Mountain Island Lake, North Carolina, USA

Also known as:  Mountain Island Reservoir

Anyone looking for lakefront property in the Charlotte, North Carolina area will want to look at Mountain Island Lake. Lakes in the Piedmont area of the state are nearly all reservoirs, and Mountain Island Lake is no exception,. The large 3,300-acre reservoir sprawls across the Catawba River Valley and meanders up several inflowing stream beds to create a twisting, varied landscape along 61 miles of shoreline. Only 10 miles from – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Mountain Island Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Mountain Island Lake 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 Mountain Island Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Mountain Island Lake 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 Mountain Island Lake

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

Anyone looking for lakefront property in the Charlotte, North Carolina area will want to look at Mountain Island Lake. Lakes in the Piedmont area of the state are nearly all reservoirs, and Mountain Island Lake is no exception,. The large 3,300-acre reservoir sprawls across the Catawba River Valley and meanders up several inflowing stream beds to create a twisting, varied landscape along 61 miles of shoreline. Only 10 miles from downtown Charlotte, the exclusive housing developments along Mountain Island Lake are in high demand. Along with providing power for the surrounding area, this Duke Energy lake also provides much of the drinking water to Mount Holly, Gastonia and Charlotte.

Mountain Island Lake was created in 1924, when Duke Energy commissioned a dam to be built across the Catawba River downstream from Lake Norman. The lake takes its name from the top of a former ‘mountain’ that now exists as a large island in the western part of the lake. Mountain Island Dam stores the water to operate the Mountain Island Hydroelectric Plant and supplies cooling water for the steam-generating Riverbend Steam Station. In the past, the Island was often used for camping, but that has been phased out; no campgrounds now exist along the lake. The lake has no designated swimming beaches, but several public boat ramps provide access to the water. Residents of the housing developments can take advantage of two resident-only marinas. Warm weather activities include water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, power boating and paddle sports.

The public has plenty of access to Mountain Island Lake’s shoreline; the boat launch areas are regularly used by small boat owners such as fishermen and nature fans. The many coves along the irregular shoreline are a delight to explore from kayak or canoe. Fishermen enjoy angling for striped bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and white perch, along with smaller panfish. Bank fishing is possible in many areas of the shoreline, and a fishing platform is offered at the Tailrace below the dam. North Carolina’s Wildlife Resources Commission manages the Tailrace site and monitors all fish species in the lake.

Mecklenburg County owns one county park along Mountain Island Lake’s shores. Latta Plantation County Park is a part of the 1,351-acre Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, a former cotton plantation property that holds miles of walking and cycling trails. Home to picnic grounds, a boat ramp, the Carolina Raptor Center, historic Latta Plantation restored home and an equestrian center, the Nature Center occupies a large peninsula on Mountain Island Lake that protects several species of rare and endangered plants. The Raptor Center is the Southeast’s largest eagle aviary and is dedicated to rehabilitation and education about these glorious birds of prey. The Preserve is a part of the Audubon Society’s Mountain Island Lake Important Bird Area because of the habitat provided to migratory and nesting songbirds, wintering waterfowl, and the threatened natural community of bottom land hardwood forest which shelters them.

Miles of walking trains meander throughout the Preserve’s peninsula. The equestrian center offers riding lessons, riding trails, pony rides, horse shows and a tack shop. The restored Federalist-style plantation house offers guided tours and educational field trips for school children. Roads exist between the various focal points of Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, but visitors are strongly encouraged to bring their bicycles to keep vehicle traffic to a minimum. The County Park area contains a ‘sprayground’, basketball court, multipurpose fields, tennis court, volleyball court, playground, soccer fields, picnic shelter and a recreation center offering summer day camps for children, athletic programs for youth, tennis academy, piano lessons and other enrichment programs. Multipurpose rooms, activity rooms and gymnasium provide space for a variety of adult and children’s activities.

Two additional nature areas are available along Mountain Island Lake’s extensive shoreline. Rural Hill Nature Preserve and Stephens Road Nature Preserve abut the lake and the inflowing creeks. Mecklenburg County also maintains Cowan’s Ford Wildlife Refuge along the shore. Although close to Charlotte and Mount Holly, Mountain Island Lake maintains an aura of natural shorelines, heavily wooded margins and surprising solitude much of the time. Housing is set back some distance from the water itself, although many residents have their own docks, constructed via a permit process. Many of the residents are commuters from Charlotte and the lake can seem quite empty many weekdays, although considerably busier on the weekends.

The convenience factor is a huge attraction for homeowners at Mountain Island Lake. Charlotte’s Bechtler Museum of Modern Art displays the work of notable 20th century artists. Nearby Discovery Place presents hands-on learning labs, an aquarium, rain forest and IMAX theater. Kids of all ages will love Carowinds Amusement and Water Park just south of the city near the South Carolina state line. The U.S. National Whitewater Center offers zip lines, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking and a number of just plain fun outdoor-themed activities. NASCAR fans will love the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Charlotte area also offers golf courses and all types of shopping venues.

Duke Energy has faced mounting criticism and lawsuits over recently-discovered leakage from unlined coal ash pits on their many coal generation properties. Some of these legacy storage pits are near Mountain Island Lake’s shoreline, leading to concerns about ground water and lake pollution. However, residential areas along Mountain Island Lake are supplied with city water and sewer. Duke Energy is working with the EPA to eventually have all remaining coal ash removed from these old unlined pits. The problem developed over a period of years and it will likely be several years before all pollution issues can be mitigated. In the meantime, the Cities of Charlotte, Gastonia and Mount Holly are carefully monitoring their water quality and are assuring users that the water is safe to drink.

Visitors to Mountain Island lake will find a few guest rentals on the lake itself, usually in the form of private homes. Regular hotel lodgings are available along the nearby highways. Campgrounds are found nearby, including along the Catawba River and near Lake Norman upstream. Charlotte offers a wide variety of amenities such as bed & breakfasts, varied restaurants, and plenty of nightlife. It’s no wonder that in 2014, Money magazine selected Mountain Island Lake as one of the best-value, big-city neighborhoods in the USA.

*Few statistics for depths and water volume are available.

Things to Do at Mountain Island Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • NASCAR
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Mountain Island Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • White Perch

All About Mountain Island Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Mountain Island Lake

The Mountain Island Lake 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 Mountain Island Lake 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
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

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


More Sites to Book a Mountain Island Lake 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 Mountain Island Lake 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 Mountain Island Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Mountain Island Lake 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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More Mountain Island Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
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  • New Mountain Island Lake photos coming soon!
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Do you have a vacation rental property at Mountain Island Lake? 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.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Mountain Island Lake forum?

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.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

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

The former Mountain Island Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Mountain Island Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Mountain Island Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Mountain Island Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Mountain Island Lake forum group? Click Here

New Mountain Island Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi