Prepare Your Pup for a Day at the Lake

dog visits the lakeFor many Lake Nantahala residents and renters, it’s unthinkable to leave pets behind for a summer trip to the lake. Dogs are your best friend, your child with four paws, your fellow adventurer in the wilds of the Nantahala National Forest. Lake Nantahala is pet friendly, with plenty of places for you and your furry friend to roam. If you’re planning on bringing your dog to the North Carolina mountains, make sure he’s ready for a day at the lake.

Plan Your Lake Day

Before hitting the open water with your favorite pet, know what sort of activities are on your to-do list. Does your ideal lake vacation include swimming and fishing? You’re probably okay to bring your pet along. Would you rather sip cocktails or nap in the warm sunshine? Leave your pet at the lake house while you lounge by the lake. If you plan to rent a boat, take a hike, or visit Lake’s End diner, make sure all areas are pet approved before bringing along your pooch.

Know Your Dog

The first step in a stress-free (well, stress-limited) day at the lake with your dog is to make sure your pet is appropriately trained. Can your dog swim? Is he a good runner? Does he come when you call him? Train your dog for obedience before bringing him out for a day of fun at the lake. If your pooch isn’t a good swimmer, buy a doggie sized life vest and let your dog practice swimming in it. You should also know if your dog gets tired easily, has asthma triggered by hot weather, gets along well with people and other animals, and listens well enough to stay nearby.

Pet Safety Gear for Lake Nantahala

Just like lake-goers need to stock up on sunglasses and sunscreen before hitting the shores, pets require lake gear, too. If you’re bringing your dog to the lake, supplement your beach bag with:

  • Bottled water and a portable bowl
  • Dog waste bags
  • Identification tags
  • Food and treats
  • A first aid kit with antibiotic ointment and dog medications
  • A collar and leash
  • An old towel
  • A dog-proof flotation device

Ready for a day at the lake with your dog? We look forward to seeing you and your most loyal companion at Lake Nantahala this summer!

photo from flickr

Sun, Sand, and Swimming

When you enjoy summer on Lake Nantahala, you get the best of all worlds: crisp green foliage, beautiful mountain paths, and the clear, sandy shores surrounding Lake Nantahala. Our crystal clear water means kids can learn about our bountiful fish and aquatic plants as they swim. Swimming is a cornerstone of summer memories. If your child, niece or nephew, or grandchild isn’t comfortable in the water, follow these tips to teach kids to swim in Lake Nantahala.

Set the Stage for Safety

child swimming in the lakeBefore you begin teaching a child to swim, check the surrounding area for fishermen, wildlife, and proximity to the docks. Always supervise a beginner swimmer at all times. Resist the temptation to outfit your child in a life vest as he or she learns. Once a kid learns to swim in a life vest, it’s difficult to teach them to swim on their own. If additional flotation is necessary, let your child explore our North Carolina shores wearing a progressive floating trainer. Grab noodles, kickboards, and inner tubes to help kids learn different swimming skills.

Teach Age Appropriate Techniques

A child’s age determines which swimming techniques he or she can master. For toddlers and preschoolers, teach breathing techniques as you acclimate them to the water. Children aged 4 and up can learn basic kicking and swimming skills. Kids will learn the best swimming techniques at a North Carolina outdoor center class with a registered swim instructor; however, parents can teach kids basic swimming skills and water safety. Make swimming fun by swimming and playing water games while the kids learn. Never abandon a new swimmer to solitary swimming, even if a child is making great progress. Before teaching a kid the backstroke, the breaskstroke, the butterfly, or any other swimming technique, refresh yourself by reading a step-by-step tutorial online.

Make the most of your Lake Nantahala lake house by teaching young friends and family members to swim.

 photo from FreeDigitalPhotos

Fair Waters Ahead

When the weather heats up, there’s something about water activities that appeal to us. Maybe it’s the fresh, cool fun of splashing through Lake Nantahala. Maybe it’s a desire to relax. Maybe it’s our sense of adventure wanting to explore terrain that’s been barred to us during the winter. The good news is, whatever your reasons for loving water activities at Lake Nantahala, we’ve got you covered with plenty of options. Here’s how you can have fun in the sun and surf this summer.


boats on NantahalaWant to lounge on the water with lunch and an ice cold drink? Lake’s End Marina makes boat renting simple. Rent a boat for Lake Nantahala cruising and get started on that summer vacation feel. You can enjoy the sunshine in a pontoon, deck boat, fishing boat, or a canoe. The marina rents by half days and full days, so you can enjoy the open water for as long as you can entertain yourself. Bringing kids along? Want to take a break and act like a kid yourself? Gather some friends together and rent a tube for your day on the lake!


Make a memory on those still, fog-laced mornings of spring and summer. Teach your spouse, kids, or grandkids to fish the crystal clear waters of Lake Nantahala. Our waters are brimming with freshwater fish and secluded spots to relax with your line. Just avoid the endangered species!


Is your sense of adventure telling you to get moving? Then pack up the car and head to the Nantahala Gorge for a day! Our friends in Bryson City have the scoop on rafting lessons, whitewater boating, and guided tours down the Nantahala River. They’ll keep you safe, happy, and having a blast while you satisfy your inner adventurer.

Want to learn more about North Carolina mountain lake exploration? Call Reflection Lake Nantahala today.

Swimming in rivers, streams discouraged due to high water levels in Nantahala

rain on the lake

Don’t let the rain get you down. With care for precautions, you can still enjoy a great day of swimming in Nantahala.

Swimmers in the Nantahala and Pisgah areas may want to make plans now to head to Lake Nantahala, as the U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina has issued a statement discouraging swimmers in the rivers and streams of the area:

“The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina is urging visitors to the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to avoid swimming in the creeks, rivers and streams until water levels recede. Water levels are more than a foot above normal in some waterways. High water levels and strong stream flows pose a safety risk to visitors.”

With the added water from the consistent rain we’ve been getting in the area, the rapids of the Nantahala River and the power of the streams in the area has steadily grown, making the water somewhat risky for visitors. If you’ve planned to visit your lake house in the coming weeks or have planned a vacation to Nantahala, don’t worry; you don’t have to miss out on all water sports. To avoid the strong stream flows and to have a safer swim, Nantahala Lake provides a calmer, more serene retreat until the water recedes. The large lake can handle added water capacity well, keeping the waters calm and clear, perfect for swimmers, fishing, kayaking, boating, and other water sports.

The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina does, however, warn against some activities around the shore of the lake, stating that visitors to the Nantahala  and Pisgah areas should “avoid climbing near waterfalls and be aware of the potential for flash flooding.”

We hope that everyone continues to have a safe and amazing fun summer in the Nantahala area, especially at the lake! A little vigilance and safety can go a long way towards having a great day at the lake, even after all of the rain.

Photo via Flickr CC