Lake Lookout Shoals located just north of I-40 and east of hwy 16 is a lake that shares many of the same qualities as other lakes along the catawba river but also has a few distinct qualities. It was formed in 1915 when duke energy put the Lookout Shoals Hydroelectric plant into use. Lake Lookout Shoals was then and still is one of the smallest lakes on the Catawba River with 37 miles of shoreline and 1,305 acres of surface area. Although Lake Lookout Shoals is smaller than some of the neighboring lakes there are no restrictions on boat size or speed on the lake.
This smaller size is certainly an advantage for potential buyers as it has helped to keep the property values from exploding like they have on neighboring lakes. As of September 2012 there are still several homes available on the main channel with excellent deep water frontage and views for under $200,000.
Locals often refer to the lake simply as “Lake Lookout” and find it to be the least crowded lake in the area. One of the reasons for this is that duke energy who owns all the lakes in our area still owns a large portion of the 37 acre shoreline. Another 450 acres bordering the river is owned by the Riverbend County Park. This park on the northwest end of the lake features.
Canoe/Kayak access to the Catawba River
1,000 sq ft Meeting/Educational facility
20 x 45 open Picnic Shelter near river
Wildlife habitat viewing areas
2 acre fenced Dog Park
7.8 miles of mountain biking trails
Leashed dog walking
A.D.A. accessible river observation platform
Educational and Volunteer opportunities
Canoeing the lake is simple. Put in at the top of the lake at the park when the hydroelectric dam is discharging water. (Prime times are after 3PM during the week and at various times during the weekend) Simply let the current and your paddeling lead you downstream. From top to bottom it can take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on how hard you paddle, breaks, etc. At the bottom of the lake there is a public lake access called the Sharon Lake access. You can arrange for a ride to pick you up there. CAUTION be prepared to paddle. After the river becomes a lake it is flat water like any other lake. A good 2 hours paddeling to reach the public access area can be expected.