The largest manmade lake in the state at 32,510 acres (with a main channel 34 miles long), Lake Norman attracts a goodly number of motorboats. But because of that size and because of the vast number of watery fingers snaking off the main channel, there are opportunities for peaceful paddling. Plus, 33-acre Park Lake, which is exclusive to the park, offers speedboat-free passage. Add to that 6 miles of hiking-exclusive trail and 13 miles of mountain bike trail (also open to hiking) and you have a weekend full of recreational escape.

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