Lake Toxaway, North Carolina
Where History Meets Luxury
Lake Toxaway is one of western North Carolina’s oldest resort communities.
The largest private lake in North Carolina and the first man-made lake in the region, Lake Toxaway spans 640 acres with 14 miles of shoreline. It is both the foundation and scenic backdrop for this storied and sought-after community.
Lake Toxaway is nestled by four mountains — Hawk, Panthertail, Cold and Toxaway. Its name is Cherokee Native American in origin and means “place of thunder.”
The lake flows into Toxaway Falls and then continues down the Toxaway River. Fed by natural streams, the lake is large enough to enjoy a variety of recreational activities — boating, skiing, paddling, swimming, fishing — yet free from the commercialization of many larger lakes. There is no public access and outside boats are not permitted on the private lake.
Designed solely for recreation and not used as a reservoir or hydroelectric source, Lake Toxaway maintains a constant water level of 3,010 feet above sea level. Its location off U.S. Highway 64, with easy access to Cashiers and Rosman, makes it even more desirable.
A Treasured Resort Community
Once known as the “Switzerland of America,” the Lake Toxaway community became accessible by railroad in the turn of the 20th century and featured several resorts, including the famous Toxaway Inn which opened in 1903.
The vision of Pittsburgh entrepreneur E.H. Jennings, the inn set the stage of what was to come for the community. Its lavish style attracted famous guests — including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and the Rockefeller and Vanderbilt families — until it closed after a 1916 flood.
In the early 1960s, Lake Toxaway got a second chance at becoming a premier mountain resort community, when the land was purchased and the lake restored to its original capacity.
Lake Toxaway Today
Today, Lake Toxaway is home to other well-known developments, including the Greystone Inn and Lake Toxaway Country Club.
Built in 1915 and replicating the architectural details of a Swiss mountain cottage, the Greystone Inn was once the private residence of a prominent Savannah family who summered there. Their 40 acres included an estate, lavish gardens and riding stables. Socialite Lucy Camp Armstrong survived two husbands and continued to live in the home until her death in 1970. Lucy’s beloved home was then restored into a resort.
Today, Greystone Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was the first country inn to receive AAA’s Four-Diamond Award — the first year it opened and every year since. Prominently positioned on a hill overlooking the lake, its lodging, dining and spa continue to draw high-profile guests as well as a collection of awards and top rankings.
Lake Toxaway Estates is the largest community on the lake, comprised of several neighborhoods with outstanding amenities. Open year-round, Lake Toxaway Country Club offers fine dining, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, a golf pro shop, tennis and croquet. It features an 18-hold championship golf course designed by Kris Spence.