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Lake Norman is a fresh-water lake located 20 minutes from downtown Charlotte, NC. With 520 miles of shoreline, and many unique towns surrounding the 32,000 acres of beautiful water, you will find everything from luxurious waterfront property to pastoral farmland. Lake Norman is country club golf at it's finest, but also the kinetic world of NASCAR. It is stunning new construction and innovative mixed-use development, but also historic downtowns and Revolutionary War landmarks. It's a place to retire and a place to make a start; a place to work and a place to recreate.
The fact is, Lake Norman is much more than just a lake. It represents an entire region from Charlotte to Statesville boasting such incredible diversity of opportunity that there is literally something here for everyone.
Huntersville, North Carolina
Population (2004 est.): 34,332
Median Household Income: $71,932
Median Home Price: $182,800
101 Huntersville-Concord Road
Huntersville, NC 28078
Attracting families and lake lovers alike, Huntersville has experienced a population surge that continues to transform this once-small town.
Huntersville incorporated in 1873 and was named for Robert Boston Hunter, a land owner and cotton farmer. The town grew in response to the railroad and a nearby cotton mill, but it wasn't until the late 20th century that Huntersville saw a boom in population and development.
In 1990, Huntersville's population was a mere 3,000. During the 1990s, it jumped to 25,000, an increase of 733 percent. Today, Huntersville is home to some 35,000 residents, a number that continues to climb.
To avoid the sprawl that was quickly consuming other towns in the Charlotte area, Huntersville took action. In 1996, officials approved a land-use plan that encourages mixed housing, a connected network of streets friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists, high-density development along existing highways and future rail lines, village centers that combine retail and residential development and the preservation of open space.
This philosophy can be seen with the creation of Birkdale Village in 2002, an urban village of shops, luxury apartments, offices and restaurants where residents don't need to drive to get what they need. Birkdale Village, which offers 320 one- to three-bedroom apartments located above the retail shops, provides a clubhouse, pool and an Arnold Palmer golf course just across the street that is hailed as one of the finest courses in the state. In addition to its shops, which include Barnes & Noble, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Williams-Sonoma, Birkdale has a 16-screen movie theater, a greenway and interactive water fountains popular with kids on warm summer days.
The Greens at Birkdale Village is a subdivision behind the retail center that includes bungalows. Along one street, the aptly-named "Rainbow Row" features houses painted yellow, orange, green and purple.
In 2004, Presbyterian Healthcare introduced Presbyterian Huntersville, which provides health care for northern Mecklenburg. The 50-bed hospital on Gilead Road includes an emergency department, five operating rooms, three endoscopy rooms, four intensive care unit beds, eight labor and delivery beds, 35 medical/surgical beds, 10 observation beds and a medical office building.
To fill a retail void in north Mecklenburg, Northlake Mall recently opened just south of Huntersville near the intersection of I-77 and Reames Road. Anchored by Belk, Dillard's, Hecht's and a 14-screen cinema megaplex, the mall includes more than 150 specialty stores.
With the largest nature preserve in Mecklenburg County, Latta Plantation Park contains 1,290 acres of natural beauty along the shores of Mountain Island Lake. Families can spend an entire day at Latta Plantation Park, which is equipped with picnic sites, fishing docks, and hiking and equestrian trails, many which offer spectacular views of Mountain Island Lake.
The park also includes Historic Latta Plantation, which hosts guided tours of the Federal-style home and grounds. Actors and exhibits depict the lives of yeoman farmers and plantation slaves.
The Carolina Raptor Center is an educational and research facility that rehabilitates birds of prey. Visitors can view and learn about birds in different stages of recovery.
Just outside of Latta Plantation Park stands Hopewell Presbyterian Church, founded in 1762. Its cemetery is the final resting place of many historical figures, including several signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, James Latta and Gen. William Lee Davidson, who was killed at the Battle of Cowans Ford during the Revolutionary War. Another historic site is the Hugh Torance House and Store on Gilead Road, the oldest standing store structure in North Carolina. Dating back to the 18th century, the site hosts tours and special events throughout the year.
The Loch Norman Highland Games celebrates the area's Scottish heritage every April. Held at Historic Rural Farm in Huntersville, the three-day festival involves food, family activities, music and athletic competitions.
