Lake Glenville, North Carolina, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - North Carolina - Mountains -

Also known as:  Thorpe Reservoir, Glenville Lake

Nestled among the forests and mountain peaks of southwestern North Carolina lies the highest lake east of the Mississippi, Lake Glenville (aka Thorpe Reservoir) at 3,492 feet. Lake Glenville, popular for its unspoiled beauty, sandy beaches, coves, waterfalls and luxurious lakefront properties covers 1,470 acres and boasts 26 miles of shoreline.

Glenville Lake was formed when World War II war efforts increased a demand for aluminum, and the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) in the area needed more energy to meet that demand. Nantahala Power and Light Company (then owned by ALCOA and purchased by Duke Power in 1988) began construction of an earth and rock diversion dam next to the West Fork of the Tuckasegee River in a wide valley.

In that valley, there existed the town of Glenville which consisted of homes, businesses, a school, cemetery, churches; Nantahala Power and Light Company (NP&L) had to remove and relocate all of these structures to flood the farm valley 300 feet deep. The created lake was originally given the name Lake Glenville after the flooded town, but was renamed Thorpe Reservoir as a tribute to NP&L’s first president, J.E.S. Thorpe. Residents still called the area Glenville, however, and soon the lake’s name was changed back to Lake Glenville at the community’s request. The dam too officially took the name Glenville Dam, though it is still known as Thorpe Dam. The dam is 900 feet long and 150 feet high and has a companion saddle dam 410 feet in length and 122 feet high.

Lake Glenville, fed by creeks such as Hurricane, Norton, Mill, Cedar and Pine, is fully recreational. Residents and visitors take advantage of boating, pontooning, jet skiing, sailing, swimming and just about every other kind of water sport in the lake’s popularly clean waters. Anglers fish for walleye, pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass in depths reaching 125 feet. Signal Ridge Marina is the only marina on Lake Glenville and offers boats for rent and sale, boat and motor service, boat storage, live bait and all kinds of fishing accessories. Ralph J. Andrews Park Campgrounds is also right in the town of Glenville and has 47 campsites, full RV hook-ups, tent sites, primitive campsites, picnic areas, fishing areas, hot showers, bathrooms and a dump station. All of these facilities are available for use from April 15th through to October 31st, with a camping limit of two weeks.

As part of Duke Energy-Nantahala Area’s relicensing initiative, Lake Glenville and Thorpe Dam will receive a few enhancements. The agreements promise new day-use and camping facilities; improved communication about flow releases and water levels; enhanced water level management; new sanitary facilities for recreational purposes; and a public swimming area with a beach and gravel parking. Duke Energy lowers lake levels during the winter by an average of 10 feet to provide storage for heavy spring rain runoff and protect lives and property downstream.

Glenville Lake has several wonderful islands and coves to explore. Three waterfalls (Hurricane Falls to the south, Norton Falls in the center and Mills Creek Falls to the north) flow into the lake that add a delight to any peaceful boating cruise.

Lake Glenville’s shoreline is a mixture of forest, mountain and lake houses. In fact, there are many homes, subdivisions and communities on Lake Glenville and plenty of opportunities for those looking for a vacation home or a place to settle. Real estate options run the gamut from cozy lakefront homes and cabins, townhouses, luxury million-dollar estates, and gated communities. Lake Glenville is known for its lavish and upscale residences and amenities. Cottages, cabins and lakefront houses for rent, bed and breakfasts, motels, hotel chains, resorts and campgrounds are some of the available vacationing options in nearby Jackson County cities of Cashiers, Highlands, Tuckasegee, Sapphire, Balsam, Sylva and Dillsboro.

The area offers a range of activities and entertainment to complement a satisfying mountain lake experience. You can learn the art of fly fishing on the Tuckasegee River, attend a summer art and craft show or museum exhibit, kick back at an outdoor movie, or take a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or Nantahala National Forest. Challenge yourself with white water rafting, casinos, or horseback riding, and explore the abundance of hiking and cycling trails near Lake Glenville. For dining, grab quick bites at various mountain cafes throughout the region, or go for pizza, a steakhouse, or for gourmet cuisine.

If you are looking for a North Carolina mountain vacation that is peaceful and rejuvenating but also allows you to tailor your travels to your tastes for adventure and entertainment, Lake Glenville should be one of the top on your list.

Things to do at Lake Glenville

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Jet Skiing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Museum
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Lake Glenville

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Walleye

Lake Glenville Photo Gallery

Lake Glenville Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Duke Energy

Surface Area: 1,470 acres

Shoreline Length: 26 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,492 feet

Maximum Depth: 125 feet

Water Volume: 72,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1941

Drainage Area: 37 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

Spread the word! Share our Lake Glenville article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.