Enjoy a clean and clear lake experience with the crystal water of Lake Nantahala

When most people think of time of the lake, they think of water sports, fishing, swimming, and their other favorite lake activities, but not about the clarity of the water. Lakes, especially in the South with the presence of red clay and other muddy soils, tend to be thought of as murky waters; they’re fun to enjoy, but crystal clear water is not expected. Lake Nantahala is a special gem, up in the North Carolina mountains, as the water of the lake is well known for it’s clarity.

lake nantahala, nc

A view of the lake bottom from the Lake’s End Marina dock.

Lake Nantahala was formed in 1942 when the Natahala River itself was dammed to create a clean and crystal clear reservoir. The surrounding area had remained mostly wild and untouched, not receiving access to electricity until the 1940’s, with mail still being delivered on horseback. Since it’s formation, the lake has maintained it’s pristine beauty and seemingly untouched clarity; from shoreline to over 15 feet deep, visitors can see clearly to the bottom of the lake on most days.

The pristine beauty of the lake and clean nature of the water make it a site of exceptional natural splendor for visitors to the area and lake residents. The beautiful water is often the talk of much conversation and an instant photo choice for new visitors.  From a distance, the water showcases a deep, almost sapphire blue appearance, but from the shoreline or a boat, people get to enjoy a glass-like purity that allows you to enjoy a view straight to the bottom of the lake or into its depth.

When is the last time you spent time on the water? How about the last time you visited a lake this clear? Take a summer weekend and head up to Nantahala to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings and to have a day on the lake. Make sure to send us a tweet at @lakenantahala to let us know you’re in the area!



Hiking In Nantahala How-To’s

trail hiking

Hike for one day or for two weeks; either way, there’s a trail near Nantahala that’s perfect for you.

Lake life may not seem the norm for residents of large cities, but at Lake Nantahala, we find the area to be an excellent weekend “escape” for those residing in Atlanta, New Orleans, Charlotte, and more who just want a weekend to get back to nature and to enjoy a little quiet. When it comes to getting back to nature, hiking is one of the most popular past-times in the area, as Lake Nantahala’s beautiful surroundings has lent the area to excellent trails, including access to the Appalachian Trail. Before you head to the woods, there are a few things you’ll want to take note of when hiking in NC:

Stick to the trails

When hiking in densely forested areas, a trail comes in handy not just as a natural map, but also as a clear pathway. Get a trail map or do extensive research on the  trail you plan to take while you’re at the lake so that you know what to expect, the duration of the hike, and the expertise needed to navigate it.

Pack accordingly

Even while taking a short hike in the area, you may want to have a bottle of water with you or a quick snack. On longer hiking ventures, make sure you have the correct over night gear, provisions, and equipment to handle the weather, trail, and situations you may encounter.

Be respectful of others

One of the reasons that people choose to purchase real estate in NC with a lake view of Lake Nantahala is the pristine, clear nature of the water. From the docks to the deep, you can see clearly down to the bottom of the lake, as far as the sun can reach, until it’s too deep to see further. This clarity is in part due to the cleanliness of the lake, and the respect people have for the water and the land around it. When hiking, dispose of wrappers and trash appropriately, follow the trail guidelines for pet waste, and be conscious of noise and behavior around neighboring hikers.


Planning a weekend trip or a full out hiking excursion near the lake? Get more details and hiking how-to’s from The Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Have a trail you love in the area? Tell us about it in our comments section.


Photo via Flickr CC.

5 Things to Make Your Memorial Day Amazing

american flags on memorial day

Memorial Day is a national day of remembrance as we look back on and thank those who gave their lives serving in the armed forces. While a somber observance, Memorial Day is also a great reminder to spend time with the ones we love and to celebrate the freedom that the fallen sacrificed their lives to protect. One of the most popular celebrations is a great day on the Lake; we’ve got a few tips for you to help make your Memorial Day celebration at Lake Nantahala the best yet.

1. The perfect entertaining venue

Reflections on Lake Nantahala provides the perfect, scenic locale for a lake day celebration. If you have access to a beautiful back deck or a porch, or if you own a dock by the lake, set up enough seating for your guests. Make sure that chairs are grouped to encourage conversation by grouping them in sets of three or more. By separating the sets, you encourage attendees to get up and move around between smaller, more intimate conversations, bringing everyone together.

feet on the edge of a boat on Lake Nantahala

The boat is the perfect place to kick back and relax.

2. Activities at the lake house

While lounging in the sun or spending a day out on the boat are the perfect agenda for a holiday, have back up plans in case of rain or activities to enjoy while at the lake house. Popular games such as ladder ball or corn hole are easy to play on the shore or in the back yard, while card games provide great entertainment indoors. If your family has lost someone in the armed forces, share your favorite memories of them to honor them on Memorial Day.

3. Activities in the area

If you plan to stay in town for more than just weekend, local activities are a great way to round out your Memorial Day and vacation week celebrations. Visit the Nantahala Outdoor Center, just minutes from Lake Nantahala, for rafting, kayaking, and more. Get out your fishing line and enjoy a day of fishing on the lake or in the local rivers. Take the family to enjoy a sporting event, such as the 10th Annual Fletcher Flyer Bike Ride, heading through Western North Carolina on June 2.

summer cocktail in a mason jar

Make a summer cocktail or a refreshing lemonade to enjoy at the lake house.

4. The right food

Memorial Day is all about the grill or the barbecue, so break out the smoker or the charcoal and get ready to cook up some goodness. Spread the table with North Carolina favorites like barbecue ribs and potato salad with a fresh pitcher of sweet tea, lemonade, or a Summer inspired cocktail. Consider your guests as you plan your menu–Are there any vegetarians? Is anyone allergic to anything? Have at least one dish that each person can enjoy.

5. The right mindset

While this may seem like a no-brainer, too often we use long holiday weekends to catch up on work or in a frazzled state trying to complete a project at home. Instead, spend some time in the “lake house state of mind.” This weekend, focus on relaxing, spending time with you friends and family, and being happy. You’ll be glad that you did!


Are you spending Memorial Day at Reflections on Lake Nantahala or around the Topton, NC area? Share a photo of your festivities with us on Facebook!

Photos via Flickr CC users DavidYuWeb, Ada Be, and 3Liz4