To minimize health and safety risks of COVID-19, all facilities are closed and programing is canceled until further notice. Learn More

Kerr Lake

UNC-Chapel Hill Kerr Lake Recreation Association operates a recreational area on a 230-acre peninsula on Kerr Lake, one of North Carolina’s most popular locations for water sports and outdoor relaxation. The shore and coves are well-suited for swimming and fishing, and the lake is ideal for water-skiing, canoeing, sailing, or simply a leisurely weekend outdoors. The University area is an easy 90-minute drive from Chapel Hill. Permits are available in 209 Fetzer Hall and payment can be made by clicking here. For more information, please call Kelly Hair at  919-962-0017.


  • Facilities: Lake facilities typically open in May and permits are now available for purchase!
  • Map: A map of Kerr Lake can be viewed here.
  • Sites: Approximately 40 non-reserved campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis to members. All sites are wooded, near the water, and accessible by car. Additional sites in specific areas may also be reserved for the entire season.
  • Open Area Trailer Parking: Members are eligible to keep their campers or boats at the lake for the season or year-round with the purchase of an open area parking permit for each item stores ($75/per item).
  • Moorings: 8 permanent mooring sites are available for lease to members at an additional cost. The morrings are located in the cove south of the caretaker’s trailer. 
  • Group Use Area: The Group Use Area is a private point that provides a large field, a picnic shelter with 3 tables, and water hook-up and is ideal of departmental or family gatherings. The Group Area is for use only be reservation through Campus Recreation.
  • Additional Facilities: Toilet facilities, as well as electric wells with tested water, are located near all sites, and a concrete launching ramp and boat dock are available. Campus Recreation also has compiled a list of local restaurants, gas stations, and area sites that would be useful to individuals who are not familiar with the area. 


Campus Recreation has provided a statement of policies that governs the use of the UNC Kerr Lake Recreation Area by individuals and their guests. Please read and familiarize yourself with these policies before filling out a Permit Application.

  • Click here to download the 2017 Kerr Lake Recreation Area Use Policies.
  • Click here to download the 2017 printable, complete Fee Schedule

Daily/Annual Use Permits

The area is open to employees and retirees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UNC Hospitals, and University of North Carolina General Administration, as well as current students of UNC at Chapel Hill.

Permits must be purchased at the EXSS Office located in 209 Fetzer Hall (Please call 919-962-0017 to confirm availability of key/permit pick-up or online by credit card). Members and their families are included in daily and annual use permit fees.  Daily permits include day visits or overnight stays. Annual permit holders receive a key for the facilities to keep for the entire season.

  • Click here to download the 2017 Permit Application.
  • Click here to download the 2017 Release Form.
  • Click here to make a payment by credit card (Visa and Master Card ONLY!)

Guest Permits

Adult guests of members are required to pay an additional daily guest fee per adult or they may purchase an Annual Guest Permit which may be used by the purchaser’s guests throughout the season, but not for more than one family at a time. Guests admitted with this permit must be accompanied by the host family and use the same campsite. Members are responsible for the conduct of their guests.

  • Click here to download the 2016 Permit Application.
  • Click here to download the 2016 Release Form. 


From Chapel Hill — 

  • Take Interstate 85 North to Exit 214 ( Hwy 39/Henderson).
  • Turn left and follow Hwy 39 North for 13.5 miles. (You will pass through Townsville.)
  • Turn right onto Rock Spring Church Road at the fork (There is a Baptist Church and a sign to Henderson Point at the fork).
  • Go 2.1 miles and turn right onto Woodsworth Road (this is also County Road 1358; The closed Jefferson’s Grocery is on the corner).
  • The UNC-CH Recreation Area is about 1-mile down Woodsworth Road/County Road 1358.
  • Enter areas A, B and C on the right. Areas D and E (boat ramp) are on the left.