High Rock Lake is spanned by two bridges at the northern end of the lake: the I-85/US 85/US 52 bridge and the older US 29/US 70/NC 150 bridge. The NC 8 causeway crosses the Abbotts Creek tributary of the lake, as does a bridge at Holloway Church Road farther north of Abbotts Creek. Railroad tracks and their causeways also cross the southeastern portion of the lake at the Hwy 8 causeway and over Flat Swamp Creek. Numerous communities align the lake's banks including Lexington, Salisbury, Southmont, Linwood, High Rock and Spencer.
Residential Restrictions :
Much of High Rock Lake is lined with privately owned homes, representing all income levels. Prior to 2008, Alcoa had required that all new homes have 8 foot of water when at full pond and have 200 foot of lake frontage before a private pier permit is issued. Boat ramps and boathouses are no longer allowed to be built, although existing structures that are maintained are grandfathered. Retaining walls at the high water mark are only allowed in extreme cases, although existing structures can be maintained. Due to the frequent fluctuations in water level, all private piers are required to be of a floating style, allowing them to be usable even with lowered water levels. The new 50 year government contract that is expected to be signed in 2008 would allow greater flexibility to add roof structures over many existing piers and modifying pier sizes, as well as a few other changes that offer somewhat more flexibility to existing lake front home owners. The purpose of the restrictions are to improve water quality and habitat.
There are several public ramps that can be accessed at no charge, and private ramps that can be accessed for a small fee. The lake has no restrictions on boat motor size and personal watercraft are legal for use. Unlike many municipal lakes, there are no restrictions to access or use and it is available for use 24 hours a day. There are a number of campgrounds that adjoin the lake, some offering year round space rentals that also provide access to guests.