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Ecology

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
Mountain Bike and State Park Section of Fonta Flora Trails OPEN Today   

The mountain bike trails and the State Park sections of the Fonta Flora State Trail are OPEN today, June 27.

Be advised that the direction of Tindo and Wimba trails has changed as of April 8, 2022. The Tindo Trail is going in a counterclockwise direction. West Wimba Trail is going in a clockwise direction.  East Wimba will be going in a counterclockwise direction. Ignoring closures will cause permanent damage to the trail system and could lead to a citation and fine. Your cooperation ensures we can keep the trail system healthy and functioning for YOUR benefit and safety.

For information about Burke County portions of the Fonta Flora State Trail, please visit their website at https://www.burkenc.org/1258/Fonta-Flora-State-Trail.
If the time stamp on this alert is more than 24 hours old, please feel free to call the park office at 828-584-7728 for the most up-to-date information.
 

 Last updated on: Monday, June 27, 2022

Paddy's Creek Swim Beach Reopening Tuesday, June 21st   

The Paddy's Creek swim beach has reopened after temporarily closing due to high levels of E.Coli found in the lake last Thursday. Test results from samples taken on Monday indicate the swim beach is safe for swimming.

Please contact the park office with questions at lake.james@ncparks.gov or 828-584-7728.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, June 21, 2022

High Holiday Visitation Expected   

Above capacity crowds are expected Fourth of July weekend. This may mean long lines for facilities and boat rentals and unavailability of campsites and picnic tables.  Likewise, if the park reaches capacity, the front gate may be closed, and visitors will be asked to make alternate plans.
 
Please arrive early and keep your party together to increase chances of admittance and decrease possibility of being separated.
 

 Last updated on: Friday, June 17, 2022


Map of North Carolina – Lake James State Park


Contact the park
 

828-584-7728

lake.james@ncparks.gov
 

Addresses
 

Paddy's Creek access

7321 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7503, -81.8920

 

Catawba River access
and park office

2785 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7287, -81.9011

 

Mailing address

P.O Box 340
Nebo, NC 28761

 

Hidden Cove boat ramp

3381 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7301, -81.8908

 

Canal Bridge boat ramp

9182 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7394, -81.8863
 

Hours
 

► 

  • December to February:
    7:00am to 7:00pm
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 10:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • Closed Christmas Day
     

► 

  • open year-round
     
  • 24-hour access
     

► 

  • December to February:
    closed
     
  • March to April:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • May to September:
    7:00am to 9:00pm
     
  • October:
    7:00am to 8:00pm
     
  • November:
    7:00am to 7:00pm
     

► 

  • May 1 to September 30:
    10:00am to 6:00pm

► 

Catawba River office

  • Monday to Friday:
    8:00am to 4:30pm

 

Paddy's Creek office 

  • Wednesday to Sunday:
    9:00am to 5:30pm
     

 

 

 

Natural resources

Get plant and animal checklists at the park office.

Steep, forested ridges covered with mixed hardwoods, pines and hemlocks dominate the landscape. Wildflowers are abundant, and the clear waters of Lake James reflect different types of vegetation in each season.

Wildflowers commonly seen in the park include pink lady slipper, Jack-in-the-pulpit, passion flower, Indian pipe and cardinal flower. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and flame azalea are also abundant in the hilly terrain.

Deer, flying squirrel, red and gray fox, rabbit, muskrat and mink all reside at Lake James State Park. Waterfowl - including green heron, belted kingfisher, mallard and Canada goose - enjoy the park's large body of water. The skies are also home to pileated woodpeckers, hawks and owls. Reptiles include eastern box turtle and fence lizard, while amphibians - including northern red salamanders, eastern red-spotted newts and tree frogs - frequently may be found along park trails.