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Events and Programs

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
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Mountain Bike Trails OPEN today   

Mountain bike trails are OPEN today, September 20th.  If date is more than 24 hours old, please call the park office at 828-584-7728 for the latest information.

 Last updated on: Sunday, September 22, 2019

September Beach & Boat Rental Hours   

The beach at Paddy's Creek will remain open for the season from 10-6 each day through September 30. Boats are rented out of the concession stand from 10-4:30 on the following weekend dates: September 7-8, September 14-15, and September 21-22. Kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals are $7.00 per hour.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Weekday Closures: Boat Rentals,...   

The concession stand in the Paddy's Creek Area will be closed weekdays starting August 26. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards will not be available for rent on these dates.

These dates are subject to change without notice. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please call the park office at 828-584-7728 with any questions.

 Last updated on: Thursday, August 29, 2019

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.


Bird migration is in full swing and it’s time to go watch the spectacle. The Paddy’s Creek parking area offers just the right mix of open water, shoreline woods and fields to see lots of species in a morning. Join Ranger Jamie Cameron for an exciting afternoon. We’ll start at 8 a.m. from the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them.

Date of Event:
Wed, 10/02/2019 - 8:00am to 9:30am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area bathhouse breezeway

The amazing monarch butterfly migration will be at its peak and the Lake James State Park pollinator gardens are a great place to catch the spectacle. Park Ranger Jamie Cameron will explain the life-cycle of these incredible insects as we search for monarchs on their way to the wintering grounds in Mexico. This will be a leisurely excursion for all ages. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 2 p.m.

Date of Event:
Sun, 10/13/2019 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area bathhouse breezeway

It has been three years since members of the public have had the opportunity to visit the historic cemetery on Long Arm Peninsula. Before the area became part of Lake James State Park in 2005 it was long held in private ownership. As new park facilities are developed to access and enjoy this beautiful area, the park staff is excited to provide a rare opportunity to walk among the tombstones. Meet Ranger Clay Veasey at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 2 p.m. and we’ll caravan to the cemetery from there.

Date of Event:
Fri, 10/18/2019 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area bathhouse breezeway

Lake James is an important waystation for all sorts of animals, birds and insects as the summer winds down. Past experience has proven to the park staff that there’s no better way to explore the lake and its abundant wildlife than by boat. Park Ranger Clay Veasey 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 1:45 p.m. for a briefing and prompt 2 o’clock departure.

Date of Event:
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 1:45pm to 3:15pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area East Picnic Shelter

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.  We will meet in the upper parking lot of the Paddy’s Creek Area at 7 p.m. Register by calling the park office at 828-584-7728.

Date of Event:
Sat, 10/19/2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area upper parking lot

7321 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761



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