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Events and Programs

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
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Canoe/kayak rentals Concession Stand Open for the Season!   

 Our concession stand and the canoe/kayak/paddleboard rentals will be available daily through Labor Day from 10 am until 6 pm.  Swim charges will be $5.00 for Adults 13 and over and $4.00 for children 3-12.  The fee for rentals is $5.00 per hour or $30.00 for the day.  Boat rentals end at 4:30 pm and all boats, paddles and lifejackets need to be back by 5:30 pm.

 Posted on: Sunday, June 26, 2016 - 11:48am
Mountain Bike Trails are OPEN.   

The mountain bike trails at Lake James are OPEN today. Our mountain bike trails are directional please pay attention to the signs.  To protect the trails from damage and keep our riders safe during hazardous conditions, bike trails will be closed whenever trails are too wet to allow riders. Accordingly, riders should contact the park prior to arrival to confirm that the trail is open.

 Posted on: Sunday, June 26, 2016 - 11:48am
Events and Programs

Lake James State Park offers a variety of learning opportunities for all ages. Typically led by park rangers, these interpretive programs allow the public to gain perspective into what makes North Carolina state parks naturally wonderful. ​

Most of the events are free, though some require pre-registration. All give park visitors deeper insight into the natural world. Call the park office for more information.


Over the last 5 years the staff at Lake James State Park has been diligent in landscaping with native plants that are attractive to insect pollinators. Those efforts are starting to pay off and the pollinator gardens around the day use portion of the Paddy’s Creek Area are a showplace for butterflies, bees and a host of other insects that are critical to the health of our flowering and fruiting plant communities. Park Ranger Jamie Cameron will lead this tour of the gardens – discussing the different plants and how they are utilized by the insect community. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 2 p.m.  

Date of Event:
Sun, 06/26/2016 - 2:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Bathhouse

We are turning 100! For the whole year of 2016, North Carolina State Parks will be having various Centennial Events to celebrate 100 years of serving North Carolina communities and we would like to invite you to Lake James to help us celebrate our milestone.

Our event will start early with a triathlon put on by the McDowell Trails Association followed by celebrating the Catawba River Valley by raising appreciation through our iconic Riverfest. While the triathlon will have a registration fee, watching the triathlon and admission to Riverfest will be free to the public. Enjoy day-long music by several local bands, food, educational exhibits, nature hikes, and free mountain bike, kayak, canoe, and paddleboard demos.

Come out and visit Lake James and help North Carolina State Parks celebrate turning 100!


Date of Event:
Sat, 09/17/2016 - 7:00am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area

Lake James State Park

6883 NC Hwy 126
NeboNC 28761
Latitude: 35.750378
Longitude: -81.892075

Park Hours:

Day-use areas at Paddy's Creek and Catawba River:
December - February: 7am - 6pm
March, April & October: 7am - 8pm
May - September: 7am - 9pm 
November: 7am - 7pm

Catawba River Area Campground and Canal Bridge Access:
December, January, & February: 7am - 6pm (Campground and Hidden Cove Access closed)
March, April, & October: 7am - 9pm
May - September: 7am - 10pm
November: 7am - 8pm 
All areas closed Christmas Day

Swim Area
10am - 6pm 
May 1 through September 30