The lake at Lake Wheeler Park

Lake Wheeler Park

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Overview Amenities Rentals Courts Playgrounds Hours

Year 1956 | Acres 800 (650 acres of lake and 150 acres of park and land buffer)

Constructed in 1956 with the aid of the Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Wheeler once served as Raleigh's secondary auxiliary water supply lake.

Beginning in 2010, Lake Wheeler was reinstated as a primary water supply for Raleigh and surrounding Wake County communities and feeds water to the Dempsey Benton Water Treatment Plant.




Park Manager Chris Murray
Assistant Park Manager Ben Coats


Lake Wheeler Park
6404 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC 27603




landscaping and stairs in front of lake wheeler office

Visit us at the park office and inquire about the various amenities we have to offer. Rent a boat, pay to launch your personal boat, and ask about our fishing rod and reel loaner program.

Lake Wheeler has a small concession stand to purchase a drink or grab a snack while you are out enjoying the park.

Park Rules

  • Pets must be restrained on a leash at all times with in the park.
  • Swimming and/or wading is not allowed.
  • No alcohol of any kind.
  • Smoking is only permitted in designated parking lots.
kids in two boats on shoreline as part of camp at lake wheeler

Public Programs


Boat Rentals

2021 Boat Rental Season

Personal paddle craft may be rented from Lake Wheeler's Waterfront Center Friday, May 14, 2021 - Monday, September 6, 2021. Rentals are available weekly Wednesday through Sunday and major holidays. Single person Kayak, Standup Paddleboard only. Boats may be reserved online or at the service window. Quantities are limited. 

Questions may be directed to the Lake Wheeler Park Office at 919-662-5704 or the Park Manager or Assistant Director.

Two people rowing in a canoe at lake wheeler

Personal Boat Launches

Hours: Daily, starting at 8 a.m. with boats off the water 30 minutes prior to sunset

  • Boats (trailered and non-trailered) are allowed to launch into Lake Wheeler with the purchase of a daily or annual launch pass.
  • Motorized boats are allowed with the exception of Personal Water Crafts (PWC), a term used for “Jet Ski” type boats.
  • Watersport activities such as skiing and tubing are allowed, however, the act of swimming is not.

Launch Fees

Due to the national change shortage a credit/debit card or exact change is required.

  • City Residents: $4/day
  • Non Residents: $6/day
  • Senior (age 62 or older): $2/day 
  • Annual Rates: City Residents $100, Non Residents $150, Senior Citizens $50
Man and two girls kayaking on Lake Wheeler

Boating Policies

  • All boats must travel in a counter-clockwise pattern.
  • The speed limit is 40 mph on the lake.
  • No swimming from personal boats.
  • Adhere to all No Wake markers found on the body of Lake Wheeler.
  • No wake hours are in effect for the entire lake on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays until 11 a.m.
kids fishing off dock at lake wheeler


  • Fishing is permitted in Lake Wheeler and Simpkins Pond with the purchase of a Lake Wheeler fishing permit and is only required if you are fishing on foot.
  • Fishing is allowed on the 2 designated piers and on the shoreline of Simpkins Pond only.
  • Notice: T-dock fishing pier is currently closed for needed repairs.
  • Stop by the park office to purchase a fishing permit and find out about the Rod and Reel Tackle Loaner program.

Fishing Fees

Due to the national change shortage, a credit/debit card or exact change is required.

  • City Resident: $3/day | $50/year
  • Non Resident: $4/day | $80/year
  • Senior (age 62): $2/day | $25/year
  • Children (under 12): No Charge

Fishing Policies

  • Bank fishing is not allowed on Lake Wheeler shore lines.
  • All patrons fishing must have a current NCWRC fishing license.


party under a picnic shelter at Lake Wheeler

Lake Wheeler has a large conference room, kitchenette, deck, verandah and several picnic shelters that are available for rent. 

Find out more about rentals


Empty sand volleyball court at lake wheeler

Sand Volleyball Court

  • $20/hour (2 hour minimum)

Courts are typically available first-come, first-serve. View other court locations.



Kids playground wide lake wheeler parks

Ages 2-12

  • Woodchip surface
  • Swings for ages 5 and above

View other playground locations.


Open daily at the hours listed below by month:

  • January - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • February - 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • March - 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • April - 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • May - 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • June - 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • July - 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • August - 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • September - 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • October - 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • November - 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • December - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Upcoming Events