High Rock Lake, North Carolina, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at High Rock Lake.

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High Rock Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - South - North Carolina - Piedmont -

The northernmost of the Uwharrie Lakes, High Rock Lake enjoys its spot as North Carolina’s second largest reservoir entirely within the state: its watery fingers reach out over 15,180 acres. The lake, whose name comes from the neighboring High Rock Mountain, begins at the confluence of the Yadkin and South Yadkin rivers. Created for hydroelectric power in 1928, the lake now provides residents and visitors with many recreational activities.

Long known as one of the best fishing lakes in the state, High Rock Lake hosted the Bassmasters Classic in 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2007, as well as other angling contests and competitions. High Rock Lake is best known for its largemouth bass. Other popular game fish include channel, blue, and flathead catfish, crappie, and hybrid white bass. Whether you’re a hobbyist angler or pro, this lake is sure to offer you plenty of opportunities to reel in the fish you always dreamed of.

High Rock Lake has no size or speed restrictions for boats, so you will be sure to see plenty of powerboats, bass boats, and jet skis alongside smaller kayaks and canoes. Several boat ramps and marinas dot the lake’s 365 miles of shoreline, enabling visitors to launch their own boats. If you don’t own a boat, not to worry: you can rent anything from a fishing boat to a pontoon boat at one of the local marinas. And after you have your boat in the water, grab a tube or water skis and enjoy an exhilarating ride.

Swimmers are also welcome in the lake, but due to the fact that High Rock is the first in a chain of lakes, its waters are often murkier than you may be used to. There is no reason to worry; the water is perfectly safe and refreshing.

Alcoa Power, who manages High Rock Lake and Dam, controls water levels for hydropower generation. The average summer water level drawdown is 5 feet. The average winter drawdown is 12 feet, in anticipation of winter rains refilling the lake. Water levels can drop even more during periods of drought. With a maximum depth of 52 feet and an average depth of 16-17 feet, water level variations can have a significant impact on recreation. The elevation of High Rock Lake at full pool is 655 feet above sea level; the minimum elevation for hydropower generation is 594 feet.

Camping is available along the lake’s shores at High Rock Lake Marina & Campground, providing campsites, boat slips, and a boat ramp all in the same location. T.M. Stanback Outdoor Theater, an environmental education building, features live animal exhibits, a petting zoo, miniature golf, picnic shelters, a children’s playground, volleyball, a horseshoe pit, and more.

Neighboring Lexington, North Carolina is famous for its southern barbecue. Receiving over 100,000 visitors annually, the city is proud to provide many entertainment opportunities, museums and exhibits, and, of course, a whole host of culinary treasures.

Custom High Rock Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at High Rock Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Miniature Golf

Fish species found at High Rock Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • White Bass

Best hotels and vacation rentals at High Rock Lake

The High Rock Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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High Rock Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

High Rock Lake statistics & helpful links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Alcoa Power

Surface Area: 15,180 acres

Shoreline Length: 365 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 655 feet

Average Depth: 16 feet

Maximum Depth: 52 feet

Water Volume: 234,866 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1928

Drainage Area: 3,983 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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