Blythe Landing, a 26-acre park on the shores of Lake Norman, includes floating piers perfect for launching boats and Dockside Café, where you can grab a sandwich and fishing bait in one stop. The park also provides volleyball courts, a playground and a picnic area.
The Energy Explorium at McGuire Nuclear Station teaches children about energy. Here, you can take a virtual tour of the nuclear station, play interactive games, have a picnic and take a walk down a mile-long trail along the shores of the lake.
Statesville, North Carolina
Site Selection magazine calls it the No. 1 Micropolitan Area in the country. This "micropolis" is an economic and quality of life corridor embracing North Iredell County, from Statesville and Troutman to Mooresville.
A micropolis is considered to be a rural, regional economy that does not depend on a nearby metropolitan area for jobs or services, and this is what North Iredell has become, all the while leading the state in the production of cattle, corn and dairy products. Four years ago, Iredell County created a Farmland Preservation Program, and since then, about 10,000 acres of farmland have been protected.
Growth has crept — and sometimes leapt — up I-77 for the past decade. Statesville's mayor has often been quoted as saying the community doesn't want its historic and agricultural identity snuffed out by encroaching Charlotte, or even Mooresville. So the city and county have been busy, making foresighted plans to incorporate growth as it spirals toward them and erases the lines between communities.
You could say that planning has created a new sense of energy in Statesville. In the spring of 2005, county and Statesville officials agreed to create what is known as an urban service area, which they believe to be the first of its kind in the state. Basically, the agreement draws an invisible boundary around Statesville to areas where the city can reasonably run sewer and water lines in the future. Beyond the service area would still be considered rural. It's a way of knowing in advance which lands will be annexed into the urban area and to plan for it — a method that has worked to control sprawl in other parts of the country.
At the same time, Statesville is renovating its historic downtown to create a vibrant new city center. There's a new Civic Center, and across from it, the historic Vance Hotel, which a developer hopes to restore to a modern version of its former elegance. Already, there is a popular upscale restaurant operating there.
Nearby is the old three-story brick bank building whose clock tower has come to symbolize downtown Statesville. Now the building is about to get a top-to-bottom restoration that will create 30,000 square feet of multi-use space, including restaurants and retail.
The square in downtown Statesville plays host to the popular fall Pumpkinfest, and is billed as "home of the the flyin' pumpkins." That's because one of the most popular events is pumpkin chuckin', with elaborate catapults being invented and built each year to achieve the greatest distance and accuracy. There's also pumpkin bowling, pumpkin eating and a scarecrow contest.
Another festival that is a highlight of Statesville's calendar is the National Balloon Rally, when balloonists from all over the country descend on Iredell County. At one time, this was one of the biggest national hot air balloon rallies east of New Mexico, and Statesville is working on ways for it to be that way again. Statesville plans to breathe new life into the event, which was heavily attended by residents and out-of-staters at the Iredell County Fairgrounds last year.
Five miles south of Statesville and eight miles north of Mooresville is the town of Troutman. It's a walkable town, surrounded by farmland, and a quick commute by interstate to Winston-Salem, Greensboro or Charlotte. Recent studies predict that Troutman will at least double in size between 2005 and 2025. Like Statesville, Troutman celebrates new growth, new technologies, new approaches to regional planning and new companies choosing to call Troutman home.
In 2005, Troutman welcomed its first business park. The equipment manufacturer, CR Onsrud, is building a new 55,000-square-foot corporate facility on six acres of the industrial park. The new park's 47-acre location is near the Iredell County Fairgrounds. Sanitary service for the park could open adjacent areas to future development.
Where Troutman touches Lake Norman has become a residential hot-spot. Crescent Resources has plans for a 530-home subdivision off Perth Road. The homes would be in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, and would center on the upper end of a cove. Elsewhere along Perth Road, Easter Development Corp. is creating a neighborhood of 44 all-brick homes less than 4 miles north of N.C. 150, called Honeysuckle Creek.
Located on 1,600 acres in Troutman, Lake Norman State Park offers numerous recreational opportunities, from mountain biking to hiking to camping. The park also includes a brand-new beach, with the only public swimming access on Lake Norman.
