Lake Brandt is one of three main watershed lakes rimming the north side of Greensboro. The lakes were created for drinking water, revered in these modern times for their vast recreational value. There are 42 miles of hiking trail along the lakes, not quite as much mountain biking, and miles and miles of open water for paddling.

Brandt is the middling of the three lakes — Townsend is the biggest (and newest, opened in 1969) at 1,542 acres, Higgins the smallest at 226 acres. While all three are open for paddling, Townsend is especially popular with the big boys, both motorboats and sailboats, making it perhaps the least attractive for paddling. Daily canoe and kayak rentals are offered at both Higgins and Brandt, but Brandt’s bigger size gives it a slight advantage if for no other reason that on a bright sunny day you’ll want all the water you can handle. A good venue, too, if you like fishing; largemouth bass, crappie and catfish are especially popular in the lake.

There’s an odd intimacy to this big-water lake that makes Lake Brandt a go-to destination for Triad paddlers.

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Getting there from downtown Greensboro
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 15 minutes from downtown Greensboro
Time to complete: 1 to 3 hours
Address: 5945 Lake Brandt Road
City: Greensboro
State: N.C.
Zip: 27455
Latitude: 36.1000
Longitude: 79.5032