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White Lake, NC: A Hidden Gem in the Southeast

White Lake, NC: A Hidden Gem in the Southeast

Warm emerald waters embraced by the golden hues of the shoreline sand, whispering trees swaying to the gentle breeze, and a firmament mirrored onto the serene realms below—this is White Lake, NC, for you. This ethereal wonder tucked away in the heart of the Tar Heel state is not just a lake; it’s a reflection of the time-honored Southern charm and hospitality.

Sprawled across nearly 1,100 acres and cradled in Bladen County, White Lake has been a favorite vacation spot for generations. Dotted with rustic cottages, luxurious resorts, and family-themed campgrounds, this freshwater oasis has been a staple retreat for families, couples, and solo travelers alike, promising relaxation and recreation amid its crystalline waters and untamed wilderness.

Geographical Location

Occupying a tranquil corner in southeastern North Carolina, White Lake lies comfortably at the coordinates 34.6284° N and 78.5220° W. Nestled amidst the quaint, cozy townscapes of Bladen County, this mesmerizing water body occupies a prime location that’s within palpable reach from various surrounding towns and amenities.

The Elizabethtown proximity offers picturesque road trips for visitors traveling by, revealing glimpses of time-frozen landscapes blanketed by dense greenery and dappled with rustic Southern architecture. The lake is also an easy drive away from Fayetteville, making it a popular day-trip destination for city-dwellers seeking a quick escape into the lap of nature.

Unique Characteristics

What sets White Lake apart from its counterparts is its unique water composition and purity. At first glance, you are greeted by the glistening expanse of water as clear as the sky on a sunny day. A closer look reveals fine sandy bottoms instead of muddy and murky depths typical of standard lakes, subtly playing with light and refractions to create its intriguingly white appearance.

Due to its sandy composition, the lake bed acts as a natural filtration system, purifying the water and maintaining its warm temperature throughout. Such unique conditions have turned this lagoon into a rare phenomenon—a freshwater lake exhibiting the characteristics of a giant, overwhelmingly beautiful swimming pool.

 White Lake

Activities at White Lake, NC

Famed for its enchanting vistas, White Lake offers more than just picturesque landscapes. It’s a vibrant arena for thrilling outdoor activities, catering to adventure enthusiasts, tranquil seekers, and everyone in between.

Water Sports

Operated under regulations ensuring safety and fun, the lake is an excellent avenue for diving into a range of water sports. It is home to perfect waves for wakeboarding and conditions ideal for water skiing. Those with a love for speed can hire jet skis, while those preferring a slow rhythm might opt for paddleboards or kayaks. You can also attempt windsurfing or hop onto banana boat rides for a joyful experience, delivering an adrenaline rush like no other.


For those seeking meditative calm, fishing at White Lake is an absolute delight. Fishermen frequent the pristine waters for an impressive array of bass, catfish, and bream. Fishing here isn’t merely an activity; it’s an age-old tradition entrenched in local culture, promising a peaceful retreat from the humdrum of daily life.


Another way to explore the charms of White Lake is through boating. Boat rentals of all kinds are easily available for a relaxing cruise or a wild exploration. As you gently float on the gleaming waters, enjoy the rhythm of the paddle slicing through while witnessing enchanting sunsets, making boating a serene yet enchanting experience.


There’s no better way of immersing in the raw grandeur of White Lake than pitching a tent right next to it. Campgrounds around the lake cater to everyone from novice campers to experienced outdoor enthusiasts, offering sites with basic amenities to fully-equipped RV parks. Whether it’s the enchanting music of the rippling waves lulling you into sleep or the dance of the early morning sunrays on the canopy of your tent, camping at White Lake creates lifetime memories.


With a brilliant sneak peek into the region’s striking biodiversity, the trails around White Lake are a hiker’s dream come true. The nearby Jones Lake State Park and Carolina Beach State Park offer multiple scenic trails, each offering a mix of ease or challenge, tailoring to the mood of every hiker. The exhilarating scent of earth, the buzz of wildlife, and the rustling leaves underfoot— it’s a sensory overload that any nature lover will cherish.

