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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, June 24.

This closing 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: Thursday, June 24, 2021

High Holiday Visitation Expected   

Near or above capacity crowds are expected Fourth of July weekend. This may mean long lines for facilities and boat rentals and unavailability of campsites and picnic tables.  Likewise, if the park reaches capacity, the front gate may be closed, and visitors will be asked to make alternate plans.

 

Please arrive early and keep your party together to increase chances of admittance and decrease possibility of being separated.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Current status of facilities at Lake James State Park   

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 and some weekdays; 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.
 
Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are available to rent on weekends. Boats are first-come, first-serve with a two-hour minimum at $10.00 per hour.

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 Thursday to Monday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

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: Friday, May 28, 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

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

 

 

 

Facilities for rent

Check the reservations website for availability and prices.

In addition to campsites, you can reserve the following facilities at this park:

Picnic Shelters

Unreserved picnic shelters are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the shelters are very popular, so reservations are strongly suggested.

Two picnic shelters in the Paddy's Creek area each accommodate up to 100 people. East Picnic Shelter and West Picnic Shelter. They are accessible, have access to restrooms and are near a concession stand. The Catawba River Picnic Shelter is reservable by phone and also accomodates up to 100 people. Call 828-584-7728 to reserve.

Catawba River Picnic Shelter and Beach Rental

Are you planning a family reunion, class reunion, baptism, wedding, birthday extravaganza, church gathering or any other type of event that you want to make memorable? You may want to consider renting the Lake James State Park Catawba River Picnic Shelter and swim beach area.  For $328, your group, up to 100 people, would have full access to the picnic shelter and exclusive access to the swim beach at the Catawba River Area for an entire day.  (Depending on the impact to park operations, additional fees may be added.)
 
The process to renting these areas is simple.  First, you would need to fill out a Special Activity Permit, which you can also obtain at either of our park offices.  Please allow at least 3 weeks prior to the event for the approval process.  Once you complete the form you would mail it directly to the attention of Park Superintendent Nora Coffey, Lake James State Park, P.O. Box 340, Nebo, NC 28761.  Upon approval, you would then make full payment to complete the reservation at our park office.  It is as simple as that. 
 
We recommend that your group carpool as much as possible due to the limited parking (87 spaces). Your event cannot interfere with the general public’s usage of the park.  You and your group would need to follow all park regulations.  No alcoholic beverages are allowed at any time.  You would be responsible for cleaning up after your group prior to leaving the park. 
 
For more information please call 828-584-7728.