Did you know High Rock Lake is the second largest lake in North Carolina? Rowan County, NC’s natural resource is open year-round for boating, fishing and relaxing. Please join me on a journey of discovery of High Rock Lake, Rowan County’s lake. The best way to describe High Rock Lake – a quaint, natural hidden gem mixed in with wildlife, year-round residences, vacation properties, and outdoor activities.

Our Own Piece of Heaven

A few years ago, while living in Cabarrus County, my husband Paul and I were looking for the perfect location for a relaxing and fun weekender get-away, and possibly our future retirement home. We researched the mountains and lakes of North Carolina for months. While driving through the Uwharrie National Forest, we discovered High Rock Lake.

Wait? What? How was it possible that we had NO IDEA there was a lake less than one hour from our home? And the best part, close to I-85 and downtown Salisbury with everyday conveniences such as Main Street shopping and restaurants on the way to the lake.

Fast forward and we are now full-time lake residents right here in Rowan County. I am continuously learning about what the lake offers to its lake home owners, county residents, and regional visitors, especially visiting fishermen. Lake living is special especially now that our weekend bungalow has been transformed into a full time ‘rustic retreat’. Just turning into the driveway and seeing the lake, no matter what the weather is; rain, wind, or a perfect summer day gives a sense of immediate relaxation and coziness. It’s our own piece of heaven where water touches land and sky.

Paddle Boarding on High Rock Lake

It’s a Big Lake Folks

High Rock Lake has more than 15,000 acres of water surface and 365 miles of shoreline, all for Rowan residents to enjoy. High Rock Lake is part of the Yadkin River and became a reservoir for hydro power generation back in 1928. The lake is currently managed and operated by Cube Hydro Carolinas. High Rock Lake has several coves and outlets of natural habitats including Eagle Point Nature Preserve, which provides great hiking trails and bird watching. The site is open Friday through Sunday year-round and is free!

High Rock Lake – A Great Destination for Fishing Enthusiasts

Personally, I am not into fishing, but am happy to see the many visitors to our lake enjoy our assets all the while bringing economic value to the community. So that means lake side businesses need to sell bait, boat fuel, snacks, sunscreen, and the like. Need a place to park your truck and trailer when working the waters for your supper? There are two boat ramp marina locations on Bringle Ferry Road: NC Wildlife/Dutch Second Creek and Tamarac Marina, with food available at both locations, just in case the fish are not kind.

Fishing at High Rock Lake is known as a local honey hole with ample Striper, Largemouth and White Bass, Catfish (Channel, Blue and Flathead) and Crappie fishing. This is likely due to the relatively shallow nature of the lake and the tremendous amount of habitat that favor the bass. The lake hosts many regional fishing tournaments including Major League Fishing whom recently filmed here for an upcoming TV show this summer. Stay tuned for date and channel. High Rock Lake has hosted the Bassmaster Classic four times (1994, 1995, 1998 and 2007) and continues to host several national qualifying tournaments and hundreds of local tournaments including the annual Crappie Roundup. Check out Hill’s Minnow Farm on Bringle Ferry Road, Salisbury for details here. I’ll share a not-so-secret secret that I heard from a long-time fisherman, “when the dogwoods are blooming, the crappie are biting.” Just a little tidbit. Happy fishing!

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Floatilla!

I do enjoy the other attributes that lake living provides including access for kayaking, swimming, sight-seeing by boat, or even just getting to know neighbors who are like-minded and enjoy lake living. Did someone ask about the High Rock Floatilla? It is a group of lake neighbors that gather together for food, beverages, swimming, and friendship. Situated at the mouth of Crane Creek you will see the group entertaining and enjoying the sights and scenes of High Rock Lake on the second and fourth Tuesday of each summer month.

High Rock Lake’s beautiful scenery showcases an abundance of Winter Waterfowl, Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, North American Ducks, Loons, Warblers, Kingfishers, Osprey, and of course seagulls. We do see our share of turtles and water snakes, but I’ll ignore that fact for now. Great models for amateur photographers!

A Unique Racing Experience on the Lake

And I would be remiss in not mentioning the largest annual activity on High Rock Lake – the Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, July 27. Local food vendors and organizations have booths. Enjoy your favorite foods and beverages including Salisbury’s very own Cheerwine. There are activities for children and the event is FREE! What a great way to enjoy the lake and see local and regional teams compete for fun, corporate teamwork, trophies, and bragging rights. Want to join the race with your own team? Check out the Dragon Boat Race of 2019 on the Rowan Chamber of Commerce’s website to get involved.

With all this information, you may want to call a realtor to begin your own lake living lifestyle. Whether it’s your first time on the lake or your considered part of the High Rock Lake aquatic life make sure to read over our Quick High Rock Lake Check List to avoid simple mistakes.

Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival 2016

Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival 2016

Follow me on Instagram: @JoyceontheLake, as I share images from my discovery of the lake each month.

If you would like to share an event on the lake with #YourRowan, please email me at highrocklake@yourrowan.com.