As we transition from fall into winter, I am mindful of how Lake Lure truly is a town for all seasons. Although spring and summer are considered “in-season” here, our moderate autumn and winter months provide the perfect setting for family get-togethers, hiking, climbing, fishing, and nature watching; especially now that the fallen leaves allow us to see so much more in the forest.
Lake Lure is fortunate to have considerable complimentary town-owned recreational settings for residents and visitors to explore. If you and your family have not come out to experience the exquisite creation that surrounds us in Lake Lure; I encourage you to make some time to appreciate the stunning scenery that is right at our fingertips in Lake Lure.
Morse Park: Morse Park includes the meadows located beside the Lake Lure Welcome Center at 2926 Memorial Hwy. There are picnic tables, a playground, basketball, tennis courts, with much more to see there. The park encompasses a network of over a mile of walking/jogging paths with benches along the way. You can walk through the park and enjoy views of Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, and the Rumbling Bald vistas. The park is pet friendly and the gardens are artfully landscaped. There are fishing areas along the Rocky Broad River side of the park that empties into Lake Lure. Morse Park includes wooded wetland areas and a large pond perfect for wildlife viewing and bird watching. In addition, there is the iconic Lake Lure Gazebo that has recently been refreshed and I provides the perfect spot for family photos. There are also several restaurants within walking distance of the park.
Lake Lure Town Center Walkway: The Lake Lure Town Center Walkway is a walking path of brick pavers that begins at Jack London Road near the ABC Store and crosses the Pool Creek Bridge, that extends to a floating board walk through the Washburn Marina. The walkway continues on toward Chimney Rock Village along US64/74A through Town and across the old historic Rocky Broad River Bridge, now called the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. Be sure to notice the newly restored pillars and globe lights on the Pool Creek Bridge. These were recently refurbished by George Wittmer, the owner of Lake Lure Properties. The bridge and lights now look exactly as they did in 1925 when the bridge was built.
Pool Creek Picnic Park: Pool Creek Picnic Park is just as the name implies….it is a park for picnickers. The Park is accessible by water or by land and there is a boat ramp for non-motorized boats. Enjoy the best view in town on one of the many picnic tables. It is convenient to fire up one of the grills and make it a day everyone can enjoy!
Lake Lure Flowering Bridge – A Gateway to Somewhere Beautiful: The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is home to more than 2000 species of plants, lovingly tended by our local volunteers. From the Bridge (surrounded by the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains) visitors can look upstream to view the famous Chimney Rock, and downstream where the river flows into Lake Lure There is always something new to see as the plant and garden decorative displays change with the seasons. Visitors often comment on the unexpected blooms that appear at unusual times due to the isothermal microclimate of Hickory Nut Gorge. Even in the coldest months, festive lighting invites a walk across the Bridge both day and night. These unique gardens are free and open to the public all year. The vast majority of the gardens are wheelchair accessible.
Dittmer-Watts Nature Trail Park: Dittmer-Watts Nature Trail Park is a walking trail system of approximately 3 miles of looped natural surface trails with varying difficulty. It’s an ideal spot for picnics, bird enthusiasts, couples and pet owners. The park includes Dogwood Trail (Distance: 0.4 miles), Meadowside Trail (Distance: 0.2 miles), Ridge Trail (Distance: 0.6 miles), Rhododendron Trail (Distance: 0.2 miles), Creekside Trail (Distance: 0.2 miles), Piney Hill Trail (Distance: 0.15 miles), Mountain Vista Trail (Distance: 0.5 miles), Red Maple Trail (Distance: 0.15 miles), and Huckleberry Trail (Distance: 0.15 miles) – all perfect for walking, hiking, or running.
Buffalo Creek Park: The Park offers a true mountain experience that will challenge your workouts and offer great views and varied terrain. The trails are smooth and flowing and popular with hikers and trail runners. Though designed with mountain bikers in mind, this a multi-use park suitable for runners and hikers as well. This is the only bike trail system of its kind within 20 miles. It features banked turns, rollers, and berms. The main trail is a 3.5-mile loop. It is important to note that the trail is challenging due to the elevation change.
Weed Patch Mountain Trail: Weed Patch Mountain Trail encompasses 8.6 miles extending from the highest point on the Buffalo Creek Park up to Eagle Rock where you can get an incredible view of the surrounding mountains. The main access point for the trail is the Buffalo Creek Park trailhead. This trail should only be used by experience hikers and bikers as it is a rugged, backwoods experience with no other connecting trails. You must hike 1.5 to 2 miles on the blue loop to reach the start of the Weed Patch Trail. The trail is open to mountain biking though it is narrow and there are no banked curves. There is a gravel parking lot at 2191 Buffalo Creek Road.
Lake Lure Green Space: In January of 2022, the Lake Lure Golf Course was converted into green space for the community. A master plan will be developed for this space in the near future. The area includes 2,738 yards of green space for the public’s enjoyment with scenic views of the Hickory Nut Gorge at the southeastern side of Town. The new Green Space offers approximately 2.5 miles of paved walking trail and it also ties into Dittmer-Watts Nature Trail. There is a parking area and the Green Space is pet friendly and open to everyone.
Lake Lure Beach and Water Park. Of course the Lake Lure Beach and Water Park is the perfect place to come and enjoy the view on the lake during the summer. You can also enjoy walking on the 100 yards of clean sandy beach this winter from January 1, 2023 to March 31, 2023.
Young’s Mountain Trail: Young’s Mountain Trail is a 2.1-mile hiking trail (4.2 miles round-trip) located on the north side of Lake Lure. It ascends 1,200 feet in elevation to reach the top of scenic cliffs near the summit of the mountain. Don’t miss these spectacular views from the summit overlooking Lake Lure, Rumbling Bald, and Weed Patch Mountain. On a clear day, Mt. Mitchell and the Black Mountains are also visible. The trail includes picturesque woodland streams and a small, splashing waterfall. There are multiple rock outcrops with gorgeous views, including dramatic overhanging rocks such as the one shown here. There is abundant wildlife, including deer, bear, coyotes, bobcats, and flying squirrels. This trail is located inside a gated community and a gate code will be provided when you reserve a parking pass. See the Town of Lake Lure website for more information.
In addition to these outdoor activities, I hope you will join us for two upcoming annual heartwarming events.
- The Lake Lure Veterans Day Program is scheduled for Friday, November 11, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. at The Terrace at Rumbling Bald on Lake Lure. Everyone is welcome! Veterans and their spouses will enjoy a complimentary breakfast following the program.
- The Town of Lake Lure The Town of Lake Lure and the Flowering Bridge Board, in partnership with Lake Lure Classical Academy, invite you to ring in the holidays with the Lighting of Lake Lure and the Flowering Bridge on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. on the West side of the bridge. Come enjoy complimentary hot apple cider, holiday cookies and festive music by the Lake Lure Raptors Choir.
These events continue to provide opportunities for us to come together as a community to show appreciation for Veterans, for all generations, and for each other. We are all so fortunate to be able to spend time in our beloved Lake Lure. I am truly grateful for the natural beauty that surrounds us here in Lake Lure…all year round.