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Our State Geography in a Snap: bodies of water

by Emily Horton
NC Government & Heritage Library, 2012.

See also: Rivers; Lakes; Sounds




The Atlantic Ocean forms the border of eastern North Carolina.


Albemarle Sound, Back Sound, Bogue Sound, Core Sound, Pamlico Sound

See Also: Sounds

Major rivers

Cape Fear River, Catawba River, French Broad River, Neuse River, New River, Roanoke River, Yadkin Pee-Dee River.


Major lakes

Lake Waccamaw (Columbus County), Lake Mattamuskeet (Hyde County), Lake Phelps (Washington, Tyrell County), Lake Gaston (Halifax, Northhampton, Warren County), Jordan Lake (Durham, Wake, Chatham Counties), Lake Norman (Catawba, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Lincoln Counties)

other lakes

Alligator Lake (Hyde County)

Badin Lake (Montgomery and Stanly Counties)

Blewett Falls Lake (Anson and Richmond Counties)

Falls Lake (Wake County)

Fontana Lake (Graham and Swain Counties)

Great Lake (Craven County)

High Rock Lake (Transylvania County)

Jones Lake (Bladen County)

Kerr Lake (Vance, Granville, and Warren Counties)

Lake Adger (Polk County)

Lake Ashnoca (Buncombe County)

Lake Bay (Moore County)

Lake Benson (Wake County)

Lake Brandt (Guilford County)

Lake Burlington (Alamance County)

Lake Charles (Buncombe County)

Lake Cheoah (Graham and Swain Counties)

Lake Comfort (Buncombe County)

Lake Craig (Buncombe County)

Lake Creek (Bladen County)

Lake Devin (Granville County)

Lake Drain (Bladen County)

Lake Eden (Buncombe County)

Lake Emory (Macon County)

Lake Fisher (Cabarrus County)

Lake Franklin (Anson County)

Lake Gresham (Wake County)

Lake Hickory (Alexander, Catawba Counties)

Lake Hunt (Rockingham County)

Lake James (Burke and McDowell counties)

Lake Johnson (Wake County)

Lake Junaluska (Haywood County)

Lake Kawana (Avery County)

Lake Kelly (Henderson County)

Lake Kenilworth (Buncombe County)

Lake Lanier (Polk County)

Lake Logan (Haywood County)

Lake Louise (Alleghany County)

Lake Louise (Buncombe County)

Lake Lure (Rutherford County)

Lake Michael (Orange County)

Lake Michie (mick-e) (Durham County)

Lake Mirl (Wake County)

Lake Monroe (Union County)

Lake Palcoy (Haywood County)

Lake Raleigh ( Wake County)

Lake Reidsville (Rockingham County)

Lake Rogers (Creedmore Lake) (Granville County)

Lake Sapphire (Transylvania County)

Lake Sequoyah (Macon County)

Lake Pocasin (Craven, Carteret, Jones Counties)

Lake Summit (Henderson County)

Lake Susan (Buncombe County)

Lake Tabor (Columbus County)

Lake Tahoma (McDowell County)

Lake Thorpe (Jackson County)

Lake Tillery (Montgomery and Stanly Counties)

Lake Trojan (Wake County)

Lake Wheeler (Wake County)

Lake William (Cumberland County)

Lake Wood (Cumberland County)

Lake Wylie (Gaston, Mecklenburg Counties)

Nantahala Lake (Clay and Macon Counties)

Pungo Lake (Washington and Hyde Counties)

Roanoke Rapids Lake (Halifax County)

Salters Lake (Bladen County)

Santeetlah Lake (Graham County)

Santeetlah Lake (Graham County)

Singletery Lake  (Bladen County)

Tuckertown Lake (Davidson, Montgomery, Rowan, and Stanly Counties)

University Lake (Orange County)

White Lake (Bladen County)


"Geography of North Carolina," North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, (accessed March 26, 2012).

"Lakes in North Carolina," North Carolina Tourism website, (accessed April 3, 2012).

"North Carolina: Facts, Map, and State Symbol," Enchanted Learning, last modified 2010, (accessed March 26, 2012).

"North Carolina Geography and Climate," Secretary of State/Kids Page," (accessed March 26, 2012).

The North Carolina Gazetteer by William S. Powell (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1968)

Map Credit:

"North Carolina Lake Map, River Map, and Water Resources." Map courtesy of Geology.Com, (accessed March 27, 2012).

Origin - location: 



Is there a lake or river in NC called Manawa, maybe in Western, NC?




Hi Richard!

Thank you for your comment and for visiting NCpedia! That is an excellent question!

I looked in the North Carolina Gazetteer, a dictionary of North Carolina place names, and unfortunately did not see Manawa listed in there: 

I don't know if you've ever looked into Stout Maps and indexes before, but those are great for searching for historic place names. You can read more about Stout Maps here: You might want to see if a library near you has access to Stout Maps or indexes for western counties. Libraries in the counties themselves might have them. You might also be able to get access to them through Interlibrary Loan if a library near you participates in that service and does not have the particular index or map at their location.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Taylor Thompson, Government & Heritage Library


woah,thats a lot of information.


Hi great people who are truthful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This was the most helpful thing all day. I always know it is true unlike Wikipedia.


this was barely helpful..... it did not tell me the basic bares of my county and that was annoying... respond quick, my project notes are due by the 11th!


Helo and thank you for visiting NCpedia. I'm sorry you didn't find what you are looking for. without knowing which county you are referring to, we cann help any further at this point. Feel free to let us know which county and we will try our best to help.

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library


Although being rerouted from the DEQ page, I wasn't able to find information on contamination of water bodies in my area in Chapel Hill/Carrboro and specifically Hogan Lake. I saw on another DEQ or EPA website that Hogan Lake was found to have mercury in the fish, and that's why there's a policy at the lake that allows people to catch the fish, but not to eat them without mention of potential of eating toxic mercury. I know the lake is restocked with fish and some people catch and eat the fish.
I wish it was easier to find info on contaminated bodies of water. It's surprising there is so much contamination! Public hearings on wastewater and air pollutant discharge permits for private businesses aren't publicized well. I wish there was more transparency. We need to start caring for the land and other living things better and allow them to restore the balance of our ecosystems. I know at Hogan Lake that beavers are killed or trapped and relocated; beavers help prevent erosion. The HOA controls these policies without much resident notification or input except during elections.


This was not helpful at all


Hi, Jennifer. 

What information did you hope to discover that you were not able to find or link to from this page?

Mike Millner, NC Government & Heritage Library

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