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Make a Reservation

Lake James State Park takes reservations for campsites

Make a Reservation


Reservations can be made online, by calling our toll-free number, or in person at most state park offices during regular hours.

Phone reservations: toll-free 1-877-7-CAMP-NC (877-722-6762)


Step By Step | How to Reserve a Campsite from North Carolina State Parks on Vimeo.



  • No refunds are issued for "no-shows," early departures or cancellations after the arrival date.
  • Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.
  • There is a $3 surcharge per reservation/per night's stay to support the reservations system.
  • A single site can be reserved for a maximum of 14 consecutive nights within any 30-day period. (No camper is allowed to camp in a park for for more than 14 nights in a 30-day period, and upon reaching that limit, a camper must vacate the park for 16 nights before returning.)
  • An unlimited number of sites/facilities can be reserved in each online session, but each site/facility will be considered a separate reservation.
  • At campgrounds, there is a two-night minimum stay between Friday and Sunday on holiday weekends, Memorial Day through Labor Day. However, if you book the site within 7 days of the holiday weekend, you will not be required to adhere to the two-night minimum stay. This does not apply to cabins or group campsites.
  • Reservations aren't required for some campsites or picnic shelters if that facility is available. Without a reservation, these campsites and reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. Not all campsites are available for walk-up; please check with the park for more information.
  • Gift cards are available for future trips to state parks and for some merchandise.
  • If a reservation is made online, payment must be made with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or debit card. If a reservation is made through the toll-free call center, payment can be made with a credit card, debit card, money order or check. However, any reservation made less than 21 days prior to arrival must be paid by credit card or debit card.
  • Several parks lock their park gates at night, so there is no entrance or exit for visitors spending the night after the gates are closed. Please check with park staff about gate access policy when you check-in for your campsite and for the phone number to call in case of emergency.
  • There will be a $3 per night charge on all canceled reservations, in addition to the $3 per night surcharge.

What happens if I arrive late or have to cancel?

Any change to a reservation or cancellation made for any facility will result in a $3 cancellation service charge, in addition to the $3 per night surcharge. Cancellations made on the scheduled arrival date will result in a $3 cancellation service charge and charge for one night's camping for each reservation.

If a camper cannot occupy a site on the first reservation night by the time that park gates are closed, they must contact the park or call center by 3 p.m. the following day to inform them of their arrival time. If this notification is not made, the reservation will be considered a "no-show" and the site will be made available to other campers.

No refunds will be issued for "no-shows," cancellations or early departures after the arrival date.

Can I still camp at a state park if I don't have a reservation?

Campsites are by reservation only. However, campers are welcome for on-site registration if a site is available (has not been reserved). At some parks, a number of campsites are set aside for on-site registration on a first-come, first-served basis.

Be aware that without advance reservations, you cannot be guaranteed a site for more than one night unless you're using a site specifically set aside for on-site registration. Each state park posts a list of sites available for on-site registration and updates the list at least once daily. The lists are posted on a campground information sign that also gives instructions on how to complete on-site registration. Specific registration procedures may vary from park to park.

What if I want to change sites after I arrive at the park?

Campers can sometimes change sites after arrival. You must first check with park staff before moving to check on the new site's availability. Transfers within the same park at the visitor's request will be charged a $3 fee. Transfer depends on site availability.

What are the check in/check out times for campsites?

Each state park has its own check-in and check-out time. Please check the reservations website for more information.

Parks can sometimes accommodate early check-in or late check-out, depending on the reservation schedule and site availability. Please contact the park office to make such arrangements.

What happens if I have an advance reservation and the weather is bad on my arrival date?

Any weather-related cancellation or change in reservation is subject to a cancellation fee per our cancellation policy EXCEPT in those cases when a weather event results in the closing of the state park or campground facilities in the state park.


You can reserve five types of facilities at North Carolina state parks:


The state parks system has more than 3,000 campsites and the majority of these are available for reservations, including some group sites, backpacking sites, paddle-in sites, and equestrian sites (at Medoc Mountain and South Mountains state parks). Visit the reservations website to view campsite maps, see photos of individual campsites and learn which facilities and amenities are available at each campground. 

