Rock Hill Coca-Cola Blog

Picnic Trip: Lake Norman State Park

This month’s Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company Picnic Trip takes us up the road to North Carolina’s Lake Norman State Park. During the summer of 2022, we’ll try to find some new locations within an hour and a half or so from Rock Hill. That distance makes for a totally do-able day trip. 

Grab the basket, blanket, and cooler filled with Coca-Cola products and head north.

How to Get There

The trip to Lake Norman State Park will take a little bit more than an hour. Take I-75 N out of Rock Hill. Take Exit 42. From the exit, follow NC-115 N/US-21 N. Make a left on Autumn Leaf Rd. and another left onto State Park Rd. Follow State Park Rd to Lake Norman.

What to Do at Lake Norman State Park


For those folks inclined to strap a pack and hike to a picnic spot, Lake Norman State Park offers a whopping 30.5 miles of mixed use trails and another 7.5 miles of trails dedicated to hiking only.

On the Water

If you want to be in motion, but also want to be on the water, take your picnic via boat. You can rent canoes, pedal boats, kayaks, and paddleboards.


Lake Norman is chock-full of fish of many varieties. Be sure to get your North Carolina fishing license if you want to fish. Try your luck from the fishing pier near the swimming area.


Near the fishing pier you’ll find a swimming area with a 125 yard sand beach. Change in the bath house with changing stalls. You won’t need to use the nearby concession stand because you will have brought your own picnic, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Picnic Areas

Bypass the concession stand and take your pre-packed picnic to one of the three designated picnic areas. One is located near the swimming beach and fishing pier for those who have enjoyed the day frolicking in the lake. You’ll find another picnic area next to the Visitor Center and a third on Shortleaf Dr.