Shop Reservations Newsroom


Events and Programs

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
Home >> Lake James State Park >> Events and Programs
Lake James State Park is OPEN!   

Lake James State Park is open.  Come visit us for some relaxing hikes or just to meditate beside the lake. 

Our concession stand is closed for the season.  Thank you all for making this season a successful one.
If you are looking to rent canoes for overnight usage for our boat-in only sites please contact Brian at CBS Sports in Morganton 828-437-7016.

 Posted on: Friday, December 9, 2016 - 8:38am
Mountain Bike Trails are OPEN.   

The mountain bike trails are currently OPEN.  Please be advised that trails may close without notice due to weather conditions or trail maintenance.  Contact the park office prior to arrival to confirm the trail conditions.

 Posted on: Friday, December 9, 2016 - 8:38am
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.


The Holly Discovery Trail is a national award-winning interpretive experience geared for young folks and parents who are seeking outdoor opportunities for their children. The trail also wends its way through a beautiful riparian forest near Paddy’s Creek that’s full of wildlife. Ranger Jamie Cameron will lead the way around the .75-mile loop trail to point out birds, trees and anything else of interest. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking lot in the Paddy’s Creek Area at 10 a.m.

Date of Event:
Sun, 12/11/2016 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Holly Discovery Trail

It has been many years since members of the public have had the opportunity to visit the historic cemetery on Long Arm Peninsula. Before the area became part of Lake James State Park in 2005 it was long held in private ownership. As new park facilities are developed to access and enjoy this beautiful area, the park staff is excited to provide a rare opportunity to walk among the tombstones. Meet Ranger Clay Veasey at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 11 a.m. and we’ll caravan to the cemetery from there. 

Date of Event:
Sun, 12/11/2016 - 11:00am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Bathhouse Breezeway

It may come as a surprise to some, but birdwatching during the winter can be excellent. With all of the winged visitors from the north, we might see as many as 30 different types of birds in little more than an hour. Join Ranger Earl Weaver for a walk around the Holly Discovery Trail to see what kind of surprises we might turn up. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking lot at 8:30 a.m.

Date of Event:
Fri, 12/16/2016 - 8:30am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Holly Discovery Trailhead

The holiday season is upon us and the leaves have fallen off the trees. Many folks think there isn’t a lot of green left to see when they hike in the winter landscape, but they’re in for a surprise. Join Park Ranger Kevin Bischof as he hikes along the Holly Discovery Trail in search of the plants that hold their green coloration even through the winter. The hike is approximately .75 miles in length. Please meet at the Holly Discovery Trailhead located in the Paddy’s Creek Area at 1 p.m. 

Date of Event:
Sat, 12/17/2016 - 1:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Holly Discovery Trail

Join Park Supt. Nora Coffey to learn about different animal tracks and signs that can be found around Lake James and make your own animal track ornaments to take home. Come prepared for both indoor and outdoor activities. Meet at the Catawba River Area office at 10 a.m. Please call the park office at (828) 584-7728 for program registration

Date of Event:
Wed, 12/21/2016 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Catawba River Area - Park Office

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 - 7pm
March, April & October: 7am - 9pm
May - September: 7am - 10pm 
November: 7am - 8pm

Hidden Cove Boat Access Hours:
December - February:  closed
March, April, & October: 7am - 8pm
May - September: 7am - 9pm
November: 7am - 7pm 
All areas closed Christmas Day

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