White Lake

Fishing at White Lake, NC

If you’re a fan of fishing, White Lake in North Carolina is worth a visit. Whether you prefer to fish from the shore or venture out onto the water in a rented boat, you will surely enjoy the stunning natural surroundings and abundance of fish. Various fish species live in the lake’s crystal-clear waters, including bass, catfish, and crappie, making it an excellent destination for anglers of all skill levels.

What sets White Lake apart from other fishing spots is its unique ecology. The lake is naturally fed by underground springs, which helps to maintain a healthy ecosystem and provides a steady supply of fresh water. As a result, the water in the lake is incredibly clear and clean, making for excellent fishing conditions.

Fishing at White Lake is not only a fun and rewarding activity but also an opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the area’s natural beauty. So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting, add White Lake to your list of fishing destinations.

Type of FishAverage size Average WeightBest Bait
Largemouth Bass12-16 inches1-3 poundsSpinnerbaits, jigs, worms
Channel Catfish16-24 inches1-5 poundsChicken livers, nightcrawlers, stink bait
Bluegill4-6 inches0.2-0.5 poundsWorms, crickets, small jigs
Crappie8-12 inches0.5-1 poundMinnows, jigs, small spinners
Yellow Perch6-10 inches0.2-0.5 poundsWorms, minnows, small jigs
Spotted Bass10-14 inches0.5-1.5 poundsSpinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms
Fishing at White Lake in North Carolina

Accommodations around White Lake

After a resplendent day filled with new experiences and picturesque views, you need a charming retreat to rejuvenate. At White Lake, accommodation choices are as diverse as its flora and fauna.

Hotels and Motels

From cozy, family-run motels to upscale luxury hotels, White Lake caters to a broad spectrum of travelers. These establishments are spread around the lake, each providing stunning views and comfortable stays. Whether you’re looking for luxurious amenities or value-for-money comfort, White Lake’s lodging options ensure a tranquil end to an adventurous day.


For those seeking respite from the humdrum of the city, the quaint and rustic cabins scattered around White Lake offer the perfect sanctuary. Blending modern comfort with rustic charm, these cabins serve as intimate spaces where visitors can reconnect with nature, all under the convenience of a well-equipped, home-like setting.

RVs and Camping Grounds

For the nomadic adventurers who carry their homes with them, White Lake hosts several fully-equipped RV parks and campgrounds. Offering complete amenities, these spaces are neatly tucked into the natural landscapes and offer opportunities to immerse in the untamed grandeur of the lake, star-studded nights, and the joy of roasting marshmallows over a crackling fire.

Luxury accommodation in tropical destination

Dining Options

When it comes to gastronomy, White Lake doesn’t disappoint. The lake and its surrounding region offer a culinary exploration that’s as rich and diverse as its scenic attractions.

Local Cuisine

The traditional eateries around White Lake serve a variety of local dishes that are as appetizing as they are diverse. From North Carolina’s signature pulled-pork barbecues to hush puppies and Brunswick stew, each dish is a testament to the region’s culinary heritage.

Gourmet Restaurants

For connoisseurs of sophisticated culinary experiences, several gourmet restaurants around White Lake serve up gastronomic delights that will satiate your taste buds. Indulge in the delicate flavors of freshly caught sea bounty and local produce, artfully transformed into gourmet masterpieces by talented chefs.

Cafes and Breweries

Whether you’re seeking a strong morning coffee, a comforting slice of cake, or a refreshing craft beer at the end of the day, the local cafes and breweries have you covered. These establishments offer a perfect opportunity to relax after a day full of exciting adventures, complemented by scenic vistas adding to the outdoor charm of White Lake.

Elegant Christmas Dining Table in Black

Annual Events

White Lake is not just a magnificent location—it’s a host to an array of engaging events that draw tourists from near and far. These annual happenings offer a vibrant glimpse into the local culture and foster a spirit of community and camaraderie.

