Looking for a great trail in Lake Norman State Park, North Carolina? AllTrails has 10 great hiking trails, mountain biking trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 8 moderate trails in Lake Norman State Park ranging from 2.7 to 19.5 miles and from 800 to 885 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

bird watching

nature trips




mountain biking



dogs on leash

wild flowers


At Lake Norman State Park, fun is just a matter of scale. On one hand, there's the largest manmade lake in the state, Lake Norman. When filled to capacity, its surface area is 32,510 acres with a shoreline of 520 miles and a main channel 34 miles in length thus its nickname, the "Inland Sea." Thirteen miles of the shoreline are in the state park, which provides boating access. On another hand, the park boasts its own 33-acre lake where fishing and boating are enjoyed. And with hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, interpretive programs and campgrounds, there's more to Lake Norman State Park than merely water.

Well maintained and well marked trail. Several great views of Lake Norman with a few places to stop for a break on the shoreline. My watch was going the whole time and gave the reading of 5.6 miles while the trail is marked as 5 miles. Not sure what’s going on with that as my watch hasn’t been that far off on other trails. I didn’t venture off trail far at all the whole hike. Great trail and will do again when in the area.

Beautiful hike along the lake. The perfect amount of hills. Only downfall it is heavily populated.

Bikers one direction, hikers the other - worked well and everyone was nice. Great amenities

3 days ago

Only walked 0.3 of the Alder Trail before setting up hammocks by the dam. Nice & wooded. Lots of fishermen.

8 days ago

As other reviewers noted, this is a very nice hike. Lots of shade, nice lake views, well kempt, and wide. Somehow, along the 4 mile mark, I was off the trail, I followed the markers, yet the distance back was going to closer to 7 miles. The trail is marked as 5. I used the GPS and walked the last mile on the road. I ended up doing 6 miles. Not sure what happened.

8 days ago

15 days ago

Great trail and loved that you can take dogs on it. The parts around the water were fantastic and many places to stop. Would definitely do it again.

Good quick hike

1 month ago

This trail was a lot of fun to hike. It is not difficult and can be made into a great cardio hike. The rolling hills make for some nice uphills and downhills. Make sure to stay on trail as wildlife is very present including many varieties of snakes. Remember to leave no trace. Happy Trails!

Trail is more difficult than rated. Many steep inclines. Great trail - well marked - friendly people.

1 month ago

This trails is Actually 9.75 miles. Just FYI

1 month ago

Good short trail with gradual hills.

Easy trail, but shaded. Good trail on a hot day. Not too busy for a Saturday.

A great five miler, with great views of the lake. Not a difficult hike. I’d recommend this hike for parents with kids, or dogs

A nice trail, that I mountain bike frequently. I’m preparing for a backpacking trip to Yosemite, so did this with a 40 lb vest. Made the hike fun!

This was a nice short cardio hike. There were some really cool “pocket” beaches along the trail that would be great for a picnic or swim to cool off when it’s hot outside. Remember to leave no trace. Happy Trails!

2 months ago

it was a nice trail. not really a hike though. only trail I've seen a snake on.

bridge out
3 months ago

This hike was very enjoyable and surprisingly challenging in some areas! Made it 7 miles by adding on the group camping spur trail. Trails are well maintained. I'll definitely hike it again.

Awesome hike with dogs! A lot of easy accessible water! ❤

trail was nice and it wasn't to bad to do. there is a short trail that has red diamonds to follow if you don't want to do the whole 5.3 mile hike. the short trail leads in to the lakeshore trail. short trail is 3.o miles. looking at to doing this trail many times this summer.

This is a really nice state park,plenty of trails camping.

I love a quick hike with an impromptu splash in LKN! Many areas to enjoy a submersion if you choose.

3 months ago

First snake sighting of the year, coiled on the back half of the trail.

no shade
off trail
4 months ago

pretty easy, great for hiking and biking, muddy at spot, one open spot to see lake.

I hike this trail a lot and it usually is well marked. Yesterday I noticed that the 4 mile marker and the bench at 4 miles have been moved. I kept looking for the marker so that I could continue on the 5.3 mile loop. The marker was laying on the ground further down the trail. Unfortunately, I missed my turn and kept going, ended up hiking 6.4 miles rather than the 5.3 miles i intended. Hopefully they get it fixed soon.

5 months ago

High traffic but fun, good for dogs with lots of stamina.

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