Nestled just northwest of Charlotte is Mountain Island Lake, also known as “North Carolina’s hidden treasure”. The closest lake to Uptown Charlotte, Mountain Island Lake is sometimes called “Charlotte’s only lake”.

About Mountain Island Lake

Mountain Island Lake, built in conjunction with Mountain Island Hydroelectric Station, is a man-made lake that supplies electricity to homes throughout the Carolinas. Drawing its name from the “mountain” that rises up from the middle of the lake, Mountain Island Lake awes residents and visitors alike with beautiful scenic views and a plethora of fun family outdoor activities.


Visitors to Mountain Island Lake can partake in all of the activities that you’d find at any lake – from boating and jetskiing to swimming and tanning. There are two public access areas provided by Duke Energy complete with docks and boat landings, Neck Road Access Area and River Bend Access Area, along with the Mountain Island Tailrace fishing platform for bank fishing.

Historic Latta Plantation Park

Historic Latta Plantation is a former cotton plantation, built circa 1800, that now serves as a public park and living history farm. Located on the shores of Mountain Island Lake, visitors to Latta Plantation can elect to participate in guided tours of the homes on the property or simply explore the grounds at their own leisure. Latta Plantation is home to many farm animals and crops. Visitors can meet horses, donkeys, sheep, cows, and even honeybees.

For more information about Historic Latta Plantation Park, visit their website.

Historic Rural Hill Farm and Nature Preserve

Right off the shores of Mountain Island Lake, you’ll find Rural Hill Nature Preserve –  a protected area that spans over 485 acres. Within the nature preserve is the Historic Rural Hill Farm.  Once known as one of the largest and most prosperous plantations in Mecklenburg county, Historic Rural Hill Farm now serves as a living history farm and event grounds for many festivals throughout spring and autumn. With over 265 acres of explorable farmland and trails, Historic Rural Hill Farm provides visitors with a wealth of fun and educational activities to partake in – from hiking to educational tours.

Every fall, visitors to Rural Hill can attempt to make their way through the Amazing Maize Maze, a seven acre wide corn maze. With over two miles of interconnected trails, the Amazing Maize Maze is one of the largest cornfield mazes in the Southeast. Rural Hill is also home to the Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games, a large festival that takes place in April and celebrates everything Scotland.

For more information about Historic Rural Hill Farm and Nature Preserve, visit their website.