Attendance at OWASA lakes last year dropped dramatically, 88 percent at University Lake (476 visitors) and 72 percent at Cane Creek (1,092), due to Covid-19 capacity limits. And when attendance drops so does revenue, especially when lakes aren’t renting boats or equipment. Last year the lakes didn’t open until Memorial Weekend, were closed for Labor Day holiday and shut the gates in November.
The lakes will reopen March 27 under the same rules as last year. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday-Sunday at University Lake and Friday-Saturday at Cane Creek. Reservations are required. Capacity will be limited to one-third and visitors will need to register in advance online for the upcoming weekend. Opening day is free admission. Otherwise, lake fees are charged for admission.
To get a reservation, visitors fill out a form on the recreation page of the OWASA website (owasa.org/recreaction) during the designated time each week (Monday and Tuesday). If more applications are submitted than slots available, a random drawing takes place. Applicants will be notified via email whether their name was selected or not. Visitors selected for one of the available boating slots will be allowed to bring one guest. Visitors bring their own gear including life jackets. No walk-ups allowed.
Lake fees are $4.50 for Orange residents, $5.50 for non-Orange. Children are $2.00 each and Orange seniors are free.
Graham-Mebane Lake, 3218 Beason Rd., Graham, reopened for the season. Hours are 8-5 Friday through Sunday in February weather permitting. They shift to 8-5 daily in March and 8-6 when DST starts March 14. Questions? Call 919-563-6544. Fees are charged.
Durham Lakes Reopen
Durham lakes reopen March 12. Hours are 6:30 to 6 Friday-Monday at Lake Michie and Little River Lake. Fees are charged and kayaks/boats can be rented.