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Make a Reservation

Make a Reservation

Lake James State Park takes reservations for campsites
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Reservations can be made online, by calling our toll-free number, or in person at most state park offices during regular hours.
Important: you cannot cancel reservations via email—please call the phone number below.

  • Phone reservations: toll-free 1-877-7-CAMP-NC (877-722-6762)
  • Online Reservations: ReserveAmerica


  • 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, 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 a campsite or picnic shelter if that facility is available. Without a reservation, campsites and reservations are on a first come, first served basis.
  • 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.

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. 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.

Reservations cannot be cancelled via email. Please contact the Reservation Center through their website or call 1-877-722-6762.

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?

Check in time is 4 p.m. Check out time is 3 p.m.

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 four types of facilities at North Carolina state parks:

Campsites and Cabins

The state parks system has more than 3,000 campsites and the majority of these are available for reservations, including some group sites, hike-in sites, canoe-in sites, and equestrians sites (at Medoc Mountain State Park and South Mountains State Park). Visit the reservations website to view campsite maps, see photos of individual campsites, and learn which facilities and amenities are available at each campground. Four parks have vacation cabins for rent: Carolina Beach, Cliffs of NeuseHanging Rock and Morrow Mountain state parks. All offer accessible cabins and are reservable through the reservations website or by calling 1-877-722-6762.

  • 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, one of whom must be at least 18 years old.
  • 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're 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.
  • Vacation cabins are available only at Carolina Beach, Cliffs of Neuse, Hanging Rock and Morrow Mountain state parks. All offer accessible cabins.
  • Maximum capacity is six persons.
  • Cabins are furnished with four single beds, sleeper sofa (or futon), tables, chairs, electric stove, refrigerator and other necessary furniture. Also provided are: pillows, blankets, dishes, silverware, glassware and cooking utensils.
  • 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.

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's 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 ($35 fee). If you're unsure whether such a permit is necessary for your event, call the park office beforehand.


Many parks have classrooms and/or auditoriums, seating from 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: