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Events and Programs

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
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Mountain Bike Trails are CLOSED today.   

The mountain bike trails at Lake James are CLOSED due to wet conditions.  For the most up to date information please call the park office at 828-584-7728.

 Posted on: Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 8:32am
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.


February evenings can be cold, but if you bundle up to brave the frigid air you will be rewarded with the sparkling gems in the sky. Lake James State Park Superintendent Nora Coffey will be co-hosting with the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club for a night of star gazing. Learn some basic star gazing tips and take home your own star chart. There will be telescopes and binoculars set up for viewing the night sky, but feel free to bring your own if you have them. Folding chairs are also recommended. Sunset will be at 6:16 p.m. but we will meet in the upper parking lot of the Paddy’s Creek Area at 6:00 p.m. to get oriented and cover some tips for the evening’s events before it gets dark. Register by calling the park office at 828-584-7728.

Date of Event:
Fri, 02/23/2018 - 6:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Upper Concession Stand Parking Lot

Predators come in all shapes and sizes; those with feathers, those with scales and those with fur – each is unique. Meet Park Ranger Kevin Bischof to learn about some of the predators of Lake James and their adaptations that make them so effective in the hunt for prey. This will be an indoor program and includes a craft activity to design and create your very own predator. Bring your creativity and enthusiasm to the Catawba River Area basement classroom at 11 a.m.

Date of Event:
Sun, 02/25/2018 - 11:00am
Start Location:
Catawba River Area - Park Office

100 miles … can you do it? Many North Carolina Park visitors are trying to do just that; hike 100 miles in 2018. Meet Ranger Kevin Bischof as he leads a hike along the Paddy’s Creek and Holly Discovery Trails which will lead us along the banks of Lake James and Paddy’s Creek. Along the way we will talk about the importance of water quality and look for the animals that call the shoreline and creek home. The hike will be a 2-mile, moderate hike so bring sturdy footwear and water and be prepared to walk for about two hours.  Meet at 1 p.m. in the Paddy’s Creek Area of the park at the bathhouse.

Date of Event:
Sun, 03/18/2018 - 1:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Bathhouse Breezeway

The wonderful world of salamanders will be on display as Park Ranger Jamie Cameron leads a hike to different types of salamander habitat in search of these small, elusive amphibians. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking area and come prepared to journey through woodlands, seeps, streams and pools. Bring appropriate footwear and keep in mind some of these areas may be a little muddy, so keep the new sneakers at home. The hike will begin promptly at 1 p.m.

Date of Event:
Sat, 03/24/2018 - 1:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - Holly Discovery Trailhead

Lake James will be working in conjunction with the NC Museum of Natural Science to celebrate our natural world! Periodically throughout this week, Lake James will have various educational programs in addition to citizen science opportunities. Keep an eye on the calenadar for more specific programs and we look forward to seeing you during the NC Science Festival!

Date of Event:
Sun, 04/01/2018 - 10:00am to Mon, 04/30/2018 - 8:00pm
Start Location:

Lake James State Park

7321 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