Got a day to get lost (in the metaphysical sense) with your boat? Belews Lake northeast of town affords miles and miles of mindless paddling.

The lake is massive at 3,863 acres. And spread out, too, with 88 miles of shoreline. From the Piney Bluff Access on one of three southern fingers of the lake, you can paddle more than seven miles to northern tip of the lake. You can stay on small water by heading over to the next finger east and paddling four miles. Or you can spend the day exploring the infinite coves and crannies that contribute to the lake’s 88 miles of shoreline.

The lake, built in 1973 by Duke Energy to provide cooling waters for its Belews Creek Steam Station, located on the lake’s westernmost finger, attracts powerboats. However, the marina where most of that action originates from is on the opposite side of the lake, increasing your odds of a peaceful paddle from the Piney Bluff put-in.

More info


Getting there from downtown Winston-Salem
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 30 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem
Time to complete: 1-4 hours
Address: N.C. 65 at Belews Lake
City: Walnut Cove
State: N.C.
Zip: 27052
Latitude: 36.1472
Longitude: 80.0540