  • Park gates are closed/locked at posted closing times for your protection. (In case of emergency, contact park ranger or camp host at the posted phone number or dial 911).
  • Alcoholic beverages and fireworks are prohibited in all North Carolina state parks. Firearms and other weapons are prohibited except that those with a proper permit may possess a concealed handgun in permitted areas and under the requirements of North Carolina G.S. 14-415.11. All firearms and weapons are prohibited in state park visitor centers and park offices. (EXCEPTION: Federal law (36 C.F.R. § 327.13) prohibits loaded firearms or ammunition on those lands and waters at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake state recreation areas managed by the state parks system and owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.)
  • No more than six people are allowed on each site.
  • Visitors must be 18 years or older to reserve a campsite, and there must be at least one adult 18 years or older at the campsite throughout the duration of the stay.
  • Campsites must be occupied during entire reservation.
  • Camping permits cannot be reassigned or transferred.
  • Posted quiet hours are enforced.
  • Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet and must remain in control at all times.
  • Before leaving a campsite, occupants should clean it and properly dispose of waste.
  • Firewood is available for sale at some parks; downed wood can be collected at some parks; and campfires are not permitted at a few parks. Always check with the park beforehand if you are unfamiliar with its policies. To limit the spread of invasive insects that can severely damage our forests, please do not bring firewood from outside North Carolina or leave firewood at your campsite when you check out.


Two parks have vacation cabins for rent: Hanging Rock and Morrow Mountain state parks. Three parks have camper cabins for rent: Carolina BeachCliffs of NeuseGoose Creek, Lake Norman, and Raven Rock state parks.

**The amenities at each type of cabin vary, so please read the additional information about each type below. Visit the reservations website to see photos of the cabins and for more information on the amenities provided.**

All offer accessible cabins and are reservable through the reservations website or by calling 1-877-722-6762.

  • Vacation cabins are located at Hanging Rock and Morrow Mountain state parks.
  • Maximum capacity is six people.
  • Vacation cabins are furnished with four single beds, sleeper sofa (or futon), tables, chairs, electric stove, refrigerator and other necessary furniture. Also provided are: dishes, silverware, glassware and cooking utensils. Please bring your own linens, blankets and pillows.
  • Beds are not available for children too small to sleep in single beds.
  • Occupants are expected to clean cabin upon leaving and properly dispose of waste.
  • Charges will be made for any broken or missing items, for any damage to furnishings or equipment or if excessive cleaning is required.
  • Pets are not allowed in cabins or cabin areas at any time.
  • Smoking is not allowed in cabins.
  • Camper cabins are located at Carolina Beach, Cliffs of the Neuse, Goose Creek, Lake Norman, and Raven Rock state parks.
  • Maximum capacity is six people in two rooms. Cabins have a double bed platform and two sets of bunk bed platforms, all with thin mattresses. Campers should bring pillows and sleeping bags or linens. Pillows and linens are NOT provided.
  • Each cabin has electrical outlets and a heating and air-conditioning unit.
  • Outside cabin amenities include a picnic table, a charcoal grill, and a fire ring.
  • Drinking water and restrooms with hot showers are located nearby.
  • One cabin at each park is wheelchair accessible.
  • Smoking is not allowed in any of the cabins.
  • Animals are not allowed in the cabins or cabin area, with the exception of service animals

Picnic Shelters

Reservable picnic shelters are affordable and ideal for large group outings — holiday celebrations, corporate gatherings, family reunions. 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. Most parks have picnic shelters and most are accessible; check with the individual park or visit the reservations website.

  • Alcoholic beverages and amplified music are prohibited.
  • All groups must leave the park prior to posted closing time.
  • Posting signs in the parks is not allowed.
  • A damage fee may be charged after inspection of the shelter by park staff.
  • If you move any picnic tables, return them to their original position before you leave.
  • Some shelters have fireplaces. It is best to bring firewood if you plan to use the fireplaces. Collecting firewood is restricted or prohibited in some parks.
  • Sufficient parking is not guaranteed with the reservation of a picnic shelter. Some parks — especially state recreation areas — may fill parking lots to capacity early on warm-weather weekends and especially on holidays. If planning an event at a shelter, encourage your guests to arrive early.
  • Some events — such as weddings, athletic contests, company parties, etc. — may require a Special Activity Permit. If you are unsure whether such a permit is necessary for your event, call the park office beforehand.


Many parks have classrooms and/or auditoriums, with seating for 25 to 100 people. The Grove Auditorium at Haw River State Park seats 150 people. They are ideal for civic groups, clubs, and educational events.  Haw River State Park, Kerr Lake State Recreation Area and New River State Park offer conference rooms seating up to 15 people. Check with the individual park or the reservations website for amentities such as video equipment, microphones, etc.

Community Buildings

Community Buildings have a large meeting space, kitchen facilities, and restrooms. Some have a fireplace and/or grills. Community Buildings are available at Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, Lake Norman State Park, Morrow Mountain State Park, and New River State Park.

Visit the individual park webpage for more information, or use the search below: