• Surface Area: 20,300 Acres
Lake Gaston is a hydroelectric reservoir in east United States of America. Part of the lake is in the North Carolina counties of Halifax, Northampton, and Warren. The part extending into Virginia lies in Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties. Lake Gaston is roughly 35 miles long and covers over 20,000 acres, with 350 miles of shoreline.
The area surrounding the lake is home to more than 150,000 residents. The nearest towns are Littleton and Roanoke Rapids in North Carolina, and Clarksville and South Hill in Virginia.
The lake is not federally owned. It was formed when the Virginia Electric Power Company (VEPCO) built Gaston Dam on the Roanoke River to generate electricity for Dominion Resources, which owns the lake. The dam is located on the North Carolina side and generates electricity for Dominion North Carolina Power, which is the North Carolina operating company of Dominion Resources. The dam includes four hydroelectric generators, with a total generating capacity of 224 megawatts.
Lake Gaston is fed by water from Kerr Lake upstream, and supplies water to Roanoke Rapids Lake downstream, a smaller predecessor to Lake Gaston. This is one of the few areas of the country with three hydroelectric dams so close together.
Lake Gaston has long been popular for fishing and other water recreation. The lake is a favorite vacation spot, because it is close to the Research Triangle region of North Carolina and is close to I-85 and I-95. Lake Gaston was built for flood control, hydroelectric power and recreational enjoyment, including activities such as fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing and wakeboarding.
The lake has been a popular retirement destination since the 1970s. Retirees are drawn from all over the country by the rural feel of the area while also being close to larger cities. There are few vacant waterfront lots remaining on the favored parts of the lake. Some buyers are purchasing smaller homes and demolishing them to make larger vacation homes. Most waterfront lots now cost over $300,000.