Northern Mecklenburg: Lake Norman

Lake Norman Map

Long-time residents can see change all over the Charlotte area. But evidence of that change is perhaps most striking in the Lake Norman area, some 25 miles north of Charlotte. Thirty years ago, the lakecreated by Duke Power Co. (now Duke Energy)was a real hideaway. Surrounded by fishing shacks and old mobile homes, and accessible by winding, often unpaved roads, the lake was a weekend getawaybut nothing more. Then I-77 came through the territory and brought people along with its ribbon of pavement. You still can find some of those fishing shacks and weekend residents. But today, more and more folks live the vacation lifestyle year-round, with plenty of shopping and restaurants nearby and direct access to jobs in Uptown Charlotte, University City, the airport area or even north Mecklenburg. At the heart of it all is Lake Norman, with shoreline stretching 520 miles through four counties: Mecklenburg, Iredell, Lincoln and Catawba. It’s often referred to as the Inland Sea. When Charlotteans refer to the Lake Norman area, they usually mean the area north of the Harris Boulevard/I-77 interchange, which includes Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson in Mecklenburg County and the southern tip of Iredell County, which encompasses Mooresville and its shoreline. Growth has been huge, with some 80,000 people living here now. Because lake dwellers like their area so much, civic and government leaders are working hard to develop long-term plans and regulations to protect the small-town atmosphere. Along the way, some are coming up with some creative ideas, including several new urban communities. Developers are increasingly seeing the promise in rehabbing old mills and downtown buildings to create unusual offices, retail centers and even residential complexes. North Mecklenburg has three incorporated towns: Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson. All have seen tremendous residential growth, and all are home to some thriving businesses. Davidson also is a college town, home to highly regarded Davidson College, which adds an ivy-league atmosphere to the community. Shopping Near the I-77/I-485 interchange, NorthLake Mall opened in 2005 with 150 specialty stores and anchors Dillard’s, Belk, Hecht’s, Dick Sporting Goods and a 14-screen cinema megaplex. The 1.1 million-square-foot facility brings thousands of new jobs to the area. Lake shoppers now can browse unique boutiques, quaint village shops, upscale specialty stores and national chains such as Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Stein Mart, Kohl’s and Old Navy. Several Charlotte specialty retailers have opened second sites at the lake, as have a number of restaurants. Birkdale Village, a new, 52-acre mixed-use development in Huntersville off Sam Furr Road, offers more than 60 stores and restaurants including Williams-Sonoma, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Barnes and Noble, and a 16-screen movie theater. Across the street is the 18 hole golf course & the popular Birkdale neighborhood. Health Care NorthCross has a thriving medical community, with many physicians’ offices and outpatient surgery centers. In 2004, Presbyterian Hospital opened its Huntersville hospital on Gilead Road. Recreation If you choose not to live on the lake, or you live there but don’t have access to the lake in your community, you’ll want to take advantage of the many waterfront parks and public-access areas. Jetton Park, Blythe Landing and Ramsey Creek Park in the Cornelius/Huntersville area offer boat launching ramps, paved bike and walking trails, playgrounds, tennis courts and athletic fields, fishing piers and sandy beaches. Golfers have no shortage of links to test their mettle. From Birkdale’s Arnold Palmer-designed course to Northstone’s P.B. Dye course to Muirfield, Mallard Head and The Point (just over the line in Iredell County), there are plenty of courses for weekend duffers and serious competitors alike.

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Birkdale Golf Club Huntersville, NC

The Arnold Palmer designed Birkdale golf course, is a public facility with a “private club” atmosphere. Located on 200 acres of rolling terrain, carved between tall pines and natural streams, Birkdale is a challenging 7,013 yard, par 72 course made up of Bermuda fairways and Crenshaw bent grass greens offering a true test of golf skills.

Birkdale has received a good deal of acclaim, being voted one of the top five public golf courses in North Carolina. When it opened in 1997 it was voted The Best New Golf Course in North Carolina and was named Charlotte’s Best Public Course in 1998. Four sets of tees allows golfers of all abilities to enjoy the layout at Birkdale. The course features a number of elevation changes, which are appealing to the eye and add to the challenge. Well placed water hazards require players to use every shot in their bag.

Always well manicured with firm and true greens, Birkdale Golf Club provides an outstanding daily fee golf experience that should not be missed. Birkdale Homes for Sale – Updated Daily! www.birkdale.com   Click here for a Brikdale Map

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