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25 Jul 2018
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When guests are seeking out a cabin for their summer vacation, there are a few highly requested property features that some people just don't want to live without (and we don't blame them!). For those looking to retreat to a secluded location, log cabins or cozy mountain cottages with a hot tub and view that allow pets are frequently requested. On top of that, lakefront properties and cabins that are located within a short drive time from lake access are in high demand. When it comes to mountain lakes, we are partial to a few, and that it is due, in part, to their close proximity to Asheville's artsy culture, popular restaurants and shopping in Black Mountain and Asheville. The other part of that equation is the pristine beauty of the three lakes that open up to beautiful mountain views and offer plenty of space for boating, canoeing, fishing and swimming.

Lake James

View of Lake James from Shortoff Mountain trail.

From Black Mountain and Asheville, Lake James and Lake James State Park is a straight-shot drive down I-40 east, due north, on the way to the Morganton area. This 6800-acre lake offers 25 miles of hiking trails around its borders, 15 of which are open to mountain biking as well. With a more "primitive" and wild feel than some other lakes, Lake James is an excellent spot to hop in a kayak or canoe and enjoy peaceful rowing and/or paddling. Lake James' views also provide a lens into the beautiful Linville Gorge Wilderness area in certain areas, including the 3000-foot Shortoff Mountain.

For those interested in exploring the powerboat paradise of Lake James,  boat ramps are located along NC 126 within a couple miles east of the park entrance. Hidden Cove provides boat launch access but closes between 7-9 p.m. depending on the season. The Canal Bridge area is open 24 hours. The area marina offers boats and motors for rent, as well as bait, fishing tackle, ice, and snacks. 

In addition to boating, Lake James offers a variety of water-based activities including swimming in the Paddy's Creek Area from May 1 through September 30th, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A fee is collected when lifeguards are on duty but free of charge when no lifeguards are staffed. The Linville and Catawba rivers flow into Lake James and result in some excellent fishing spots. The largemouth bass is the most popular fish found in the waters of Lake James, though catfish, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, walleyes and more varieties can also be found. Fishing tends to be the best in the early morning and late afternoon from April through October. 

Rentals that are located within quick drivetime to Lake James, include Moondance and many of Greybeard's Old Fort rental selections.

Lake Lure

Located 20-35 miles from Asheville and Black Mountain, Lake Lure and Lake Lure rentals are located in close proximity to popular attractions like Chimney Rock State Park and the Tryon International Equestrian Center, in addition to Lake Lure being an attraction in its own right. Scenic Lake Lure has over 700 acres of water space with plenty of room for fishing, boating, swimming and much more. The Lake Lure Beach & Water Park consists of 3 acres of area and a swimming area and picnic area. The water park has water slides and a variety of water games for the kids. The Lake Lure Washburn Marina rents out motorized and non-motorized boats, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and hydro bikes. The marina is also the site for a convenient boat launch which is open 24-7, year round. 

Lake Lure has a few accessible restaurants and a quick drive from the center of Lake Lure will take you to Buffalo Creek Park which offers some nice hiking and mountain biking trails if you're looking for a change of scenery. If you're on the way to Lake Lure from Black Mountain, Straightaway Cafe is a great spot to grab a burger, wrap or a freshly made sandwich. They are typically open Wednesday through Sunday. 

Lake George

The popular and private Gateway Mountain community is known for its seclusion, waterfall access and stunning mountain vistas from mountaintop cabins, A favorite feature for many is also the private mountain lake, Lake George,  that is located within the gated community.

Lake George's private dock access area.

Lake George's use is exclusively reserved for Gateway Mountain residents and guests staying in Gateway Mountain rentals and is an excellent location for swimming, fishing and canoeing. Some homes like Serenity Lake Cabin are located directly on the lake (or very close to the lake) and some even have private dock access and supply canoes and fishing equipment. 

Mountain lakes are picturesque and fun locations to make memories with friends and family in addition to lake activities being a great way to cool off on warmer summer days. These are just some of our favorite lake locations, and we think you'll love them too. 

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