By Michael Boff
If you are visiting Lake Lure for the first time or live in the area year round, you need to get on the water and wrap yourself in the area’s majestic beauty. If you don’t have a boat, fear not, the Town Marina 828-817-4686, Rumbling Bald Resort 828-625-9119 and Lake Lure Adventures 828-625-8066 are all prepared to enrich your time here by making watercraft rentals available.
For those who can handle a good balancing act and looking to supplement their daily workout regimen a paddleboard maybe the perfect choice. If enjoying the wonders of nature is your thing, then snugging the shoreline to catch glimpses of of the lake’s flora and fauna can best be achieved by kayak. However, if your thinking is to relax, kick back and enjoy a more relaxing time, and one that allows you to snack or enjoy a beverage, a pontoon boat might be just the ticket. Regardless of your preferred mode of travel and the level of energy you wish to expend while experiencing the pristine waters nestled in the Hickory Nut Gorge, any of the three places noted above are always ready to get the vessel to best fit your needs.
If your want to be enveloped by all the natural wonders the lake has to offer, get an early start to your day and glide across the water as the mist lifts, the call of loons beckon and the sky becomes a palette of endless color penetrating the fog in front of you. Keep you eyes peeled for herons as they stand motionless along the shore waiting to satisfy their morning appetite as schools of fingerlings circle in the shallow waters. Watch largemouth bass surface, snatching insects that scurry across the water’s surface. As the world of the lake awakens, so to are your senses brought to life by the sounds and sights that surround this special place.
In the distance you might hear the loud impetuous call of the pileated woodpecker or the rapid hammering of it’s beak as it searches for it’s most recent food cravings. You may even be fortunate enough to witness osprey diving from what seems to be hundreds of feet to snatch fish as they swim near the lake’s surface. Look overhead for the graceful beauty and grandeur of bald eagles with their shimmering white heads and tail feathers gliding above.
Spring is always special. The redbuds are in bloom with their royal purple blossoms adding to the palette of color what comes with spring. The trees are budding with their fresh vivid color of green, daffodils poke through the blanket of leaves, along the forest floors of areas yet undisturbed. The gray of winter is further disguised by the delicate blossoms of the dogwoods and laurel. Finally, the amazing rainbow of color ranging from white to orange to pink, red and fuchsia, compliments of azaleas, brings to the imagination thoughts of being the centerpiece of a Monet painting.
Explore what has been the backdrop of many Hollywood films that have been shot around Lake Lure. Find your way to the end of Sunset Cove and discover what the director of Stephen King’s thriller, Firestarter starring Drew Barrymore, envisioned for the film. Cruise along the shoreline of Morse Park and examine the path Jack Lemmon and James Garner stumbled across in the movie My Fellow Americans. While you’re there look up at the rock faced cliffs behind the marina directly in front of you and recall the scene of Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans. And if that is not enough to satisfy your memory of the big screen, head to Firefly Cove. The staircase where Baby struggled to carry watermelons in the movie Dirty Dancing is still there along with the cove where Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze practiced their lift. In fact, it is still used today for the annual Dirty Dancing Festival each fall.
Make your trip across the water a scavenger hunt. Find the home referred to as the Queen of the Lake or the residence referred to as Grass and Glass. Appreciate the first boathouse built in anticipation of lake filling. It was constructed before any water filled the gorge. Look closely and you’ll see the fort built in 1775, for security, along the area’s Indian Territory. It was moved and reconstructed along the lake in 2022. Find the remains of the Wizard that stood guard over one of the lake’s many coves, or the Frog that serves as a fountain in front of a wonderful memory filled log cabin, again tucked in back of one of the mysterious coves. There’s always the former North Carolina Stare Police retreat which now serves as a gorgeous lodge and fine dining establishment.
With all these opportunities to see and experience things as you make your way floating along the surface of this magical place, there is no doubt you’ll work up an appetite. Grab lunch at the Lake House, or a pizza at Legends. Both might be necessary stops while near the east end of the lake. Maybe hunger pains will strike when closer to the town marina. In that case a specialty sandwich while listening to live music from the picnic tables at Lured Market is recommended. If antiques are of interest, try the hamburger at The Moose and Goose inside the Lake Lure Inn. The Inn is a time capsule you won’t want to miss. If it’s only your sweet tooth that needs to be satisfied then a Hubba Bubba at the Lake House, or a shake from Scoops, are places that should render consideration.
No matter what you elect to do, get on the water, and then start to explore the numerous cozy coves, float along the shoreline and discover the wonders of nature found there, or if nothing else just grab a bottle of wine and join the sun setters (boats that gather in the big water to watch the sunset) and experience the end of a perfect day.