Hyco Lake, North Carolina, USA

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

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All About Hyco Lake

Hyco Lake is a man-made reservoir located in northern North Carolina near the Virginia state line in the Roanoke River Basin. In the early 1960s, the lake was constructed by damming three local creeks: Cobb, North Hyco and South Hyco. The lake is located about 10 miles from the town of Roxboro, North Carolina. The reservoir was deemed complete in 1965 when the desired water level was attained by Hurricane Hilda blowing through the area.

The two dams that control the water level are named the North Hyco Dam and the South Hyco Dam. The South Dam is a simple concrete spillway. When the water level surpasses the normal lake level of 410.5 feet above sea level, the water spills over the dam. The North Dam is more complex, and is maintained by the local power company, Progress Energy. The main purpose of the reservoir is to supply water for Progress Energy’s cooling process. Initially, there was a canal system used to cool the water, but they now have cooling towers, and the canals are no longer used. Water levels decline during the summer due to reduced stream flow into the lake and increased evaporation from the plant cooling towers.

The power plant is fueled by coal mined from West Virginia, and there are coal ash ponds and ash piles around the plant. Progress Energy is conscious of the impact coal ash runoff has on the lake and surrounding environment. Due to strict North Carolina Department of Natural Resources rules, Progress Energy has improved its corrective measures to prevent runoff, thereby decreasing selenium levels in the lake.

Before the reservoir was created, the river area was called Hicotomony by the native Indians, which translates to Turkey Buzzard River. According to local websites, the Turkey Buzzards are still plentiful, and there is no doubt that they enjoy perching in the trees around the reservoir. Hicotomony was shortened to the modern Hyco, and is the name for the dam, the reservoir, and the river that flows out of the lake.

Though the primary purpose of the reservoir is for use by Progress Energy, it is a popular recreational destination. A 65 acre recreational park offers a public swimming beach, campsites, picnic area, playground, tennis courts, bath house, several public boat launches, docks, and a small store. There is a minimal fee to enter the park, and if you wish to rent the new community building for a function, there is a fee involved. The park holds numerous community events throughout the year, including fishing tournaments, concerts, and markets. The nearby marina offers wine tasting twice a month.

The lake area is home to many types of wildlife. Boaters and hikers have reported seeing beaver, deer, and of course geese and ducks. Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, sauger and walleye are plentiful in the lake, and though there was a restriction on eating fish caught in the lake, it was lifted in 2004. At that time, selenium levels were deemed acceptable for human consumption.

The large area that Hyco Lake covers makes it ideal for water skiing, kneeboarding, and all types of watersports. Due to insufficient wind speed, sailboats are rare. The lake covers ten miles of the landscape, and though there isn’t really a main bay, there is one area that is wider than the rest. That bay stretches off into smaller fingers of the lake in nearly all directions.

Well over 1200 homes dot the shorelines, and make a leisurely float trip more interesting. There are still undeveloped areas around the Hyco Lake, and room for many more to move in. Currently over 2800 people live in a five mile area around the lake.

Beautiful Hyco Reservoir near the Virginia-North Carolina state line is more than just a lake. It’s a destination with some of the best that North Carolina has to offer: tons of activities for all ages, a location that can’t be beat, and the charm of the local folks.

Things to Do at Hyco Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish Species Found at Hyco Lake

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Perch
  • Sauger
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Hyco Lake

If you’re considering a Hyco 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 Hyco Lake Vacation

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

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com 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.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com 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.

Hyco Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Surface Area: 3,750 acres

Shoreline Length: 160 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 411 feet

Average Depth: 20 feet

Maximum Depth: 30 feet

Water Volume: 75,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1965

Lake Area-Population: 2,843

Drainage Area: 189 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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