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Holly Discovery Trail

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, August 13.

Be advised that the direction of Tindo and Wimba trails has changed as of July 11, 2022. The Tindo Trail is going in a clockwise direction. West Wimba Trail is going in a counterclockwise direction.  East Wimba will be going in a clockwise direction. Ignoring 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.

For information about Burke County portions of the Fonta Flora State Trail, please visit their website at
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: Saturday, August 13, 2022

Contact Park Office for Boat Rental Availability   

The boat rental concession at the Paddy's Creek day-use area will be open Wednesday through Sunday, August 10-14, subject to staff availability. At this time only canoes will be available for rent. We appreciate your understanding on this matter.

Please contact the park office at 828-544-6800 or lake.james@ncparks. gov for daily rental status.

 Last updated on: Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Paddy’s Creek Swim Area Is Open Daily 10am - 6pm   

The Paddy’s Creek Swim Area is open for the season from 10 am - 6pm daily.  Concession stand operation and boat rentals have resumed for the season-- please contact the park office at 828-584-7728 or with questions on hours and fees.

 Last updated on: Friday, June 3, 2022

Holly Discovery Trail

Holly Discovery Trail Trailhead

The trail is a flat, easy trek through riparian forest adjacent to Paddy's Creek. The Lake James State Park TRACK Trail adventures (see kiosk at trailhead parking area) were designed for use on the Holly Discovery Trail, but they can be used anywhere within the park trail system. Be sure to check out the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, which can be accessed 150 yards south of the Holly Discovery Trail parking area.

Trail Location: 
Paddy's Creek area
Trail Point of Interest: 
Along the trail, young hikers can enjoy 18 interactive educational activity stations. The HDT is a national award-winning trail
Trail Length: 
0.75 miles
Trail Type: 
Trail Difficulty: 
easy hike
Trail Use: 
Discovery/Interpretive Trail
Trail Surface: 
natural surface
Trail Blaze: 
red triangle

Map of North Carolina – Lake James State Park

Contact the park



Paddy's Creek access and park office

7321 N.C. 126
Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7503, -81.8920


Catawba River access

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 - closed

Paddy's Creek office 

  • Daily:
    9:30am to 6:00pm