Lake Hickory, North Carolina, USA

Lake Hickory, situated in west central North Carolina near the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of several man-made reservoirs in North Carolina’s largest river system, the Catawba River Basin. The Catawba River originates in the eastern slopes of the mountains and flows 225 miles through North and South Carolina. Lake Hickory is located a few miles north of the town of Hickory in North Carolina’s Piedmont tourism region. The – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Hickory! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Hickory cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Hickory! Article topics include:

Looking for Lake Hickory cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Lake Hickory

Lake Locations: USA - South - North Carolina - Piedmont -

Lake Hickory, situated in west central North Carolina near the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of several man-made reservoirs in North Carolina’s largest river system, the Catawba River Basin. The Catawba River originates in the eastern slopes of the mountains and flows 225 miles through North and South Carolina. Lake Hickory is located a few miles north of the town of Hickory in North Carolina’s Piedmont tourism region.

The lake was formed in 1927, when Duke Energy completed the construction of Oxford Dam – 1200 feet long and 122 feet high – and takes the name of Hickory, the nearest city. Lake Hickory covers 4,223 acres from Oxford Dam to Rhodhiss Dam of the neighboring Rhodhiss Lake and reaches 935 feet above sea level at full pond. It has a shoreline 109 miles long. Lake Hickory, located in Alexander County and touching Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties, supplies electricity and water to the cities of Hickory and Longview.

Duke Energy continues to control and manage the reservoir and along with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, offers 5 public access areas: Gunpowder, Lovelady, Wittenburg, Dusty Ridge, and Oxford Access Areas. There are also 16 marinas scattered around Lake Hickory.

Popular water activities on the lake include sailing, boating, swimming, water skiing, tubing and fishing. Though there are no public swimming areas on Lake Hickory, residents with lake access may swim. Common fish in Lake Hickory are largemouth bass, striped bass, crappie and channel catfish. Fishing tournaments are both plenty and popular during North Carolina’s busy summertime.

Possibilities for more recreational opportunities are currently under deliberation. In 2006, Duke Energy received final signatures from participants in its proposed Catawba-Wateree Relicensing. The plans in the agreement will impact Lake Hickory’s water levels, which currently fluctuate from 94 to 100 feet (Duke Energy’s target levels are from 96 to 97 feet). Other plans will affect shoreline management; public access to information; new facilities for fishing, canoeing, paddling, kayaking, swimming, camping and picnicking; and management of growing water demands.

Duke Energy, the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and groups such as the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation monitor the water quality of Lake Hickory and its watershed. Water samples during the 1980’s and 1990’s found decreased water quality in areas of municipal wastewater discharges and rural runoff. Efforts have been implemented to support all uses of Lake Hickory, including aquatic life, recreation, and drinking water supply.

Lake Hickory is home to a variety of native North Carolina species of plants and animals. Bald eagles and ospreys can be sighted in the area. About 20 miles of shoreline are still undeveloped, providing areas for wildlife to thrive and for visitors to enjoy the natural environment. The rest of the shoreline is largely spotted with private homes and docks.

There are countless things to do in the Lake Hickory area. The nearby all-American, Southern hospitality town of Hickory is cited by its residents as one of the best places to live. Community values, low taxes, and the diversity of activities all in one place are among the top reasons for making Hickory such a prime location. Hickory is known world-wide for its furniture, so if you have a weakness for home decorating, you should head for a first-class furniture experience. The Hickory Museum of Art (second oldest in the state) and the Catawba Science Center are just a couple of opportunities of interest. The Hickory Choral Society’s classical performances, Hickory’s 14 award-winning golf courses, and a plethora of other artistic, cultural and sporting events make Hickory an exciting place while still keeping its small-town charm.

Featured museum and artistic exhibits; arts, folk, pottery and antique festivals; and visual and performing arts are all offered in surrounding counties of Lake Hickory. The nearby Blue Ridge Mountains offer a whole other world of intrigue and fun. Take a trip along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, go snow skiing, or mountain rafting. Alexander County has a number of public parks with facilities for tennis, volleyball, horshoes, basketball, jogging, picnicking and other sports and activities. Alexander County’s Hiddenite area is a delight for rock enthusiasts who may dig for sapphires, emeralds, quartz and other precious stones.

Options for dining and lodging in the Lake Hickory area are plenty. There are two lakefront restaurants and a wide selection of dining from pizza to steaks, fish camps to coffeeshops in nearby cities. You can also find a modest variety of bed and breakfasts, hotels, inns and suite options. Camping is an attractive possiblity on or near the lake. Real estate options both near and on the lake range from the warm, cozy and rustic to luxurious gated communities and include historic sites for the nostalgic.

Lake Hickory’s desirability lies in its beautiful waters and charming location offering a diverse coming together of Southern antiquity, wilderness adventure, and artistic and cultural sophistication.

Things to Do at Lake Hickory

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Antiquing

Fish Species Found at Lake Hickory

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass

All About Lake Hickory

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Lake Hickory

The Lake Hickory map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Lake Hickory Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
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Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Hickory Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Lake Hickory Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Lake Hickory Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake Hickory lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Duke Energy

Surface Area: 4,223 acres

Shoreline Length: 109 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 935 feet

Average Depth: 33 feet

Maximum Depth: 100 feet

Water Volume: 137,821 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1927

Water Residence Time: 33 days

Drainage Area: 1,310 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Lake Hickory news from LakeLubbers.com

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Do you have a vacation rental property at Lake Hickory? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

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LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

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Click here to advertise your Lake Hickory vacation rental or local business.

The former Lake Hickory forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Lake Hickory photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

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New Lake Hickory photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi