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Events and Programs

Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
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Mountain Bike and Fonta Flora Trails CLOSED Today   

 The mountain bike trails and Fonta Flora State Trail are CLOSED today, January 25.

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.

Be advised that the directions of Tindo and Wimba trails will be changing on January 11. Tindo Trail will be going in a clockwise direction, and Wimba Trails will be going counterclockwise 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.

 Last updated on: Monday, January 25, 2021

Canal Bridge Boat Ramp and Footbridge Closures   

The Canal Bridge Access Area and boat ramps will be closed starting January 4, 2021 to install a new structure. The Hidden Cove Access Area and boat ramps will be open to the public 24 hours per day during this weeks-long project.

Also, a footbridge is closed for repairs on the southern leg of the Overmountain Victory Trail. This section leads from Paddy's Creek to Canal Bridge.

Please contact the park office at 828-584-7728 or with any questions.

 Last updated on: Monday, January 11, 2021

Current status of facilities at Lake James State Park   

Unless otherwise indicated, all campgrounds, trails, boat ramps, fishing piers, and restrooms are open.

Swim beaches, boat rentals, and concession stand are closed until further notice.

Picnic shelters are available for casual use on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Catawba River park office and gift shop is open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Paddy's Creek park office and gift shop is open Thursday to Monday, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A properly worn mask or face covering, covering both the nose and the mouth, is required to enter the park offices and other buildings.

Groups larger than 50 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: Thursday, September 24, 2020

Map of North Carolina – Lake James State Park

Contact the park



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



  • 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:
  • 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

  • Friday to Sunday:
    9:00am to 5:00pm




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.


Join us for another virtual career opportunities seminar this spring!

The seminar will introduce participants to various careers in state parks, as well as provide insight and information on the application and hiring process.

View the agenda »

All majors welcome, especially:

  • Criminal justice
  • Natural resources
  • Parks and recreation
  • Biology
  • GIS
  • Environmental science
  • Human resources
  • Management
  • Animal science

Register here to receive more information about how to participate in this virtual event

Date of Event:
Thu, 03/25/2021 - 1:00pm
Start Location:

Come explore the final frontier at Lake James State Park and join the statewide Star Party. Astronomy activities for children will be led by Park Rangers while the waxing crescent of the Moon appears near Mars. Registration is required for this program and attendance is capped at 25 families. If due to COVID restrictions or poor weather the in-person event is canceled all families registered will be able to receive a star party mini kit filled with activities for their children to complete at their leisure. Due to the Governor's Executive Order social distancing is encouraged and face masks must be worn whenever social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. To register please call the park office at (828)-584-7728 and leave your name and contact information. The contact information is required encase the event will not be held in person and the park will need a way to reach out to schedule a mini-kit pickup.

Date of Event:
Fri, 04/16/2021 - 7:30pm to 10:00pm
Start Location:
Paddys Creek Day Use Area