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Trails


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

Mountain Bike Trails CLOSED   

Mountain bike trails are CLOSED today, December 9.  If the date is more than 24 hours old, please call the park office at 828-584-7728 for the latest information.
 

 Last updated on: Monday, December 9, 2019

New Gate Hours 7 am - 7 pm   

New gate hours are now in effect for December 1 through February 29. The park opens at 7 am, and gates close at 7 pm. The park will be closed on Christmas Day.

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

 Last updated on: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Hidden Cove Boat Access Closed   

The Hidden Cove Access Area closed for the season on December 1 and will reopen on March 1, 2020. Please contact the park at 828-584-7728 or lake.james@ncparks.gov with any questions.
 

 Last updated on: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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.


 


Lake Channel Overlook
Location: Catawba River Area

Description:

The trail is an easy hike to a scenic overlook of Lake James and Linville Gorge.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.50 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
Red diamond

Lower Tindo Loop
Location: Paddy's Creek Area

Description:

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


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.40 miles
loop
Difficulty:
easy
Blaze:
Blue circle

Mill's Creek Trail
Location: Paddy's Creek Area

Description:

The trail offers an undulating track through forested ridges adjacent to the lake with some scenic vistas along the way.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
3.60 miles
loop
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
Blue triangle

Overmountain Victory Trail
Location: Paddy's Creek area

Description:

The trail follows the shoreline of Lake James and Paddy's Creek through rolling terrain. Almost all of the trail is shaded under a mature, forest canopy.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
2.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
easy
Blaze:
white triangle

Paddy's Creek Trail
Location: Paddy's Creek area

Description:

The trail runs along the shoreline of Lake James to the mouth of Paddy's Creek. It is mostly flat with a few rolling sections. This trail runs through mature forest.


Surface: natural surface

Length:
1.00 miles
one way
Difficulty:
moderate
Blaze:
orange triangle