Lake James is a wintering spot for dozens of common loons coming from their northern nesting territories. On quiet, still mornings you can often hear their iconic cries echoing across the water. Join Ranger Earl Weaver aboard the park's patrol boat in search of these graceful waterbirds and others that call Lake James home during the winter. Registration is required and only the first eight respondents will get to enjoy this unique opportunity. Meet at the East Picnic Shelter at Paddy's Creek Area at 10:45 a.m. for a briefing and prompt 11 a.m. departure. To register, call the park office at 828-584-7728.
Events and Programs
The boat dock for the Catawba River Campground has been flooded by recent rains. The trail between the dock and the campground is impassable. Please be prepared to take a different route until the lake's water level drops down.
The Lake Channel Overlook trail is closed from the campground bathhouse out to the overlook during renovations. Work should be complete and the overlook opened by the end of the month.
Please call the park office at 828-584-7728 with any questions.Posted on: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Starting October 1, the swim beach and weekday boat rental concession are closed for the summer season. Canoes and kayaks will be available to rent on the weekends only through the end of October. Paddleboards are out of commission. The hours for boat rentals are subject to change, though, so please call ahead before traveling to the park. If you have questions, please call the park office at 828-584-7728.
Posted on: Sunday, October 21, 2018
The mountain bike trails are OPEN today. Be advised that the direction changed at the end of September so pay attention to directional arrows. Call the park office at 828-584-7728 for the most up-to-date information or to report downed trees.Posted on: Sunday, October 21, 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.
Park Ranger Clay Veasey will be meeting a group of adventurous hikers to the Old Catawba River to search for aquatic plants, animals, insects and birds. The wetland habitat in this area is rich in biodiversity and rarely visited by humans. Meet Ranger Veasey at the Canal Bridge Boat Access on NC 126 at 1:45 p.m. for a 2 p.m. carpool caravan to the site.
Before we belly-up to the Thanksgiving spread, let’s get some exercise under our belts. November is a great time to walk through Lake James State Park in search of the park’s furry and feathered residents. The leaves have mostly fallen, but their aroma still hangs in the air as many of park’s animals are easily seen throughout the day. Meet Ranger Jamie Cameron as he leads a hike around the Fox Den Loop to see what animals can be found during Fall. The hike starts from the Catawba River Area breezeway at 9 a.m.
Let’s work off that second slice of pumpkin pie. November is a great time to walk through Lake James State Park in search of the park’s furry and feathered residents. The leaves have mostly fallen, but their aroma still hangs in the air as many of park’s animals are easily seen throughout the day. Meet Ranger Jamie Cameron as he leads a hike along the Mill’s Creek Trail to see what animals can be found during Fall. The hike starts from the East Picnic Shelter in the Paddy’s Creek Area at 9 a.m.
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 morning. We’ll start at 9 a.m. from the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them.
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