Lake Summit – NC

@300 acres

elevation – 2050 ft.

Water Clarity – 7+

Natural Quality – 7 (homes/highway)

Difficulty – easy to moderate (wind)

(GPS; 15 Huggins Rd Zirconia, NC)

Day Trip – Weekday


At about 7 miles South of Hendersonville, NC. Lake Summit is just off of Hwy-225 (old 25 at Huggins Rd).  It is one of those private lakes that allows non-motorized transients to paddle or fish her waters (it’s the water is public, land/docks are private deal).

Gate at Summit

Summit Ramp

The ramp and parking lot are just off of 225, the gate is normally closed and operated with a card by homeowners; what remains is an opening allowing access for walkers and paddlers.  I have been on Summit several times before; once fishing on a power boat (with a power fisherman), other times while dive training and kayaking.

Launch from the ramp, Lake Summit info


Front the ramp to the main body of water where its either Left (east, toward the dam) or Right (west, toward the bridge and up the river).  I think of Summit in two ways, the lake part with the houses and humanity, and then the upstream ‘headwater’ part with a little more natural setting.  It helped to have been here before because today my plan was to work the left shore all the way to the dam as it was cool, then utilize the and shade of the southern shore back to the bridge – this would leave time to continue up the river taking full advantage of any river canopy available.

Lake Summit has many boathouses with each their own character (reminding me a little of Lake Burton).  The Northern shore catches the beating sun on summer days nurturing several patches of kudzu – but those areas are small in size and Summit’s shore has all the natural characteristics of a mountain lake – its just squeezed in between the homes.


There happened to be another vehicle parked at the ramp when I put-in, it was this paddler pulling a troll line and fishing (deepest point of Summit is @120′).  We spoke a moment near the Norfolk Southern trestle and then continued our separate directions.


Just beyond the RR trestle access ends with the dam in a little cove area…. the Green River continuing through the gorge creating some awesome white-water paddling before calming once again at Lake Adger.

It is at this end of Summit where a rope swing dangles, the ground of bear clay ‘beaten down’ where I could imagine those ‘cut-off blue jeans and dated bathing suits‘ awaited their turn…


In one corner of the cove was a ‘rustic’ looking house appearing long-forgotten.


It had taken an hour of leisurely paddling to make it to the trestle, time to have a sandwich and cool-off.  It would be my guess that the farthest paddling point of this water (up the river) is about four miles away – no reason to hurry, its only 9 am.



Just more coves to explore with homes to look at, I wondered if folks cared that I took pictures of the houses – then I thought hey, I’m really just taking a picture of the shore, the setting, and the atmosphere – a structure just happens to be in the way.


Closest thing to a waterfall is this little mountain stream trickling into the body of the lake, the Green River furnishes the volume of water, clarity was real good – I gave it a 7+ on the lake end.

“Birds and Bees” rm

“Rattling Doors” rm

Steel homes

Interesting Boathouses

In paddling the entire shoreline including coves, it had taken 2 1/2 hours of easy paddling to make it to this point near the bridge, its idle speed (for boats) and few go beyond this point – now was the river portion, the best part..

Its a gentle paddle against a soft current, there is some over-brush, but that just makes the ride interesting.

I have yet to make it past the third bridge, today was no different – a new tree down just before it.  This was my mark though, from the spillway to the third bridge, it was now 1130, 3.5 hours total, but who’s keeping track?


The good part was that in turning around, this was my view………….


Peaceful paddlin; perfect.

Back to the bridge and waterfront civilization.



Right, or should I say left back to the ramp.

and back to the truck before 1:30, 5 1/2 hours of paddlin – awesome!

As for wildlife today – I saw Geese, an Osprey,




……..and a ‘Crane.’


Other places to paddle;