Lake James is one of western North Carolina’s scenic wonders, and it is so dramatic that it is featured as a setting in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans.” Words fail to convey the majestic grandeur of this special place. For generations a water recreation haven, Lake James is now the site of a major Burke County real estate boom.
Indeed, it is Burke County’s real estate miracle, bringing exciting new development along the shores of scenic Lake James with a full commitment to preserving the healthy natural environment of this vacation paradise, as well as a slice of its unique history.
There are 154 miles of shoreline, with thousands of acres of protected forest. It offers fishing, water sports, boating, canoeing, swimming, hiking, camping, or simply a place of quiet solace to sit and gaze out over the water as you read a favorite book.
Located in both Burke and McDowell counties and nestled against the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the lake was created over a half century ago as a power source for the Duke Power Company. Duke harnessed the flow of the Catawba River, the Linville River, and Paddy’s Creek to create a 6,512-acre body of water. Long a welcome destination for overnight campers, the lake now beckons long-term homeowners with a variety of residential communities.
A prime example of the history being commemorated at Lake James is a new residential community named 1780, which boasts a three-and-one-half mile pathway along the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail that crosses the property. 1780 refers to the year in which patriot militiamen marched from the high country to the Battle of Kings Mountain. Cottage Park, a gated arts-and-craft-style community, offers a clubhouse, swimming pool and magnificent walking trails. Mature pine and hardwood trees add beauty and privacy to every property in the new Hawksbill at Lake James subdivision. The Settings of Lake Rhodhiss, at the edge of Valdese, stretches across 682 acres and offers homesites positioned to make the most of the natural wonders that surround them.
Acute sensitivity to the environmental impact of development is guiding both state and commercial philosophies of responsible land use and stewardship.
Public and commercial boat launches are conveniently located around the lake to allow for easy access for all types of watercraft. Camping, sailing, water skiing and leisurely rides on pontoons and houseboats make weekends at the lake a treasured time to share with family and friends. Fishing enthusiasts can test their skills at catching walleye, large and small mouth bass, white bass, crappie, bluegills, trout and catfish. The State of North Carolina recently purchased 3,000 acres of forestland to develop into a State Park for swimming, camping, hiking and bicycle riding.