Mooresville, North Carolina
Population (2004 est.): 20,122
Median Household Income: $42,943
Median Home Price: $137,800
413 N. Main St.
Mooresville, NC 28115
Known for its abundance of racing shops, Mooresville's nickname is "Race City USA." The town is named after John Franklin Moore, who brought the Atlantic, Tennessee and Ohio Railroad to the area by promising to build a depot with a sidetrack for cotton shipments. This railroad made Mooresville a textile center and helped to facilitate its growth. With just over 20,000 residents, Mooresville is the sixth-fastest-growing municipality in North Carolina.
In the past five years, new economic investment in the town has brought $500 million and 3,000 jobs to the area. Mooresville's strong economic base includes Lake Norman Regional Medical Center and numerous racing shops. Additionally, the homeimprovement giant Lowe's Corp. recently moved its headquarters to Mooresville.
Its historic downtown features many 19th century brick buildings on Main and Broad streets that sell antiques, jewelry and other specialties. DeLuxe Ice Cream Co. on Broad Street began selling ice cream in 1924 and sells to local grocery stores and eateries. On Main Street, Landmark Galleries displays the original watercolors of local artist Cotton Ketchie. Also downtown, the Mooresville Depot Visual Arts Center houses the Mooresville Artists Guild and shows artwork by local and visiting artists.
Mooresville is undergoing improvements to sidewalks, traffic signals and landscaping on Main Street. The Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) recently added Mooresville Express routes for commuters traveling into Uptown Charlotte.
Developed by Crescent Resources, The Point covers 1,200 acres on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Norman. With 18 miles of shoreline, The Point is one of the premier lake communities, with homes ranging from the $500s to more than $5 million. The country club community surrounds an 18-hole golf course, designed by Greg Norman, which features 13 holes along the water. A Nantucket-style village with cobblestone streets, The Point provides residents with three swimming pools, golf and wakeboarding clinics, six tennis courts, a tavern, a general store where you can buy everything from a loaf of bread to homemade ice cream, a village green with soccer fields and a meeting house. Following The Point, a number of developments have sprung up off of N.C. 150 west of I-77 in Mooresville. Characterized by broad, tree-lined boulevards, Morrison Plantation also will include a shopping center with specialty and clothing shops, a beauty salon, dry cleaner, restaurant, coffee shop and banks.
Cherry Grove is a new development that offers single-family homes with large floor plans surrounded by hardwood trees. The community includes a pool, tennis courts, nature trails and a playground.
Water Oak offers homes from the $130s to $300,000 with 1,260 to more than 3,000 square feet. The development includes 15 acres of natural greenways and common areas as well as an open-air pavilion, pool and playground.
Residential development has bolstered area businesses. A new facility for Lake Norman Regional Medical Center opened in 1999. The 117-bed hospital provides an emergency department, maternity center and surgical center.
Lowe's corporate headquarters currently houses about 2,000 employees. Eventually, Lowe's headquarters will cover more than 2 million square feet and employ 8,000 workers. Several mixed-use developments have popped up nearby in anticipation.
Legacy Village, a 450,000-square-foot development near Lowe's, is an urban center along the proposed transit route that includes 100 upscale town homes as well as retail. Mooresville Gateway, a 50-acre development of offices and retail, includes banking, restaurants and shops.
Another development, Catalina Bay hopes to attract NASCAR businesses, Lowe's vendors and medical tenants, and also includes plans for a 12-story, 250-room Marriott Hotel.
Serving many of the new developments west of I-77 in Mooresville is Winslow Bay Commons, a 255,000-square-foot shopping center at N.C. 150 and Bluefield Road. The center includes TJ Maxx, Dick's Sporting Goods, Pier 1, Linens 'N Things and Caribou Coffee.
Mooresville is home to more than 60 racing teams. Dale Earnhardt Inc., headquartered in Mooresville, employs about 200 people and owns the racing teams of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Waltrip and Jeff Green. The site offers a tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt, museum, souvenir shop and viewing window.
The North Carolina Racing Hall of Fame features more than 35 race cars, showcases and a gift shop. On N.C. 150, Memory Lane Museum displays the history of racing and automobiles with more than 100 exhibits, including racing go-carts and more than 15 types of race cars. Located in Lake Norman Business Park, 5 Off 5 On is a training center to prepare pit crew mechanics for professional racing.
Mooresville offers plenty of outdoor opportunities for recreation.
