Most tours of Lake James State Park stick to well-worn trails and lake overlooks. This field trip promises to be different, as Park Ranger Clay Veasey leads an intrepid group of explorers down into the inaccessible “River Section” of the park. Scouting forays have shown the area to be a haven for birds, reptiles and amphibians, mammals and all other manners of wildlife. There’s no telling what we’ll turn up. There are no trails so be prepared for a challenging, but potentially rewarding experience. Meet at the Canal Bridge Boat Access parking area at 9 a.m.
Events and Programs
Lake James State Park is now open. Please exercise caution during your visit as park staff work on clearing debris.Posted on: Monday, September 24, 2018
The mountain biking trails will be closed today. Be advised that the directions of Tindo and Wimba Trails will be changing on September 28, 2018. Tindo Trail will be going in a counterclockwise direction and Wimba Trail will be going in clockwise direction. 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.Posted on: Monday, September 24, 2018
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.
Lake James is an important waystation for all sorts of animals, birds and insects as the summer winds down. Young naturalists will love this unique tour exploring the lake and its abundant wildlife by boat. Park Ranger Earl Weaver will be your captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat as we search for terns, beavers, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be hot and muggy or cool and drizzly, so be sure to watch the forecast and dress appropriately for the day (remember it’s always cooler out on the water) if you are one of the eight lucky participants. Registration is required and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the park office at 828-584-7728 to reserve your spot. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area East Picnic Shelter at 9:45 a.m. for a briefing and prompt 10 a.m. departure.
Over the last 7 years the staff at Lake James State Park has been diligent in landscaping with native plants that are attractive to insect pollinators. Those efforts are paying off and the pollinator gardens around the day use portion of the Paddy’s Creek Area are a showplace for butterflies, bees and a host of other insects that are critical to the health of our flowering and fruiting plant communities. Park Ranger Jamie Cameron will lead this tour of the gardens geared especially for young people. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 2 p.m.
Hike back in time along a section of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail with Park Superintendent Nora Coffey. In honor of the Annual March commemorating the historic trek of the Overmountain Men we would like to offer our visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of these brave men and learn a little bit about the history along the way. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking lot at 5 p.m. This will be an easy hike, but please note the trail is narrow and rocky in areas.
One of the main attractions to Lake James State Park is the quality fishing opportunities that can be found in the lake. Have you ever wanted to fish, but didn’t know where to start? Here is a great opportunity. Meet Maintenance Mechanic and master angler Justin Allen at the Paddy’s Creek Area East Picnic Shelter at 6 p.m. and be prepared to wet a line! All of the fishing gear will be supplied so all you need to do is show up. Since gear will be provided, participation is limited to 6. Please call 828-584-7728 to sign-up for this program.
Lake James State Park
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
10am - 6pm
May 1 through September 30