Lake Glenville – NC

Water Clarity – 8+

Natural Quality – 6+

Difficulty – easy to moderate

Perception – weekday


Lake Glenville

Lake Glenville is one of those regional lakes that I have boated numerous times, with the last outing being an ‘over-nighter‘ a while back.  What always ‘stuck out’ about Glenville (some call it ‘Thorpe’) was the clarity and ‘freshness’ of the water; today from a kayak the water was just as clean I recalled.

Paddling the lake, the size seemed (and was) much larger than I remembered from a boat.

Powerhouse Landing

(GPS – @ 1371 Pine Creek rd, Glenville, NC)

It was lunch and after completing a number of chores I headed for our default cabin in SC, Glenville was a little ‘out-of-the-way yet an inviting target. I wondered if a paddle could fit within my plansfit within my plans. At the time I was trying to get as many paddling days in before my westward ride (Colorado and California).  I had the time and the ‘logic on my roof, so – Why not?

It was one o’clock before I made it to Powerhouse Landing on the North side of the lake, later than I like to start but it’s still ‘time on the water’… funny too how you remember things and then how they really are.  I was certain that Powerhouse was paved, but it’s just a well used gravel boat landing.

The weather was perfect, the kayak was in the water, and with a simple push – I slid out backwards.

The afternoon sun was blaring down and figuring with already enough freckles I would run the shady side to the farthest point and then explore coming back – it worked to some extent, I like the shade.


Besides the ‘freshness’ of it’s water the next thing noticeable about Glenville is with the shoreline, much of it is exposed rock.  It would seem that the ‘lapping’ waves have removed a few feet of topsoil and left the tough rock exposed.  It appears smooth as well as rough in places – but also a tough place for some folks to plant their deck posts in.


The beauty of this lake is also one of the reasons that many seek its waters, it is mildly populated (and growing) with recreational use more than moderate on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  ‘Paddling’ is best during the winter months when it is also a popular fishing destination.


In picking up any trash along the way I thought I spotted an old rag in the water so I paddled toward it – turned out to be a ‘swimming squirrel.  It must have swam all the way across the lake – pretty impressive.  I followed the squirrel to the shore and watched as it pulled itself to a rock and looked around – no, it didn’t shake like a dog..  On one outing a friend pulled a box-turtle from the middle of a lake, I continue to be impressed with the ability of little creatures to swim….


Completed a sweep of the eastern shore and the smaller coves all the way to the Southermost point – two hours of steady paddling – a little more than three miles but certainly further along the shoreline.

100_9116Noticing a couple of paddlers earlier on the lake, I finally caught up with them at the southern tip – a little conversation and waterfall and we were all paddlin once again.

I had a lady once ask me about kayaks, she was considering a ‘tandem‘ for her and her husband – of course my reply was that kayaking was great no matter how they chose.

My personal preference would be with two singles (rather than a two-seater), as paddlers we all have a different pace, ‘easy’ or ‘easier’ and it’s just a matter of each person finding their own paddle rate…..


I have paddled with others, and the independence for one to investigate a cove while the other checks out something completely different helps in covering more territory –  it’s possible to run opposite shorelines and work back together later on – or you can indeed paddle along with each other, in the end you will do it all.

Last year I met two guys paddling the Mississippi River in a tandem kayak, they had been together even attained a puppy over 48 days – I wonder what their thoughts are now….

On this date I was simply taking my own ‘line’ on the lake – that seems to be the case in most that I do.


On Glenville there are some sandy beaches also, always good for a stretch and a cool dip.

You could even buy your own little island (they’ll let you make payments), this was a neat looking island with woods, great beach on the west side and a modest home – unfortunately these signs are becoming too familiar with the present economy, could be an opportunity.

Still plenty of shore to see……

Here in WNC we are really spoiled to the quality of water available to us in our lakes and streams, I look around at the mountains and while being  ‘up’ in elevation wonder where it continues to flow from – simple/random thoughts….


Glenville Spillway

With the afternoon sun beating at me it was time to find the shade of an island and stretch. It was about six and I had been paddlin steady for five hours, no-way I could see the remaining coves – ones which I knew had streams flowing into them.

I could return in the morning, but it was Friday and something about Friday’s makes me want to stay off of the highways and away from traffic (doggone people!), plus its Labor Day weekend.  Guess I’ll return for those West side coves when things quieten down in the fall, look for another post about Glenville.

Unfortunately I needed to head in before dark, the shade across from the landing sure helped the paddle back and ended the day on a positive note.



Lake Glenville is not far from Highlands, NC and is a great lake with plenty of room and coves to paddle, of course the fall and spring months are usually the best with fewer boaters. Bear lake is nearby and a nice paddle also.  The foliage is beautiful in October and cool water is perfect for fishing year round.


(yeah, I know – but it was there on this island and so was I…....)