Stumpy Creek Park offers 83 acres with soccer fields, ball fields, picnic shelters, a playground, walking track and nine-hole disc golf course. Adjacent to the park is Stumpy Creek Boat Landing, a public boat launch area. On Bellingham Road, Bellingham Park covers 47 acres and offers walking and biking trails, a sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits and a playground. Just outside of downtown, Edgemoor Park provides tennis courts, baseball fields, a playground and picnic area.
The Iredell County Outdoor Education Center provides high- and low-ropes courses as well as a 50-foot tower for climbing and rappelling. Located on 45 forested acres, the center also includes nature trails, campsites and a picnic pavilion with grills.
In nearby Troutman, Lake Norman State Park offers 1,600 acres of outdoor activities. With 13 miles of shoreline, the park also includes a brand-new beach — the only public swimming area on Lake Norman — staffed with lifeguards during the summer months. Near the beach, visitors can rent pedal boats and canoes or grab some snacks at the concession stand. Families also enjoy the community building for get-togethers. Lake Norman State Park features a 33-site campground and group camping site, hiking and mountain biking trails, educational and interpretive programs, and plenty of picnic areas.
Designed by Donald Ross and Porter Gibson, Mooresville Municipal Golf Course on West Wilson Avenue is a par-72 course with a driving range, snack bar, pro shop and conference room.
At Queen's Landing, two paddle wheeler riverboat replicas — the Catawba Queen and Catawba Belle — are docked at an entertainment center that includes bumper boats, miniature golf, tennis courts, a floating dock bar and two restaurants.
Davidson, North Carolina
Population (2004 est.): 8,343
Median Household Income: $78,370
Median Home Price: $270,000
216 S. Main St.
Davidson, NC 28036
Take a walk down Main Street of this small, college town and you'll forget that metropolitan Charlotte is just minutes away. Resisting the surge in development that characterizes nearby cities, Davidson maintains its small-town qualities while enjoying the amenities of the burgeoning Lake Norman area.
Davidson College, founded by Presbyterians in 1837, is the centerpiece of the town that blossomed around it. The 450-acre campus is peppered with historical buildings along with newly renovated structures such as the Sloan Music Center. The highly selective and nationally recognized school, which has about 1,600 students, also participates in NCAA Division I athletics.
The school was named after Gen. William Lee Davidson, a Revolutionary War hero who died at the Battle of Cowans Ford in 1781. For many years, the town surrounding the college was called Davidson College. The community incorporated in 1879, and in 1891 named itself simply Davidson.
Unlike booming Huntersville and Cornelius, Davidson has sustained moderate growth, in part because of careful town planning. In 1990, its population was 4,046. By 2000, it had grown to 7,139, an increase of about 76 percent – far less than its neighboring municipalities of Cornelius and Huntersville. Today, Davidson's population is about 8,300.
Near the college, gorgeous Victorian and Georgian-style homes are surrounded by massive oak trees. Main Street, which borders Davidson College, is lined with small, old-time shops that sell antiques, books, clothing and gifts. The Tom Clark Museum and Cairn Studio is a popular stop. This museum features the works of former Davidson College professor Tom Clark, who is known for his trademark gnome sculptures.
One of the most luxurious developments in Davidson is 1,000-acre River Run, which features homes from the $400s to more than $1 million. River Run offers residents a country club and golf course, two clubhouses, a tennis facility with 16 courts, pools and nature trails.
Seeking to create a new community with the character of an older one, A New Neighborhood in Old Davidson is a development on Davidson-Concord Road that includes parks, squares and common areas along with Charleston-style homes. Home prices in A New Neighborhood in Old Davidson range from the $300s to $400s.
To preserve the natural beauty of the town, residents and public officials are planning a greenway system. One section recently completed is a path that runs between downtown Davidson and the River Run neighborhood, from Kimberly Road east to Robert Walker Drive at the River Run Athletic Field.
Constructed with help from the Tarheel Trailblazers Mountain Bike Club, a new bike trail at Fisher Farm Park off of Shearer Road offers two miles of challenging mountain bike courses. Another new addition to Davidson is an off-leash dog park in the Preserve in the St. Alban's neighborhood.
In part because of its academic atmosphere, Davidson is highly involved in the arts. During the summer, hundreds of Davidson residents flock to Concerts on Green. A series held during the summer on Sunday nights, Concerts on the Green features a diverse selection of musical groups that range from Davidson College musicians to Cuban and Celtic bands.
