A series of dams on the Catawba River east and west of Morganton impounds a chain of lakes that provides many recreational opportunities. Nearby Lake James has a 600-foot-long swimming beach, showers and changing areas, and a lakefront picnic area. Visitors can rent canoes and kayaks and fish for bass, walleye and bluegill. Both South Mountains State Park and Tuttle Educational State Forest are nearby as well as Catawba Meadows Riverfront Park. Phone (828) 433-4772, (828) 757-5608 or (828) 437-8863, respectively.
A historical marker on Henderson Mill Road indicates the former location of Fort San Juan, built by Spanish explorers in 1566 and considered the first-known European settlement in the interior of the United States.
Burke County Travel & Tourism 110 E. Meeting St. MORGANTON, NC 28655. Phone:(828)433-6793 or (888)462-2921