Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - North Carolina - Mountains -

Tucked away amidst the ancient Appalachian Mountains is the largest private lake in North Carolina – Lake Toxaway. Lake Toxaway, spanning 640 acres, was built in 1902 by a powerful entrepreneur, E. H. Jennings. Jennings, who visited the wild, undeveloped region in 1890 fell in love with the area’s splendor and founded the resort company, Toxaway Company, in 1896 (“Toxaway” is a Cherokee word for “red bird”). By 1902, an earth-filled dam was formed on the Toxaway River, creating a lake, and by 1903, Toxaway Inn was up, running and open for business on the lake’s banks. The Inn’s luxurious amenities and services attracted the rich and famous to its gates who arrived by railroad. Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, George Vanderbilt, the Carnegies and Harvey Firestone were among some of the Inn’s guests.

Lake Toxaway, three miles long and one mile wide and with a shoreline of 14 miles, was the very first lake built in the Appalachians. High in the pristine mountains, it is situated at 3,010 feet above sea level in an area that is still largely wild and unspoiled due to its unsuitability for heavy development. Ever since the early 1900s, visitors flocked to the lake and inn, that is until August 13, 1916, when Mother Nature poured heavy rains in the area, washing away the lake’s earthen dam and further widening what is today the Toxaway Falls. The entire lake practically drained overnight! Business at the inn naturally suffered, and it was eventually demolished in 1948.

In 1961, the dam and lake were reconstructed. Lake Toxaway is still privately owned by the Lake Toxaway Company, and today is largely surrounded by exquisite and luxurious homes and estates in communities that occupy a 5000-acre stretch of land.

Only property owners and their guests have access to Lake Toxaway who enjoy swimming, boating, waterskiing, sailing and fishing. (Jet and kite skiing are not permitted.) Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegill, catfish, sunfish and walleye are some common species of fish residing in the lake. Golf courses surrounded by natural beauty, tennis courts, swimming pool, fitness center, and country club are other recreational amenities accessible to estate owners and vacationers.

Real estate options on the lake range into the millions of dollars. You may have a lake home, mountain home or golf home fashioned with lavish architectural designs, or you may rent a property for vacation to get better acquainted with the lake’s community. If petite and cozy is more your taste, a small cottage might be the home that fulfils your dreams.

Lake Toxaway is surrounded by several mountains in the Nantahala National Forest. This part of North Carolina receives about 100 inches of rainfall per year. A combination of the region’s mountainous and wet habitat makes it conducive to waterfalls, many of which can be sighted from Lake Toxaway. This is why Transylvania County is called the “Land of Waterfalls.” Surrounded by so much grandeur, Lake Toxaway members can indulge in nearly every outdoor recreation possible. The Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and Gorges State Park, adjacent to Lake Toxaway Estates, offer plenty of hiking, backpacking, fly-fishing and camping adventures. Close to Lake Toxaway is also the DuPont Forest, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Sumter National Forest. With all of these natural preserves, options for activity are limitless. You can put your calves to burn on mountain biking trails, go canoeing, kayaking or rafting in any of the forests’ rivers, take a helicopter or motorcycle tour, straddle the back of a majestic horse and take to exploring, ride in a hot air balloon, or go climbing and snow skiing.

In the county seat of Brevard, entertain yourself with fine theatre and performing arts, or have a little mind-boggling fun at the Blue Ridge Corn Maze. In nearby Asheville, awe yourself at the royalty of the Biltmore House, the 250-room family chateau of George Vanderbilt whom E.H. Jennings visited when he first came to the region. After so many enriching experiences coupled with the first-class treatments offered by Lake Toxaway, you will feel like a king or queen.

Things to do at Lake Toxaway

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Lake Toxaway

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Lake Toxaway Photo Gallery

Lake Toxaway Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Lake Toxaway Company

Surface Area: 640 acres

Shoreline Length: 14 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,010 feet

Maximum Depth: 60 feet

Completion Year: 1961

Drainage Area: 8 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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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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