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Lake James State Park

6883 NC Hwy 126

All the activities one might expect on a 6,812-acre reservoir are available at Lake James State Park, plus a few that might surprise. Along with boating, swimming, fishing and camping, the park offers 15 miles of mountain bike trails as well as remote paddle-in campsites. The park’s Catawba River and Paddy’s Creek access areas complement each other, with tent camping a central feature of the Catawba River Area. Waterfront campsites are 150-300 yards from a parking area. Trails vary from the short, educational Holly Discovery Trail with child-friendly activities to the more adventurous segment of the historic Overmountain Victory Trail. Boat ramps at Hidden Cove and Canal Bridge on NC 126 lie between the main park access areas, and canoe and kayak rentals are available near the swim beach and bathhouse complex.


Kimberly Banks

Friday, June 29, 2018
CAMPERS BEWARE! The entrance and exit gates to this State Park are only open during the DAY USE times. They are locked at all other times with no way in or out of the park! They will NOT give out the padlock code for after hours access, as is typical in other State Parks we have visited. Our family found out the hard way arriving back to camp our first night at 11PM after visiting an evening blacklight mine tour. We ended up having to park on a deserted road with our two daughters (one of which is a baby) until 7AM when they are reopened. There was absolutely no mention of this on their website or on our confirmation email nor was there an emergency contact number provided to allow one to gain access. We drove around for an hour trying to locate a park ranger station in the Lake James area with no luck and were told later there was a ranger on duty 24/7. They are in the process of updating their website to make this clear but you will still be locked in or out whichever way you look at it. My family didn't feel it was safe to be locked in and the staff was unresponsive to the situation. We left the campground, and requested a refund.

Lee Powell

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
We stayed in a cabin that was great. The amenities were great at the club house. The amenities were also very nice at the beach area. Get in line early for water craft, canoes and paddle boards

Julie Wright

Thursday, March 8, 2018
This is a wonderful park. The beach, at Paddy's Creek Landing, is great for a day out. It gets a little crowded on the weekends, but during the week, even in the summer, it is peaceful. The water is not very deep, even at the boundary, which makes it great for little ones who are learning to swim. The beach itself is sandy and great for sand castles or sunbathing. I have taken multiple picnics and books here and loved it. There are rentals available during the season, May 1st-September 30th, kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards for reasonable prices. During the season there is a fee to swim-$5 for adults, $4 for kids.

Thomas Harris

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Beautiful place to camp.Hiking, fishing and boating are good activities here. Do not bring a lot of gear though. The walk in sites are a good hike from the parking lot. They let you use a wheel barrow although there are some steps to navigate. Just the necessities for these campsites.

Kurt S

Friday, April 6, 2018
THIS PLACE IS OUTSTANDING - We hiked 10miles on our visit, and the only had to retrace 1.5 miles!!! There are trails that our app didn't account for, and that made it all the better. It was peaceful and quiet out there. We only say a dozen people (and they were headed towards us on Mtn Bikes!) GREAT PLACE! GREAT TRAILS!! GREAT STAFF!!!

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