Lake James State Park

Hiking Trails

Mostly Open

A footbridge is closed for repairs on the southern leg of the Overmountain Victory Trail.

Biking Trails

Open

The West Wimba Trail's direction is counterclockwise, and the East Wimba Trail's direction is clockwise. The Tindo trails are going in a clockwise direction.

Swim Beach

Closed

The Paddy's Creek swim beach will reopen to the public on May 1, 2024.

Boat Rentals

Closed

Overnight boat rentals for Long Arm campers ended 10/31/2023 and resume 4/1/2024

About the Park

Map of North Carolina with a star indicating the location of Lake James State Park

Located in Burke and McDowell counties 50 miles northeast of Asheville, Lake James State Park includes two areas to access this picturesque lake that is perfect for boating, swimming, and fishing. Campsites at both Catawba River and Paddy's Creek accesses provide an opportunity to spend the night by the lake, with some sites accessible only by paddling. Trails include bike trails at Paddy's Creek, the kid-friendly Holly Discovery Trail, the historic Overmountain Victory Trail, and the Fonta Flora State Trail. 

Camping

  • Tent sites (including backpacking and paddle-in sites)
  • Showers (not at paddle-in sites)
  • Firewood

Activities

  • Hiking (22 miles at Paddy's Creek, 4.5 miles at Catawba River)
  • Biking (14 miles, at Paddy's Creek only)
  • Paddling
  • Swimming (at Paddy's Creek only)
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking

Amenities

  • Boat ramps
  • Boat rentals (seasonal)
  • Concession stand (seasonal)
  • Amphitheater
  • Picnic shelters
  • Visitor center and exhibits
  • Beach access (lake, seasonal)
  • Bathhouse (seasonal)

Plan Your Visit

Tab/Accordion Items

Address

2229 Lake James State Park Road, Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7503, -81.8920

Current Weather

28761 Nebo, NC 

Address

2785 N.C. 126, Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7287, -81.9011

Current Weather

28761 Nebo, NC

Address

3381 N.C. 126, Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7301, -81.8908

Current Weather

28761 Nebo, NC

Address

9182 N.C. 126, Nebo, NC 28761

GPS: 35.7394, -81.8863

Current Weather

28761 Nebo, NC

Park Hours

Tab/Accordion Items

Month

Hours

January 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
February 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
March 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
April 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
May 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
June 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
July 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
August 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
September 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
October 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
November 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
December 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

Open year-round, with 24-hour gate access

Month

Hours

January closed
February closed
March 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
April 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
June 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
July 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
August 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
September 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
October 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
November 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
December closed

 

Open from May 1 to September 30, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo Gallery

Column Paragraph

Top: Lake James and the Blue Ridge mountains, C. Marimpietri

Gallery: Foggy lake and pier in autumn, staff photo  |  Paddy's Creek bridge, K. Bischof  |  View of lake from Long Arm paddle-in campsites, C. Peek  |  Bicyclists on the bike trails, C. Peek  |  Early morning at the swim beach at Paddy's Creek access, K. Bischof