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Late afternoon at Lake James State Park
Paddy's Creek Bathhouse Closed July 26-27   

Due to a construction project, the bathhouse at the Paddy's Creek beach will be closed on July 26-27.  The restrooms, concession stand, and office will also be closed.  The restrooms in the picnic area will be open, however, and portable toilets will be stationed at the bathhouse.

We apologize for the inconvenience.  Please contact us at 828-584-7728 or lake.james@ncparks.gov with any questions.
 

 Last updated on: Monday, July 26, 2021

Mountain Bike and State Park Section of Fonta Flora Trails CLOSED Today   

The mountain bike trails and the State Park sections of the Fonta Flora State Trail are CLOSED today, July 26.

Be advised that the direction of Tindo and Wimba trails has changed. The Tindo trail is going in a clockwise direction, and the Wimba trail is going in a counterclockwise direction. 

This opening 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: Monday, July 26, 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
     

 

 

 

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 to the Catawba River Area fishing pier.


Surface: natural surface

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.


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