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Ecology

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park

7321 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761

828-584-7728
lake.james@ncparks.gov

 

Map of North Carolina

GPS: 35.750378, -81.892075

 

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

Mountain Bike Trails OPEN   

Mountain bike trails are OPEN today, December 6.  If the date is more than 24 hours old, please call the park office at 828-584-7728 for the latest information.
 

 Last updated on: Friday, December 6, 2019

New Gate Hours 7 am - 7 pm   

New gate hours are now in effect for December 1 through February 29. The park opens at 7 am, and gates close at 7 pm. The park will be closed on Christmas Day.

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

 Last updated on: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hidden Cove Boat Access Closed   

The Hidden Cove Access Area closed for the season on December 1 and will reopen on March 1, 2020. Please contact the park at 828-584-7728 or lake.james@ncparks.gov with any questions.
 

 Last updated on: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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.