By Elisabeth Arriero
Posted: Thursday, May. 30, 2013
It doesnt get much better than summertime at Lake Norman. With June temperatures averaging in the mid-70s, its the perfect time to get outside and enjoy all the area has to offer, both on and off the water. To help you get started, weve put together a list of 10 great activities from the tranquil and relaxing to the exciting and adventurous. So grab your friends and family, a bottle of suntan lotion, and get going!Wakeboard Camps
Whether youre a beginner or a seasoned rider, youre sure to improve your skills and have a blast at IcyWakess summer wakeboard camps. The Cornelius-based IcyWakes supplies the boat, rope, wakeboard, and instruction. All you need to bring is a lifejacket and a desire to have fun. Both morning (9 a.m.-noon) and afternoon (1-4 p.m.) sessions are available Tuesday Friday.
Details: www.icywakessurfshop.comDisc Golf
While disc golf started as a fringe college activity in the 1960s, it has grown into a popular sport for both young and old. Less costly and time consuming than golf, players toss discs similar to Frisbees into wire or plastic baskets, typically along a course situated at a scenic park. Lake Norman boasts several great disc golf courses, including at Beattys Ford Park in Denver, Bradford Park in Huntersville, Cornelius Road Park in Mooresville, and Bailey Road Park in Cornelius, which has hosted both amateur and world competitions. You can find discs at local retailers like Omega Sports and Dicks Sporting Goods.Learn to Paddleboard
With Lake Normans calm, scenic waters and numerous little coves to explore, its no wonder standup paddelboarding has become one of the hottest new sports around. If you havent yet tried this fun new activity thats also a great workout, Moose Paddleboard Company is a great way to get started. It offers training and guided tours for up to six people, as well as four- and eight-hour SUP rentals for more experienced riders.
Details: www.moosepaddleboardcompany.comHit the Links
If you prefer the real thing to the disc and basket version, Lake Norman has plenty of great public/daily fee golf courses that offer a variety of layouts, conditions, and vistas. Below are some of the top options.Birkdale Golf ClubHuntersville
This Arnold Palmer-designed course was voted one of the top five public courses in the state and is known for its tight fairways and fast greens.Fox Den
The unique layout at this course offers mountain-, coastal- and sandhills-style holes all in a compact design.Mooresville Golf Course
A hidden gem, Mooresvilles layout features a front nine that were designed by Donald Ross.Verdict Ridge Country Club
With some of the finest greens in the region, Verdict Ridge is a true shot makers course on the west side of Lake Norman.Hope Park
Thanks to the giving spirit of hundreds of local volunteers along with Lowes YMCA and the town of Mooresville, Lake Norman has one of the most elaborate and fun parks in the state. Hope Park, which is located near the Lowes YMCA, opened in 2010 and features an impressive array of swings, slides, towers, play houses, tunnels, rock wall, and interactive splash pad. While the kids jump, crawl, play, and cool off in the water, there are plenty of shady and comfortable benches for parents to watch and take a breather.
Details: 170 Joe Knox Ave., MooresvilleFishing with Capt. Gus
Gus Gustafson, a well-known local fishing guide with more than 50 years of experience, can show you the best spots and techniques for landing everything from bass and catfish to crappie. For your guided trip, you can choose between a 23-foot center console boat or a luxury 25-foot pontoon, equipped with a VHF radio, GPS, and depth finder. Trips range from three to eight hours, and Capt. Gus can accommodate up to six anglers.
Details: www.fishingwithgus.comLake Norman State Park
One of the areas greatest outdoor resources, Lake Norman State Park in Troutman has 13 miles of shoreline, along with boating access, a public beach area with swimming, miles of hiking and biking trails, picnic areas and campgrounds. Its like a mini-vacation destination right here at home, where you can spend the entire afternoon relaxing under a shady tree or exploring the wilderness
Details: www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/lano/main.phpTake a Walk on the Wild Side
Experience a safari without ever leaving Lake Norman. Zootastic in Troutman has hundreds of exotic animals and fun activities like pony rides, a petting zoo, and summer camps. Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, which opened two decades ago, has more than 750 animals from six continents. Families have the option of either viewing these beautiful creatures from a horse-drawn wagon or from the comfort of their car. And dont forget to purchase a feed bucket for just $3 to ensure an even close encounter with an exotic animalnot to mention a great photo opportunity!
Lazy 5 Ranch: www.lazy5ranch.comGet into the Swing
The Lake Norman Tennis Association really served up an ace when it landed the USTAs League Adult State Championships taking place this month. Its just one more example of how the local tennis community continues to thrive. If youre looking to get into the game, the LNTA (www.lnta.org) is a great resource for meeting others and getting involved in league play. Moreover, in addition to nearly a dozen private tennis clubs, Lake Norman is also blessed with plenty of free public courts, including the ones below.Jetton Park
19000 Jetton Park Road, Cornelius
Courts: 8North Mecklenburg Park
16131 Old Statesville Road,
Courts: 6Cornelius Road Park
247 Cornelius Road, Mooresville
Courts: 6Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road, Cornelius
Courts: 3Holbrook Park
100 Sherwood Drive , Huntersville
Courts: 6Set Sail
Sailing versus operating a motorboat is a lot like choosing between driving an automatic or a stick shift. While the automatic may be more convenient, it doesnt compare to the thrilling, hands-on driving experience. At NC Community Sailing and Rowing Center, based at Huntersvilles Blythe Landing, people of all ages can master the skill of operating a sailboat on beautiful Lake Norman. Moreover, the center has a sizeable fleet of boats to choose from, including the popular Sunfish.