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

Mountain bike trails are OPEN today, June 25th. If date is more than 24 hours old, please call the park office at 828-584-7728 for latest information.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Beach and Boat Rental Hours   

The beach at Paddy's Creek is open for the season from 10-6 each day.

The weekday hours for the concession stand and boat rentals at Lake James State Park are subject to change due to staffing and other concerns. Please call ahead to the park office at 828-584-7728 to determine if these facilities are open that day. When open, the concession stand hours are 10-6, and boat rentals hours are 10-4:30. Kayak, canoe, and paddleboard rentals are $7.00 per hour.

 Last updated on: Sunday, June 16, 2019

History

Located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, between the towns of Marion and Morganton, Lake James is 1,200 feet above sea level. The lake was created between 1916 and 1923 with the construction of dams across the Catawba River and two tributaries, Paddy Creek and Linville River. These impoundments were connected by a broad canal to form a 6,812-acre body of water. Named for James B. Duke, founder of Duke Power Company, Lake James has been a hydroelectric unit for the power company since the early 1900s.

Lake James is one of the most recent additions to the North Carolina State Parks system. A result of strong local support and the efforts of area legislative delegations, the park was established in 1987 by the North Carolina General Assembly. Funds were appropriated for the purchase of 565 acres of land and for the initial phase of facility development. Lake James was the first park in the state's history to receive funds for development and operation upon its acquisition.


7321 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761

828-584-7728
lake.james@ncparks.gov

 

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