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Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
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 27.

Be advised that the direction of Tindo and Wimba trails has changed as of April 8, 2022. The Tindo Trail is going in a counterclockwise direction. West Wimba Trail is going in a clockwise direction.  East Wimba will be going in a counterclockwise 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 https://www.burkenc.org/1258/Fonta-Flora-State-Trail.
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: Monday, June 27, 2022

Paddy's Creek Swim Beach Reopening Tuesday, June 21st   

The Paddy's Creek swim beach has reopened after temporarily closing due to high levels of E.Coli found in the lake last Thursday. Test results from samples taken on Monday indicate the swim beach is safe for swimming.

Please contact the park office with questions at lake.james@ncparks.gov or 828-584-7728.

 Last updated on: Tuesday, June 21, 2022

High Holiday Visitation Expected   

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: Friday, June 17, 2022


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 

  • Wednesday to Sunday:
    9:00am to 5:30pm
     

 

 

 

List of trails

Taking a hike on the extensive trail system at Lake James State Park is a great way to enjoy the outdoors at your own pace. A walk in the spring when the air is scented with sweet wild azalea and rhododendron blossoms or a stroll in the fall when the leaves are ablaze in colors is tonic for the soul. 

Lake James has 15 miles of multi-use mountain biking trails with terrain suitable for riders of all skill levels. Cyclists are permitted on these trails specifically—not on hiking trails.


⇒  ATTENTION: BIKE TRAIL USERS

When trails are closed for construction, poor trail conditions due to weather or any other reason, they are closed both for visitor safety AND for the protection of the trail and natural resources. Trails are expensive to construct, maintain and repair. Disregarding trail closures results in:

  1. Delaying or proloning construction or repair;
  2. Damaging the trails, resulting in significant costs and further closure time for additional repair;
  3. Endangering yourself in addition to both state park and EMS staff who would work to get you out of harm's way if you are lost or hurt.

Thank you for respecting our park's natural resources, facilities and fellow park visitors.


 


East Wimba Loop
Location: Paddy's Creek Area

Description:

The trail is appropriate for mountain bikers of intermediate or advanced skill levels.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
4.40 miles
loop
Difficulty:
advanced biking
Blaze:
Red circle

Fishing Pier
Location: Catawba River Area

Description:

A short walk down to the Catawba River Area fishing pier.


Surface: paved, boardwalk/bridge

Length:
0.30 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
Blue square

Fox Den Loop
Location: Catawba River Area

Description:

This trail loops through mature forest with a thick canopy. It is an undulating track with a steep staircase up the highest pitch. The trail begins near Catawba River picnic shelter.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
2.25 miles
loop
Difficulty:
moderate hike
Blaze:
Orange triangle

Holly Discovery Trail
Location: Paddy's Creek area

Description:

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.


Surface: natural surface, gravel

Length:
0.75 miles
loop
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
red triangle

Homestead Trail
Location: Paddy's Creek Area

Description:

The trail is an excellent connector to the Paddy's Creek Trail for hikers who park in the mountain bike trail system parking lot.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
0.70 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy hike
Blaze:
Blue triangle and white triangle