Press release from the U.S Forest Service:
The U.S. Forest Service today announced it has completed repairs to Balsam Lake dam and that the lake is again filled with water.
“I’m pleased to say that Balsam Lake is full, and we look forward to the stocking of fish this spring,” said Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins.
Last spring, the Forest Service noticed a leak in the dam. Heavy summer rains prohibited workers from completing work sooner.
After rains subsided, a local contractor was able to fix the source of the leak, a broken board located at the bottom of the dam. Even though the board was less than a year old, it either had a hidden defect, which caused the failure, or adsorbed too much moisture then expanded too much and cracked. About 30 boards had to be removed to get to the failed board.
With Balsam Lake refilled, visitors still have time to enjoy scenic views from Balsam Lake Lodge, which overlooks the lake. Visitors can rent the lodge through Nov. 30. Balsam Lake Lodge offers 16 twin beds with linens, a kitchen with utensils and three bathrooms. All facilities are fully accessible. The lodge can be reserved by visiting www.recreation.gov.
Balsam Lake and Balsam Lake Lodge are located in the Nantahala Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest. For more information about the Nantahala National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc.