Hickory Nut Gap Road
Banner Elk, NC 28604
Wildcat Lake is a premier attraction in Banner Elk, particularly in warmer months. The 13-acre lake is the centerpiece of a public-access facility that includes a white sand beach, swimming pier and fishing dock.
The most popular activities at Wildcat Lake are swimming, fishing and boating. Lifeguards are on duty during summer hours. Boating is limited to non-motorized boats along with canoes and kayaks. Canoe rentals and paddle board rentals are available at various times of the year.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission stocks the lake with bluegill, largemouth bass and three varieties of trout. Fishing is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk, and NC state fishing licenses are required for those who wish to fish.
Many people say Wildcat Lake reminds them of an old-fashioned swimming hole, and it draws upwards of 20,000 visitors each summer.
An adjacent park (Tufts Memorial Park) provides a bath house, picnic tables and three picnic shelters, all open to the public at no charge. Alcoholic beverages and pets are prohibited.
The park is open seven days a week, weather permitting. The park and lake are owned and maintained by the Grandfather Home for Children. There is no charge to use any of the facilities, although donations are greatly appreciated.
Reservations for use of the picnic shelters are necessary and can be made by calling the Grandfather Home at 828-898-5465.
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