Lake Norman & Mooresville

What’s new this summer at destination Lake Norman?

Cycleboats like this model will hit Lake Norman in July.
Cycleboats like this model will hit Lake Norman in July. My Aloha Paddle and Surf

What’s hot on Lake Norman besides endless sunshine?

This summer will bring cycleboats and a much-anticipated restaurant; the public beach is open again and white perch are waiting to be caught.

Water toys

This summer will bring the launch of the first cycleboat in North Carolina. Rob Bennett, owner of My Aloha Paddle and Surf in Cornelius, plans to bring pedal-propelled cruise boats to Lake Norman in July.

“Our cycleboats have 10 pedal stations where passengers can sit and pedal, plus nonpedal seating accommodations for up to four additional passengers,” Bennett said. “The passengers can go fast and hard or slow and easy. Most cruises will be two hours long.” The cruises will depart from private docks at Waterstreet Seaport in Cornelius, less than one mile from Birkdale Village in Huntersville.

“We’re heading into our third year of classes and we have by far more people interested this year,” Bennett said. “Don’t let the name scare you away. ... The paddleboards are a bit wider than the norm and they have an anchor to make them more stable. The yoga participants really love this activity.”

As riders pedal on individual cycle stations, together they propel a large paddle wheel in the back of the boat. There is always a captain in the rear of the boat to steer and operate the electric motor when needed. The boat also has the capability of capturing solar power.

Bennett says he plans to offer pedal tours initially on Lake Norman with more planned along the Catawba River. While a fun ride, cycleboats are also ideal for team building and fitness groups.

Along the fitness trend, yoga has been increasing in popularity across the United States during the past few years. Yoga in the lake is a different twist. Stand up paddleboard yoga is one of the hottest activities on Lake Norman this summer, according to Bennett.

Bennett says he has people doing the stand up yoga who are as young as 16 and as old as 60. All classes are taught by certified yoga instructors.

He says its’ a natural fit to combine paddling with yoga. His instructors’ knowledge and training both as yoga instructors and paddlers are the perfect complement to each other and practicing yoga on a stand up paddleboard enhances balance, flexibility and overall whole-body fitness.

Also likely to be seen near the water this summer are onewheels, one wheel skateboards which use the latest innovative technology to control acceleration and balance.

The onewheels are designed not so much for use in the water but rather to get you over boardwalks or walkways to the water. Dave Vieser

Fishing outlook

White perch fishing should be the number one recreational fishing activity this summer on Lake Norman, according to Mac Byrum of Denver, a full time year round guide. Byrum, 77, says the perch should be plentiful, and a most appropriate attraction for families looking to enjoy a day fishing.

“They generally run anywhere from 1/2 to 2 pounds, and most fisherman use earthworms on small hooks to attract them” Byrum said. As for the best spot on the lake to catch them, Byrum says “they’re all over the place. Some people like to fish north of the 150 bridge, while others prefer the south side. But the truth is the warmer lake temperatures in the summer make them much more active from shore to shore.”

Many fishing pros use perch for bait, but fried perch is also a popular dish at local seafood based eateries. White perch are traditionally cooked whole but the fillets are great lightly fried or pan sautéed.

After white perch for fishing during the summer on Lake Norman comes, bass, catfish and crappie.

And will the full pond status of Lake Norman, after many inches of rain this spring, have an impact on fishing this summer? Byrum says no. Dave Vieser

Trump National Gold Club Charlotte

Does President Donald Trump have any plans to visit his golf course in Mooresville? If so, no one is saying. No word, either, on whether the July 4 fireworks display will be more presidential this year.

Ramsey Creek Beach

The beach in Cornelius is open for its second season with added security and more parking.

Lake Norman has more miles of shoreline than the North Carolina ocean coastline, yet Ramsey Creek Beach is one of only two public beaches on the lake, the other being Lake Norman State Park 22 miles away in Troutman. Dave Vieser

Hello Sailor restaurant

Joe and Katy Kindred opened their namesake restaurant, Kindred, in 2015, Davidson, are opening a second restaurant in Cornelius at the former Rusty Rudder spot on the lake. The restaurant is slated to open around August.

The concept: Hello, Sailor, a restaurant that will cater to both the boating crowd of Lake Norman and families and patrons that drive up in their cars.

The restaurant will be the Kindred’s version of a modern, upscale fish camp with a chef-driven menu and a kitschy, modern, Palm Springs feel. Although on the lake with an emphasis on seafood, don’t expect to find the typical nautical décor. With a name like Hello, Sailor—which was selected after Katy went down a “rabbit hole” in search of a name and discovered Sailor Jerry-esque tattoos—the spot will be lighthearted, punchy and sassy.

“The look will be midcentury Palm Springs with pops of bright colors, tan desert tones, and a fun and funky vibe,” says Katy, who is handling all aspects of the interior design process. “We will be a spot for everyone whether they come by boat or by car—and bring your kids.“

The Kindreds stress that Hello, Sailor will not be the little sister of Kindred, but patrons can expect the same emphasis on quality ingredients and thoughtful dishes. There will be a balance between quick eats, a family-friendly atmosphere, and a place to get a proper dinner for a night out with friends and family.

The beverage offerings will be similar to those at Kindred, Katy says. “We won’t have the massive wine list, but we will have wine by the glass, the bottle, and we will have a variety of beers on tap. Our cocktails will have a tiki vibe to them. We will have a tiki bar outside and there will be frozen mixed drinks and a machine for slushy drinks. It’s going to be fun.”

Erin Maddrey for Lake Norman Magazine

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