Lake James State Park

Nebo, NC

Where are we going?

Lake James State Park
7321 NC Hwy 126 Nebo
NC 28761

828 652-5047

What is there to do?

Tucked away in rolling hills at the base of Linville Gorge is Lake James, revolving around a 6,812-acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. This impressive waterway is the centerpiece of Lake James State Park! Here, nature offers scenic vistas of the Appalachian Mountains and beckons to those families with an appetite for recreation and adventure!

Lake James State Park offers a whole menu of activities that all ages will love. First, there is that beautiful lake. Here, you can enjoy boating, swimming and fishing all in and around the clear waters. 

The lake is great during the summer months, and the perfect respite from the summer sun!

For those families who want to stay on dry land, there is plenty for you too! Lake James State Park has 25 miles of trails, and 15 of these are perfect for mountain biking too.

The trails vary from short, such as the Holly Discovery Trail with child-friendly activities, to the adventurous Overmountain Victory Trail teeming with historic sections.

If you're in the Catawba River Area, where are 20 walk in campsites, many of which offer stunning lake views. Paddy's Creek Area also has drive-to family friendly campsites.

With boat ramps, as well as rentals for paddleboads, canoes and kayaks, Lake James really does offer a variety of ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

How much does it cost?

Adults: Free to enter the park. Swimming is $5/day

Children: Free to enter the park. Swimming is $4/day (Ages 3-12)


When can we go?

Park opens 7am. Close between 7pm and 9pm pending month. Swimming 10am - 6pm daily during season

Park open year round.Swimming available May 1 to Sept 30.


Any top tips?

The primitive, backcountry campsites and zone camping are $10 per night. The group backcountry sites are $32 per night for up to 26 people (minimum of seven).

I’m Hungry!

Paddy's Creek Area has a concession stand from May to September - Fun things to do with kids and best places to visit in the US
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