Understanding Lake Property
Claytor Lake is a unique place. Wooded hills slope to clear, deep water in many areas. Listing and selling properties on the lake requires understanding the characteristics of the lake as well as the lake market. Most homes are one-of-a-kind and while sold properties can indicate the price range for evaluating a lake property, pricing a property is really both art and science. How do you value a spectacular view or a short flat expanse to the water instead of a steep hill falling to the water? Evaluating Claytor Lake property involves a deep understanding of this special market.
Generally, there are considered to be three main areas of the lake: the upper lake runs from Lowman’s Ferry Bridge to the Hiwassee Trestle where the New River Trail crosses New River. Mid lake is generally thought to run from the bridge to the cliffs and the upper portion of the state park. The lower lake is the widest portion and runs from the state park bend to the dam. Each section of the lake has unique characteristics, but it is all stunningly beautiful.
Above the Hiwassee bridge and below the Claytor Lake dam, New River has some pretty spectacular scenery and good locations on the water for boating or fishing. Generally, above the Hiwassee bridge to the Allisonia rapids lake sports such as skiing are easy and the water is deep. There is a more detectable current in the river of course because it is not part of the lake “ponding” area. Below the dam, the river wanders through the mountain ranges into Giles County and on into West Virginia. This area is also great for fishing and water sports such as rafting.
Having grown up on and around the lake, we feel a particular devotion and passion for lake property and are proud to represent sellers and buyers of lake property. In 2013, Mabry & Cox was responsible for over 60% of the transactions on the lake.
Here are some of the properties we have listed and sold on the lake.
Claytor Lake Facts and History
Claytor Lake is a 21-mile long man-made lake steeped with the historical and geological significance of the area and of the New River, which it contains. The New River is one of the few rivers in North America to flow north (and west), and it is the only river to cut through the entire width of the Appalachian Mountains. The lake itself loops through Pulaski County, Virginia.
The New River has its beginnings in North Carolina, flows into Virginia through some of the most spectacular mountain land in Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and Grayson Highland State Park. It winds through SW Virginia through Giles County and the Peters Mountain Wilderness into West Virginia and ultimately to the Mississippi River.
Claytor Lake dam was built on the New River in the 1930’s by Appalachian Power Company. It was completed in 1939 and harnesses the water power of the New River to produce 75,000 kW of “green” energy while creating a deep 4,475 acre lake. Because it is part of the New River basin, an ancient river that in ages past carved its way through rock and gaps in the mountains, there are dramatic stone cliffs and steep shores with some gently sloping areas. AEP still owns much of the land around the lake, principally steep slopes and areas whose drainage could damage the quality of the water and increase silting. Because of this, developed land around the lake is frequently buffered by wooded land and natural habitats in many areas. This contributes to the quality of the water in the lake as well as to the quality of home sites and usage of the lake.
Claytor Lake is generally a very healthy ecosystem with clear, cold and deep water. Under the waters, in the river bottom, are some early settlements along the “great road” used by travelers moving west. The great road, now known in many areas as Wilderness Road, followed ancient footpaths used by Native Americans, the early explorers, and the wagon trains of early settlers. One place to learn more about the 1700-1800’s along the Wilderness Road is the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, located in the historic village of Newbern just off exit 98 of I-81. Newbern is a typical linear ridge village established by local farmer and entrepreneur Adam Hance in 1810. Some of the original structures are still standing, and many are occupied.
The lake has its own sailing club, the Claytor Lake Sailing Association, (CLSA), based in the Claytor Lake State Park Marina. It supports all types and levels of interest in sailing and sailing-based camaraderie through a variety of sailing-related events. One of the more beautiful scenes on the lake is the sails scooting across the waters with tall forested slopes in the distance.
Claytor Lake is fortunate to have an active group of citizens who are deeply involved with the lake in a variety of ways. The Friends of Claytor Lake (FOCL) is responsible for everything from cleaning out driftwood to working with AEP and Pulaski County to improve the lake in every way. Many environmentally conscious land owners participate and support FOCL. It is a major asset in every way.
Those who love the lake and New River love it deeply, for a variety of reasons but mainly for the incredible beauty and contribution to a quality of life. The rim of mountains, the views of the lake over farms and framed by high cliffs, the sight of early morning spring fog along the lake against the backdrop of the ridges all bring fresh hope that perhaps mankind will not destroy our beautiful planet but will protect it and learn to live in harmony with nature while enjoying it.
Enjoy these pictures of Claytor Lake and New River country.