West Lake Norman – which includes the eastern Lincoln County communities of Denver, Westport and Triangle and the Catawba County communities of Sherrills Ford and Terrell – offer easy commutes to Uptown Charlotte, great water views and less congestion than the eastern shore of the lake.
The main thoroughfares are N.C. 16, running north from Charlotte; N.C. 73, running west from Huntersville; and N.C. 150, running west from Mooresville.
In comparison to eastern shores, Lake Norman’s west side is still in its building infancy. Gently rolling pastures, rustic barns and old family farmhouses can still be found, along with close-knit communities, neighborhood get-togethers, church activities and a slower pace of life.
The western shore’s small-town feel, rural atmosphere, friendly residents, focus on family and reasonable prices draw many folks who prefer to get away from the east side’s traffic jams, shopping centers, interstate congestion and high prices.
Western shore residents know growth is coming their way, too, but the goal has become controlling it and staying ahead of the problems population booms can bring to small communities.
In the Lincoln County area of Denver, development is beginning to creep in from developers looking for lower prices, eastern shore spillover and the widening of N.C. 16 from Charlotte.
Newer neighborhoods in east Lincoln include SailView, a Crescent Communities neighborhood with waterfront and interior homes from the low $400,000s to more than $1 million. Interior homesites start in the $50s. Located east of N.C. 16 in Denver, SailView includes amenities such as a swim and tennis club, community boat slips and family activities such as an Independence Day parade, free movies for children and bunco groups.
Verdict Ridge, developed by former Charlotte mayor Eddie Knox, also continues to build upscale golf course and wooded-view homes starting in the $200,000s. Set in the rolling foothills down Little Egypt Road off N.C. 73, Verdict Ridge features a challenging 18-hole PGA golf course, serene lakes, quiet woodlands and an activity-filled clubhouse with a pool and cabana, tennis courts and playground.
Governor’s Island, one of the first mansion-lined developments on Lake Norman, juts out from the western shore on a thin strip lined with sprawling homes. By car, the neighborhood is north of the N.C. 16/N.C. 73 intersection off of Webb Chapel Road.
Also near the N.C. 16/N.C. 73 crossroads off South Pilot Knob Road are three communities: Waterside Crossing, The Gates at Waterside Crossing and The Bluffs at Waterside Crossing. All three communities have neighborhood swim clubs, playing fields, a short walk to shopping and a five-minute drive to public boating access.
To compensate for the recent population boom along the western shore, especially among families with young children, Lincoln County Schools recently opened St. James Elementary and North Lincoln High.
Lincoln Medical Center, a 101-bed hospital which is part of the Carolinas HealthCare System, serves western shore residents with a 24-hour Emergency Department, Heart Center, Sleep Center and Chronic Pain Management program. The recently-opened Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville serves west side residents.
New residents who want to get involved in the community or learn more about issues affecting them can contact the East Lincoln Betterment Association (ELBA), a citizens’ group that lobbies for improvements and monitors growth issues along the western shore.
As rooftops on the western shore of Lake Norman continue to pop up, so does retail.
The N.C. 16/N.C. 73 intersection is a major shopping spot, with grocery stores, service stores and free-standing fast-food restaurants. One of the newest commercial developments here is The Shoppes at Waterside Crossing, a $2.2 million shopping center with a Harris Teeter, Coffee & More, Arctic Stone Creamery and other specialty stores.
South on N.C. 16 on the way to Charlotte, developers have recently opened Callabridge Commons at Mount Holly-Huntersville Road with eateries, offices and shops.