View Full Version : Fontana Lake or Douglas Lake?

07-26-2009, 11:48 PM
Big family reunion next week in Waynesville / Maggie Valley NC. My mom is the oldest of 12 kids and most of them will be there w/their spouses and kids...woohoo!!

Researching the lakes in the area, it seems Fontana and Douglas are the closest; each is about an hour to an hour and a half drive from my folks' house.

I want a stretch of beach / picnic area where we can have the multitudes show up and then shuttle people out for skiing/boarding/tubing:rolleyes:/etc.

Anybody know which lake would have the better set up for a big picnic / beach party?


07-27-2009, 06:56 AM
For what you are looking for douglas is the best. There is a large picnic, swim area at the dam. MUCH easier to get to. There are many other things to do close by in case of bad weather. Fontana is a cleaner, deeper lake with much less traffic. It is a PITA to get to though, at least from where I'm at.

07-27-2009, 07:23 AM
Times 2 for Douglas. Took a family vacation there last year during the 1st week in August. Great time. Here is a picture I took at noon on a Saturday. Glass!!!!!!

07-27-2009, 07:33 AM
I agree with Mckevin , Douglas Lake would be best . Near the dam there is a small beach area with a boat ramp , an okay restroom building with showers . It has been a few of years since I have been there . Only problem I had ,the ranger guy told me my dog could not go in the water even if I kept him on a lease .

07-27-2009, 12:49 PM
Sounds like Douglas Lake it is. Thanks for the information!

bbymgr, glass like that on a Saturday it amazing!!

mckevin, I wasn't looking forward to trying to get to Fonatana; it looks very hilly and driving through mountains pulling the boat isn't very fun.

nascar, not letting your dog go into the water is just WRONG!

TX.X-30 fan
07-27-2009, 02:11 PM
Times 2 for Douglas. Took a family vacation there last year during the 1st week in August. Great time. Here is a picture I took at noon on a Saturday. Glass!!!!!!

Looks like its leaning to the left. :D

07-27-2009, 04:10 PM
Douglas is a nice lake and will be easier for you to get to for sure. I have never put in at the dam area but seems it will meet most of your needs. We always put in further down which is less crowded but has no swim/picnic/beach area. Once you get on the water over to your right is a area called flat creek. You could head over there and find some better water. It goes back a good ways and has several coves that branch off. They all will end so you have to come back out the way you went in for the most part so you dont have to worry about getting lost. Flat creek can be busy at times and is a little narrow in a few places so just watch. But it is close by and easy to get in and out of with some good water to be found on most days.

07-27-2009, 05:32 PM
Looks like its leaning to the left. :D

Here you go Chad.......ooops! I mean TX.:D

07-30-2009, 10:06 PM
I was raised on Fontana, so I'd have to suggest that one. From Waynesville you just go to Almond Boat Park and put in there, it's the easiest dock to get to from there. Alarka is closer, and Greasy Branch would put you near better water (glassier) but it closed down not too long ago. Douglas is farther away, so don't listen to those guys. I just spent 10 days on the lake (Fontana) and had glassy rides every morning and evening (beer during the mid day)

08-01-2009, 10:13 AM

08-02-2009, 10:42 PM
Well the weather was supposed to be bad today, but I couldn't stand it, so I drove out to the dam area at Douglas just to survey the area. Turns out the weather cleared up and we could've hit the lake, but oh well.

Anyway, nice setup like you all mentioned, lots of good water, a nice beach/swimming area, bathroom/shower house and picnic tables...all at the free TVA boat launch site.

I wandered down to the marina nearby to see if they had slips for overnight rent, since I'd like to leave the boat there over the next week rather than dragging it back and forth to/from my folks' house an hour each way for three or four days. They don't have any slips available, but said I could lash up to their dock on the "safe" side of their security fence but I don't think I'll be doing that since the weather might be rainy overnight on some of the nights and I'm not crazy about how easy-to-access the boat will be to trouble makers (though I guess even in a slip you could get to any boat if you used a boat or PWC).

The really eye-opening part about the marina, though, was their price for premium gas... When I looked at their pumps, they were the old-style kind with the mechanical dials for the price per gallon, gallons pumped, etc. The price seemed kinda low, so I figured they just hadn't changed the dials for some reason, so I went inside to ask and they told me what I had seen was correct. They're only charging about $2.59/gallon, for 93-octane gas. Every other time I've bought gas on the water it was $1.00 to $2.00 per gallon more than in town, or more. I have a pretty thirsty 90-gallon tank I'm gonna fill up tomorrow at their marina, needless to say...

08-06-2009, 06:38 AM
Hope your week goes well! Let me know what you think.