Find Fun Water Activities in Mooresville and Lake Norman State Park

Outdoor NC has partnered with local tourism organizations across the state to help promote the protection of North Carolina’s stunning and diverse outdoor spaces by practicing the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace. Here are some insider tips if you're visiting the Mooresville area.

Q&A host: Mooresville CVB
Outdoor passion: Boating and water sports
Where in NC: Mooresville and Lake Norman

Best places in the Mooresville area to spend outdoors? 

Lake Norman State Park and Lake Norman (with boat or water sport rentals).

Best season to spend in NC?

Summer, so we can take advantage of the lake! But the spring and fall also offer great hiking, mountain biking and kayaking.

What level of experience is needed for outdoor activities near Mooresville?

Lake Norman State Park is great for beginners as there are a number of easy hikes, but some trails are challenging enough for seasoned hikers. The mountain bike trails are great for those with a little experience, but beginners can also feel confident on some of the easier paths. The Mazeppa Trail is also a great mountain bike trail for beginner riders and those with more experience as well as for hikers. In all, there are 174 miles of mountain bike trails in our region.
Those new to water sports can feel confident on Lake Norman. Stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are great activities for beginners and for families with children.

How long should you plan on visiting?

Three to four days is ideal to do everything.

What attracted you to North Carolina or the Mooresville area?

The great weather, friendly people and the many different options for outdoor activities. 

What is unique about Mooresville, Lake Norman and Lake Norman State Park?

Lake Norman is the largest manmade lake in NC, with more than 500 miles of shoreline reaching into four counties. With our close proximity to Charlotte and location off I-77, Mooresville is easy to get to. Our charming downtown has a great mix of history with contemporary dining, shopping and entertainment.

How do you plan or prepare for your outdoor activities?

For hikes or mountain biking at Lake Norman State Park, plan out your course through the state park website, where you can download park maps, check whether any trails are closed due to weather and make reservations for campsites if you want to stay in the park. You can also reserve pedal boats, kayaks or canoes at the visitors center.

If you want to rent boats, paddleboards or Jet Skis, check out the Visit Mooresville website for a list of rental places. You should book ahead in the busy summer months as rentals can sell out. 

How do you practice the Leave No Trace principles?  

Always pack out what you pack in. We prefer reusable water bottles rather than plastic. If you are enjoying water sports on Lake Norman, please secure your belongings to make sure they don’t end up in the water, and take a dedicated bag for trash that you can take with you at the end of the day. 

Favorite place for breakfast/lunch or dinner? 

Breakfast: Famous Toastery, plus On The Nines for Sunday brunch. Lunch: Scratch Kitchen, or Toucans for a waterfront view. Dinner: Eddie's on Lake Norman or Havana 33, both waterfront restaurants with great decks to take in the views.

Where do you like to go after you spend time outdoors? 

We have great breweries in Mooresville to unwind after a day of hiking or playing on the lake. Check out our Ale Trail to find which ones you want to sample (or maybe all of them!). Just make sure you have a designated driver or ride share.

Cool places to stay? 

We have great hotels located right off I-77 and convenient to the lake, dining, shopping and other attractions.

This article was produced in partnership with Mooresville CVB. Visit Outdoor NC for additional tips on how to connect with nature and help preserve the natural beauty of our state.

Updated January 26, 2024
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