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Events and Programs

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
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Canoe/kayak rentals Concession Stand   

Our concession stand and the canoe/kayak/paddleboard rentals will be available on weekends only through the month of September. The Swim Beach is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm through the month of September.  Swim charges will be $5.00 for Adults 13 and over and $4.00 for children 3-12 when lifeguards are on duty.  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. This schedule is subject to change so please check this website for up to date information. 

 Posted on: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 8:58am
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: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 - 8:58am
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.


Too early to be thinking about fall migration? Think again. Many species have already started their southward journey and others are starting to flock up to begin theirs. The Paddy’s Creek Area is a great place to look for birds and Ranger Jamie Cameron knows just where to find them. We’ll get an early start to beat the heat and take advantage of the peak hours of bird activity. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear comfortable walking shoes. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 8:30 a.m.

Date of Event:
Wed, 08/31/2016 - 8:30am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Bathhouse Breezeway

What better way to celebrate your beloved grandparents than to bring them to Lake James State Park for a hike? There will be a short hike to our most popular historical landmarks in the park; the Obeth Cemetery. This hike will be approximately a quarter mile in length and will explore our biggest cemetery. Meet Ranger Jamie Cameron at the bathhouse breezeway located in the Paddy’s Creek Area of the park at 10 a.m. The group will caravan to the cemetery hike from the bathhouse.

Date of Event:
Sun, 09/11/2016 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Bathhouse Breezeway

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!

For race information please visit .


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

100 miles. Can you do it? Many North Carolina Park visitors are trying to do just that, hike 100 miles in 2017 to celebrate NC Parks’ centennial. Meet Ranger Kevin Bischof as he leads a hike in late Fall to discover the leaves after they have fallen for the year. The 4-mile moderate hike will trek around the Mill’s Creek trail and return on the Paddy’s Creek trail. Meet at 10:00 a.m. in the Paddy’s Creek Area of the park near the East Shelter.

Date of Event:
Sat, 11/19/2016 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - East Shelter

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