The largest of Duke Energy's stair-step reservoirs on the Tuckasegee's East Fork, Bear Creek Lake - or simply Bear Lake to the locals - is a popular destination for both anglers and boaters.
Large enough for motor and pontoon boats, Bear Lake is also small enough for kayakers and canoe paddlers to enjoy. One spectacular feature is Sols Creek Falls—visible to boaters and accessible by a foot trail that starts where Sols Creek empties into the lake. The south side of the lake is privately owned with much of that land being part of the Bear Lake Reserve Community.
Bear Creek Lake, along with Wolf Creek Lake, Cedar Cliff Lake, and Tanasee Creek Lake, make up what is known as East Fork Lakes.