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High Rock Lake


High Rock Lake

Town(s): Salisbury NC, Lexington NC, Denton NC, Richfield NC

Size: 15180 acres
Average Depth: 17 feet
Maximum Depth: 52 feet

Boating Allowed: Kayaks, Canoes, Sail Boats, Electric Motor Boats, Power Boats, Jet-skis, State & Local Rules & Regulations Apply
Boating Comments: The lake has no restrictions on boat motor size and personal water craft are legal for use. See
Swimming: Swimming Allowed, No Restrictions

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Created in 1929, High Rock Lake is the northernmost of the Uwharrie Lakes and the second largest lake in North Carolina behind Lake Norman. Its water surface covers 15,180 acres and there are 365 miles of shoreline. It begins at the confluence of the Yadkin River and the South Yadkin River. The lake's name is derived from neighboring "High Rock Mountain," the tallest mountain in the Uwharrie Mountains. The lake serves as a boundary between Davidson and Rowan counties and is a reservoir for hydroelectric power generation. This 15,000-acre reservoir on the Yadkin River provides excellent boating and fishing opportunities for bass, crappie, striper, bream, catfish and bait. 

High Rock Lake was the site of the world-famous BASS Master’s Classic fishing tournament in 1995 and 1998.  Stretching for over 10 miles, High Rock Lake is undoubtedly one of Davidson County’s finest treasures.  With more than 350 miles of shoreline dotted with weekend cottages as well as permanent homes, the lake offers activities year round – boating, swimming, skiing and fishing. Although High Rock Lake is great for spring and summer fishing, fall offers outstanding fishing for largemouth bass well into the end of November.

Visitors to our county can take advantage of the numerous campgrounds, abundant angling opportunities, scenic picnic areas, public swim areas, beautiful parks, public hunting areas, and free state-operated boat ramps located throughout the river and lake system.  Most facilities close at sunset. Enjoy the sights of High Rock Lake with a boat rental from High Rock Lake Marina and Campground.  You can enjoy the pleasure of power boating around the lake in a pontoon or fishing boat.

Nearby is Dan Nicholas Park, which is home to a campground, lake, carousel, train, gem mine, aquarium and nature center, animal habitats, and more. Eagle Point Nature Preserve is available every weekend year-round for hikers, bird watching or nature walks. Weekend camping and lakefront rental property are also popular activities on High Rock Lake. And each July, High Rock Lake serves as home to the annual Dragon Boat Festival, sponsored by the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.


Water Quality: No Known Issues, Town/State Monitoring
Vegetation Growth: Minimal
Non-native Species: Unknown

Fishing Comments: High Rock Lake has been considered one of the best fishing lakes of North Carolina for a long time. It has been the host of Bassmaster Tournaments, including the Bassmaster Classic in 1994, 1995, and 1998 and is the site of frequent other angling competitions. The lake has ample channel, blue, and flathead catfish, plus crappie and several different sunfish such as bluegill, shellcracker and others. Striper and their hybrids as well as white bass are also abundant. The lake is best known for its quantity and quality of largemouth bass, which attract anglers from all over the United States. This is likely due to the relatively shallow nature of the lake and the tremendous amount of habitat that favor the bass.
Fish Species: Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Black Crappie, White Perch, Channel Catfish, Bluegill

Boat Access: Access for Power and Non-power Boats
Ramp Comments: Buddle Creek Boat & Fishing Access - 2880 Holloway Church Road, Lexington, NC 27292. Flat Swamp Boating Access - 16904 NC Hwy 8 South, Denton, NC 27239. Flat Swamp Public Access – Pebble Beach - 16635 NC Hwy 8 South, Denton, NC 27239. Southmont Abbotts Creek Boat & Fishing Access - 877 Wildlife Recreation Area Access Road, Lexington, NC 27292.
Parking Spaces: 21-40

Shoreline Development: 50-75%