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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 Fox Den Loop Trail 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 8 a.m. from the Catawba River Area picnic shelter. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them.

Date of Event:
Wed, 10/23/2019 - 8:00am to 9:00pm
Start Location:
Catawba River Area Picnic Shelter

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 Jamie Cameron 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.

Date of Event:
Sat, 10/26/2019 - 9:45am to 11:00am
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area East Picnic Shelter

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