Walking trail at Beaver Lake, Asheville NC

Beaver Lake is a park and walking trail about 3.5 miles north of downtown.  A man made lake created in 1923, the lake and surrounding park is maintained by the community making it a private park. The neighborhood takes pride in the park and it shows when exploring the walking trail. The trail is well maintained and is a perfect outdoor activity for all age groups. A trail loops around the entire lake but it may be better to stay on the north side of the lake when going with kids. (EDIT – I have learned that the only official maintained trails are the paths on the North side of the lake. The remaining trail around the lake is a path created by people circling the lake.)   The jogging trail stretches past the bird sanctuary before looping around the lake shore. The north side has wide level walking paths for strollers, and two large fields provide plenty of room to run around. If someone in your family is a runner and searching for a flat run, the entire loop around the lake including the dirt trail is 1.7 miles. If you stick to the official paths on the North side and loop around, you can run close to 1.3 miles per loop with a jogging stroller.

Walking trail at Beaver Lake, Asheville NC

As you explore the lake, keep your eyes out for wildlife. The lake attracts many migratory birds and has its own year round residents. The area has so many different species visiting that the east side of the lake has a bird sanctuary with signs to help identify the birds. During the migration seasons, you can catch all sorts of individuals out spotting the birds. We spotted one hummingbird the first week of October, but i was told that is very late in the season to see them. Being new here, I was shocked to see a Pileated Woodpecker, the bird was huge compared to the woodpeckers i grew up with. On the shoreline a variety of ducks nest and play. I ended up getting a book from the library to learn the different names.

As with all wildlife, please pay attention to your surroundings. A woman was attacked by a beaver in the fall of 2016. It was later proven that the animal was sick with rabies, which is extremely unlikely to happen, but it doesn’t hurt to remember all animals are wild and should be appreciated from a safe distance.

During the warm months, families can rent rowboats or kayaks to paddle around the lake. The lake is a nice flatwater area to learn on, and is used for training during the summer.  Please note that you are required to have a permit for walking dogs or fishing in the lake and will receive a fine if you do not buy a ticket ahead of time. The community is strict but signs are posted everywhere. The annual permit is $50 and helps keep the park clean. Parking is located at Lake View Park Commission. A second smaller parking space is on the side of Glenn Falls Rd but it only holds 6 cars. It seems to be a trend that each activity requires a permit to limit the use or at least keep people honest about following the rules. Either way, read the signs and follow the simple rules to enjoy the park.

Dog walking at Beaver Lake, Asheville NC

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