feet and homes were being built. Noted landscape architect John Nolen directed the new lakescape. One of the more spectacular features of the development was a swimming pool, walled off from the lake by a granite and masonry wall. A full acre in size, the swimming pool’s water entered through a grotto and waterfall and was filtered and chlorinated by hidden pumps. Ocean sand was brought in for a beach. The pool was backed by a Tea House; a casino, bath house and golf course were added. In 1925, an Olympic swim meet was held at the pool. For many years local visitors and residents enjoyed the huge, naturalized pool. Unfortunately, by `1953, the pumps and filters were worn out. The wall separating the pool from the surrounding lake was leaking in water faster than the aging filtration system could clean it. And, repairing the walls was prohibitively expensive. Sadly, the wall was removed, the Tea House converted to a residential home, and the golf course became part of the bird sanctuary.

Older residents still talk of the days when the Beaver Lake Pool was ‘the place to be’ on hot summer days. Now, they come to fish off the shore or walk the leisurely paths and enjoy a piece of nature just a few blocks from bustling downtown Asheville. Many of Asheville’s numerous visitors visit the lake if they stay in the city for any length of time. Asheville is an attractive city for tourists who enjoy spas, scenery, history and the arts. The downtown area is home to unique shops, lots of restaurants and plenty of nightlife. Historic Biltmore House, the 250-room mansion of George Vanderbilt, and some of the best preserved Art Deco architecture can be seen in the city. Several museums, such as the Colburn Earth Sciences Museum and the Asheville Art Museum, are only a short distance from the YMI Cultural Center which showcases the best selection of Africa-American exhibits in western North Carolina. Natural warm water springs have enhanced Asheville’s reputation as a natural spa and wellness center for over 200 years and have proliferated and continually added more exotic and specialty treatments to entice spa tourism. And outdoor activities, including mountain backpacking and whitewater rafting are only a short distance away from the many luxury hotels near the city. Numerous forms of lodgings are found throughout the area, with lots of bed & breakfasts, guest cottages and mountain resorts.

For those looking to stay near Beaver Lake, a few private short-term property rentals are sometimes found. Real estate is usually available, even within Lake View Park. Plan your visit to this special place in the Asheville area.

Things to do at Beaver Lake NC

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Beaver Lake NC

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Bullhead Catfish
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Sunfish

Beaver Lake NC Photo Gallery

Beaver Lake NC Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Lake View Park Association

Surface Area: 40 acres

Shoreline Length: 2 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,099 feet

Average Depth: 12 feet

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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