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Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
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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, September 26.

Be advised that the direction of Tindo and Wimba trails has changed. The Tindo trail is going in a clockwise direction, and the Wimba trail is going in a counterclockwise direction. 

This closure does NOT cover sections of the Fonta Flora State Trail located off State Park Property. For Burke County Fonta Flora State Trail status please visit: www.burkenc.org/1258/Fonta-Flora-State-Trail.
***MORE IMPORTANT INFO BELOW***
This includes the section of Fonta Flora State Trail that starts at the Linville River and ventures out onto the Long Arm Peninsula. 
When trailhead parking lots are closed it means the associated trail is closed to ALL use (hikers and bikers) due to wet trail conditions or other hazards.
Ignoring such 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.

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: Sunday, September 26, 2021

Current status of facilities at Lake James State Park   

As of August 20, 2021, face masks are required inside facilities at state parks regardless of vaccination status.
Unless otherwise indicated, all campgrounds, trails, picnic areas, boat ramps, fishing piers, and restrooms are open. Please maintain a social distance of six feet, regardless of the behavior of others.

The Paddy’s Creek Swim Area reopened to visitors on May 1. The bathrooms and locker rooms reopened as well, but the indoor and outdoor showers will remain closed pending a septic system repair. The concession stand has reopened on weekends; the hours are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
 
Lifeguards are not yet on duty. Once they are, the fee to swim will be $6.00 for adults (age 13 and up) and $4.00 for children.
 
We will not be able to provide boat rentals for the remainder of the season.

Picnic shelters are available for reservations or casual use on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact the park office for information on how to make reservations.

The Catawba River park office and gift shop is open Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. The Paddy's Creek park office and gift shop is open Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Hours are subject to change on short notice.

Groups larger than 200 people are not permitted. When park rangers feel that the park has reached a safe capacity, the entrance gates may be closed. Entry and/or re-entry to the park is not guaranteed, except for campground reservation holders.

**The information on this alert is the current status of the park. This alert is updated only when the status changes.**

 Last updated on: Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Boat Rentals Closed for the Season   

Effective immediately and due to staffing limitations, we will not be able to provide boat rentals for the remainder of the season.
 
For more information, please contact the park office at 828-584-7728 or lake.james@ncparks.gov.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, August 24, 2021


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

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

 

 

 

Scheduled events

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.

 

Too early to be thinking about fall migration? Think again. Many species have already started their southward journey and others are starting to flock up to begin theirs. The Paddy’s Creek Area is a great place to look for birds and Ranger Jamie Cameron knows just where to find them. We’ll get an early start to beat the heat and take advantage of the peak hours of bird activity. Bring binoculars if you have them and wear comfortable walking shoes. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 2 p.m.

Date of Event:
Thu, 09/30/2021 - 2:00pm
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. Bird migration is also in full swing and if the bugs aren’t flying, we’ll turn our attention to the treetops and spot as many varieties of feathered travelers as we can. 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:
Sat, 10/02/2021 - 2:00pm
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 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.

Date of Event:
Tue, 10/05/2021 - 9:45am
Start Location:
Paddys Creek Area East Picnic Shelter

Come join Ranger Vick on a hike along Paddys Creek Trail and discover the beauty of the natural world while being inspired by the beauty of the literary world. The hike will cover quotes from some of the greatest minds pertaining to the outdoors and allow plenty of time to plumb the depth of those words whilst walking in the very terrain they address. The inspirations of John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Edward Abbey will be your trekking partners this day so come with an open mind and hiking shoes for a great hike at 1 p.m.

Date of Event:
Wed, 10/13/2021 - 1:00pm
Start Location:

The world of moss is an often misuderstood and unappreciated componet of the natural world. Join Ranger Engels on a guided hike along the Overmountain Victory Trail and discover a few of the most common species of moss we have at the park. We will meet at the Holly Disocvery Trail parking lot at 9:45 am.

Date of Event:
Thu, 10/14/2021 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Holly Discovery Trail Parking Lot