Orange Water and Sewer Authority is excited to announce that the 2021 recreation season will open at Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake on Saturday, March 27. Please read more about how to apply for a recreation permit and what restrictions will be in place.
The application window for Friday, April 16, through Sunday, April 18, will be available below on Monday and Tuesday, April 12 and 13.
Boating, kayaking, fishing, birding — there’s plenty to do at the lakes serving as your water supply. Spring through fall, our reservoirs are open to the public every weekend.
However, as our lakes are public water supplies, swimming and other body contact with lake water are not allowed. We do not permit float tubes, paddleboards and sailboards, or carrying boats into the water.
Also, to protect water quality, no pets are allowed in our boats, and domestic animals are not allowed within 50 feet of the water. Pets are required to be on a leash at all times at our lakes.
Weather permitting, our lakes open 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the following days during the recreation season:
University Lake: Fridays through Sundays
Cane Creek Reservoir: Fridays and Saturdays
For the landlovers, we have free picnicking and sunbathing areas at both lakes. Cane Creek Reservoir also has a quarter-mile nature trail.
While we encourage you to have as much fun as possible at our lakes, we encourage all citizens who use the lakes to put safety first. Read our full list of lake rules and regulations.
Under Federal and State rules, all lake users are required to use a properly fitted flotation device suitable for the person’s size and weight. Life jackets are available in various sizes for adults and children at no charge, and we have a few life jackets for infants. However, people with special size requirements or other special circumstances may need to bring their own life jackets. Anyone using a kayak or canoe must wear an approved flotation device at all times.
We prohibit the flight of unmanned aircraft, including drones and other model aircraft, in the airspace over its facilities and the control of unmanned aircraft from its property.
Citizens with disabilities can receive assistance from OWASA staff as needed to enjoy boating and other recreation at our lakes. University Lake has a fishing dock for use by people with disabilities.
For all of our recreation fees, we accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and checks with proper identification. An identification card with a photo is required for renting a boat; we accept identification cards from the Faith ID Network. The minimum age for renting a boat is 16.
|Service||OWASA Customer or County Resident||Other Citizens|
|Lake Use Fee: Ages 13-64||$4.50 per Person||$5.50 per Person|
|Lake Use Fee: Child (under 13)||$2 per Person||$2.50 per Person|
|Lake Use Fee: Senior Citizen (65+)||Free||$2.50 per Person|
|Boat Rental (Flat-Bottom or Canoe)||$4.50 + Lake Use Fee per Person||$8 + Lake Use Fee per Person|
|Kayak Rental||$15 + Lake Use Fee per Person||$20 + Lake Use Fee per Person|
|Private Boat Launch Fee (for Inspection By OWASA)||$3.50 + Lake Use Fee per Person||$7 + Lake Use Fee per Person|
|Electric Trolling Motor Rental||$15||$22|
|Individual Pass for Boat Rental||$82||Not Offered|
|Individual Lake Use Pass: Ages 13-64||$46||Not Offered|
|Individual Boat & Electric Motor Rental Pass||$163||Not Offered|
|GROUP Boat Rental Pass (Three People)||$163||Not Offered|
|GROUP Boat & Electric Motor Rental Pass (Three People)||$245||Not Offered|
From the east: Follow Main St. west through Carrboro to Jones Ferry Rd. Turn left onto South Old Fayetteville Rd. Go 400 feet and turn right onto University Lake Rd.
From the west: Driving east on NC-54 or Jones Ferry Rd., turn right onto South Old Fayetteville Rd. Follow Old Fayetteville to University Lake Rd.
From the east: Follow NC-54 west of Carrboro for about eight miles from Carrboro Plaza. The Cane Creek entrance is on the right side of NC-54, about a mile west of Stanford Rd.
From the west: Follow NC-54 east and go about one mile past Mebane Oaks Rd. to the Cane Creek entrance on the left side of NC-54.