Founded in 1965, the Davidson Community Players continue to entertain audiences. The group performs plays and musicals at Davidson College and other local venues. Most performers come from the Lake Norman area. A children's theater group, the Connie Co., is an affiliate of the Davidson Community Players that offers drama workshops for pre-teens and teens.
Denver, North Carolina
Denver was settled around 1770, almost 200 years before Duke Energy dammed the Catawba River to create Lake Norman. Ironically, in its earliest days, Denver was known as "Dry Pond." That is, until citizens in the 1870s lobbied to change its name to Denver, in the hope of sounding big and prosperous enough to attract the railroad. Though the railroad never was built through town, "Denver (of the East)" stuck.
Located on what's known as the quieter western side of Lake Norman, Denver still enjoys a low-key lifestyle and village atmosphere, while providing easy access to Charlotte and Hickory via N.C. 16. While towns on the eastern side of the lake have seen explosive growth, the western side has been a bit slower. That is changing, however, as lake lovers are increasingly attracted to Lincoln County's lower taxes and land prices, as well as its serene lake lifestyle.
The last census showed that at least 52 percent of Denver's population commutes to work outside the county. To try to avoid traffic congestion in the future, expansion of N.C. 16 is currently under way, with the first phase of a new bypass set to open in the fall of 2006. By 2010, N.C. 16 will run from Catawba County to Mecklenburg County.
The Denver area is predicted to grow quickly in the coming years. New homes, restaurants and businesses are popping up all the time, and several large development projects are under way. All have plenty of resident input, organized by active citizens' groups like the East Lincoln Betterment Association, which has taken a leading role in shaping the area since 1976.
There's been plenty of citizen input over a current proposal for a 203,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter. Some residents say they can't wait; others worry about its impact on traffic and local merchants. The proposed site would be just east of the new N.C. 16 and west of the junction with N.C. 73. It would encompass 36 acres and create 480 jobs. Top realtors and members of the local business association predict that Wal-Mart would pave the way to a whole new level of development.
The East Lincoln Betterment Association actively guides proposed development projects, such as Paradise Lakes. The Association helped modify the developer's design, which is currently under way to create 470 homes, including 115 townhouses, with a clubhouse and pool. Single-family homes will range from the $300s to the $500s, and the patio homes and townhomes will range from the high $150s.
Other neighborhoods include Westport, anchored by Westport Marina, The Gates at Waterside Crossing, Hunters Bluff and Cowans Ford. Denver also lays claim to one of the most exclusive communities on Lake Norman – Governors Island – a narrow peninsula of palatial, stucco estates on the water.
If you've always dreamed of having a golf course in your backyard, Verdict Ridge Golf and Country Club could be the community for you. Here, homes are set right on the golf course, along with amenities that include swimming, tennis, nature trails and fine dining. The golf course has been lovingly set into the rolling landscape, and is a popular venue for championship games, which in the past have included a U.S. Open qualifying tournament.
SailView, developed by Crescent Resources, the land management arm of Duke Energy Corp., is a community of wooded lots around the lake, from a half acre to more than an acre. Homes range from the low $300s to more than $1 million, and residents enjoy the clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, walking paths, playground and community boat slips.
Until the fall of 2002, Lincoln was a dry county. Since the sale of alcoholic beverages was approved in a countywide referendum, more and more restaurants have moved into the area, offering convenience for residents who wish to stay on the quieter side of the lake.
A reminder of Denver's history comes every August at Rock Spring Camp Meeting, housed in a collection of weathered wooden structures on Camp Meeting Road. Generations of family members return every summer to enjoy what their grandparents enjoyed: a wholesome religious revival of worship, singing and socializing in a rustic setting. This camp meeting has been held in simple wooden buildings with tin roofs and earthen floors for over 200 years. The roots of camp meeting run as deep as the Rock Spring itself, still located in its well house across the street.
Fall arrives with an old fashioned apple festival in Lincolnton. Lincoln County produces the state's second-largest apple crop, and residents compete each year during the festival to show off their best apple dishes. You'll find food and craft vendors, a petting zoo, pony rides for the kids, a farmers market and even a library sale.
Denver residents have their pick of cultural events and organizations in Charlotte, Lincolnton and Hickory. The Lincoln Cultural Center in Lincolnton, for example, is a beautiful historic landmark that houses Lincoln County's first history museum, galleries for local, state and regional works of art, as well as a performance hall for live theatrical productions, concerts and lectures.
Cornelius, North Carolina
Population (2004 est.): 17,875
Median Household Income: $71,259
Median Home Price: $236,000
21445 Catawba Ave.
Cornelius, NC 28031
The town of Cornelius has evolved from a small village into a posh Charlotte suburb, where luxurious lakefront homes and condominiums line the shore and upscale retail centers appeal to the most exclusive clientele. At the same time, old Cornelius maintains its small-town charm with cozy bungalows, brick sidewalks and quaint shops along East Catawba Avenue. Once called Liverpool, Cornelius was named after Joseph Benjamin Cornelius, the principal stockholder in the cotton mill that established the small town. Founded in 1893, Cornelius didn't incorporate until 1905.
Similar to other North Mecklenburg suburbs, Cornelius didn't experience significant growth until the 1990s, when its population boomed from 2,581 in 1990 to 12,000 in 2000, an increase of 365 percent. Today, 17,875 people call Cornelius home.
Most of old-town Cornelius lies to the east of I-77, while newer development is primarily near the lake along West Catawba Avenue.
One of the most exclusive developments on the lake is Crescent Resources' The Peninsula off of Jetton Road, where homes range from the $300s to more than $2 million. The Peninsula spans 11 miles of shoreline and includes a golf course, clubhouse, yacht club and pool. The Galleon, a children's playground and park at The Peninsula, features a boat harbor theme.
Off West Catawba Avenue, plans are under way for a mixed-use, 175-acre development of upscale subdivisions alongside Robbins Park and Nature Preserve. The design is a joint effort between private developers, the Town of Cornelius and Mecklenburg County, which own the forested land. Also near the development, Westmoreland Athletic Complex will include five ball fields and an indoor batting facility.
As West Catawba crosses I-77, it becomes East Catawba and heads into downtown Cornelius. The street is known for its small boutiques and its growing number of antique shops. Home styles in this area range from bungalows to Queen Anne and Colonial Revival.
Off East Catawba near I-77, Victoria Bay is a new development with single- family homes that sell for around $200,000. The community provides swimming, tennis, a clubhouse and walking trail along Lake Cornelius.
The rapid growth of Cornelius in the past decade has made the town increasingly prone to traffic jams, especially along West Catawba Avenue. Planned routes over the next few years are expected to reduce traffic problems in the area. Officials plan to rebuild Exit 28, the Catawba Avenue exit off I-77, and West Catawba Avenue will soon become a tree-lined boulevard with a grassy median and bike lanes.
Other forms of transportation are also easing traffic troubles. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) already offers express routes for commuters into Charlotte. Light rail service from Uptown Charlotte to Pineville is expected for 2006. By 2010, it will extend to a transit station in Cornelius' town center. Development in Cornelius along the rail corridor will provide a park for bicycles and walking, a mixed-use development of commercial and residential space and a large, multi-family component east of the railroad.
Antiquity is a new development near the proposed rail station east of N.C. 115. With an old-fashioned covered bridge, the neighborhood offers single and multi-family housing as well as shops and restaurants.
Cornelius offers numerous shopping opportunities. Near The Peninsula, Jetton Village features a Harris Teeter in addition to upscale restaurants and specialty shops.
Southlake Shopping Center off Torrence Chapel Road is anchored by a Harris Teeter, Eckerd Drugs and Blacklion, and unique shops and restaurants line the Shops on the Green. Antique shops are popping up along East Catawba Avenue, including The Antiques Warehouse & Marketplace, which features imported English and European antiques, and Oak Street Mill Antique Mall, just off of East Catawba. On West Catawba, Custom Interiors offers antiques as well as furniture and interior design accessories.
Because much of Cornelius is along the lake, the town is home to some of the best parks on Lake Norman. With 106 acres, Jetton Park offers picnic sites, tennis courts, walking trails, a gazebo, sunning beach, bicycle rentals and a playground. Ramsey Creek Park supplies a boat launch, docks, a playground, picnic areas, trails and a fishing pier on its 46 acres. Both are operated by Mecklenburg County.
In the heart of old Cornelius, Legion Park is the site of a Revolutionary War encampment and a spring that provided water for the town. Off Torrence Chapel Road, the new Torrence Chapel Park includes picnic sites, ball fields, a tennis court, basketball court and walking trails.