Belews Lake, North Carolina, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Belews Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Belews Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Belews Lake

Belews Lake is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in beautiful north central North Carolina. The lake straddles Stokes, Forsyth and Rockingham counties and is surrounded by the towns of Walnut Cove, Belews Creek, Stokesdale and Pine Hall. Forests, waterfalls and mountain streams are abundant in the surrounding area, and Hanging Rock State Park is 15 miles to the northwest.

A man-made reservoir, Belews Lake covers 3846 acres behind a rolled-earth dam. The reservoir was built in 1973 to provide cooling water for Duke Energy’s Belews Creek Steam Station located downstream. The Belews Creek Steam Station is the largest coal-fired plant in the Duke Energy system. The lake is over 100 feet deep in spots and can reach depths of 130 feet near the dam. The irregular 88-mile shoreline, mostly undeveloped, is filled with coves and bays.

Between 1974 and 1984, Belews Lake was contaminated by selenium from the power plant, which caused reproductive failure and deformities in fish. Beginning in 1986, however, Duke Energy changed its practices and selenium no longer entered the lake. The fish consumption advisory was lifted in August of 2000, and Belews Lake was removed from the list of impaired waters.

Belews Lake is a unique fishing spot. On cool mornings, the surface of the lake is covered with steam generated from the heat of the nearby power plant. The effect is both beautiful and eerie. In the fall, the foliage around the lake is fiery and vibrant. Bass fishing is quite popular and other regular catches include catfish, crappie and panfish. Signs around the lake recommend that fish-eaters limit themselves to one portion a week because of small quantities of selenium that still linger in the lake water.

In addition to anglers, the calm waters and lush forests of Belews Lake attract boaters, nature-lovers and adventure-seekers. Popular activities include sail boating, speed boating, paddling, camping, hiking and water sports. Wildlife around Belews Lake is plentiful. Loons are often seen in the lake’s coves, and sometimes you can spot a beaver. In the fall and winter, Canada geese make their homes on the lake.

Things to Do at Belews Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Belews Lake

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie

Find Places to Stay at Belews Lake

If you’re considering a Belews Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Belews Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Belews Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Belews Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Duke Energy

Surface Area: 3,864 acres

Shoreline Length: 88 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 725 feet

Average Depth: 100 feet

Maximum Depth: 130 feet

Completion Year: 1973

Water Residence Time: 4.1 Years

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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