Water Festival

The Water Festival is an honored tradition that kicks off the summer season. It’s a jovial congregation of music, arts, and local talents that promise a day of fun-filled activities. Visitors can savor delicious food, participate in various contests, or simply enjoy the lively performances, making it an event that caters to all ages.

Fishing Tournaments

With its thriving aquatic life, White Lake holds regular fishing tournaments. It’s both a friendly competition and an engaging communal activity that unites residents and visiting anglers. Prizes make the day worthwhile, but the sheer thrill of waiting for that ‘big catch’ is such an ingrained aspect of White Lake’s charm that the competition becomes a mere excuse to indulge in this passion.

Triathlon Events

Fit enthusiasts from across the globe gather annually at White Lake for various Triathlon events. With the serenity of the lake setting the backdrop, athletes test their mettle in swimming, cycling, and running races. The competitive spirits are kept aside; these events serve as a testament to human endurance and sporting spirit.

Weather and Best Time to Visit

Nestled in a region experiencing a humid subtropical climate, White Lake offers a rich seasonal palette, with each season uniquely influencing the lake experiences.


Summers bring warmth and vitality to White Lake as visitors flock to escape the heat. It’s the peak season for water activities, and the clear lake water takes on a refreshing coolness to reprieve swimmers. Evenings are cooler, perfect for barbecue parties and night fishing.


As leaves embark on their journey from green to gold and red, White Lake transitions into an artist’s dream. The lake mirrors the vibrant fall colors, and the weather is pleasant—ideal for camping, hiking and outdoor picnics.

Winter and Spring

Winter and spring ring in a quieter time around the lake. It’s the ideal season for those looking for solitude and tranquility. Nature trails adorned with spring blossoms invigorate hikers, while the mild winters make cozying up by the cabin fireplace a cherished pastime.


Is White Lake open to the public?

Yes, White Lake is open to the public for recreational activities. Visitors can access the lake through the various public access points around its perimeter, as well as through the several private campgrounds and resorts located on its shores. It is important to note that some areas around the lake may have restricted access due to private property ownership, so it is always best to check with the local authorities before accessing any specific area.

What is the pH level of White Lake?

According to a study conducted in 2012, the pH level of White Lake ranged from 6.9 to 7.9, which is considered within the acceptable range for freshwater lakes. The pH level is an important indicator of the lake’s overall health and can impact the survival of aquatic plants and animals. Maintaining a healthy pH level is essential for the ecosystem of the lake and the enjoyment of recreational activities by visitors.

What is the best way to get to White Lake?

White Lake is located in southeastern North Carolina, making it easily accessible by car or public transportation. The closest major airport is Wilmington International Airport, which is approximately a 45-minute drive from White Lake. Visitors can also drive to White Lake using major highways such as Interstate 95 and US Highway 701.

How’s swimming at White Lake?

White Lake is a popular destination for swimming due to its clear, clean water and sandy bottom. The lake has an average depth of only 7.5 feet, making it a relatively safe swimming destination for all ages. In addition to swimming, visitors can also enjoy activities such as boating, fishing, and watersports. The lake is surrounded by a beach area with picnic tables and grills, making it an ideal location for a family outing or a relaxing day at the beach.

What are the average depths of White Lake?

White Lake in North Carolina has an average depth of 6 feet, making it a relatively shallow lake compared to other natural lakes in the region. However, it is important to note that the depth can vary depending on the location of the lake. In some areas, the lake can be as deep as 20 feet. The lake’s shallowness and clear water make it a popular destination for swimming, water sports, and recreational activities.

What is the best time of year to visit White Lake?

The best time to visit White Lake depends on your personal preferences and what you want to do during your trip. If you’re looking for warm weather and outdoor activities like swimming, boating, and fishing, the summer months of June, July, and August are the most popular. However, this is also peak tourist season, so the lake and surrounding areas can be quite crowded.

If you prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds, spring and fall can be great times to visit. The months of April, May, September, and October offer mild temperatures and fewer tourists but still allow for plenty of outdoor recreation. The winter months of December, January, and February are the quietest time of year at White Lake, but temperatures can be cold, and many businesses may have limited hours.