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North Carolina
601

North Carolina State Parks

USA Parks
North Carolina
Mountains - Western Region
Lake James State Park
Lake James State Park © bobistraveling / CC BY 2.0
Lake James State Park © bobistraveling / CC BY 2.0
Lake James State Park © bobistraveling / CC BY 2.0
Lake James State Park © bobistraveling / CC BY 2.0
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LAKE JAMES STATE PARK
LAKE JAMES STATE PARK
7321 N.C. 126
Nebo, North Carolina   28761
(lat:35.7283 lon:-81.9019)

Phone: 828-584-7728
Lake James State Park is a North Carolina state park in Burke and McDowell Counties, North Carolina in the United States. Located near Nebo, North Carolina, it covers 3,743 acres and borders 6,510-acre Lake James.

Lake James is one of the most recent additions to the North Carolina State Parks system. A result of strong local support and the efforts of area legislative delegations, the park was established in 1987 by the North Carolina General Assembly. Funds were appropriated for the purchase of 565 acres of land and for the initial phase of facility development. Lake James was the first park in the state's history to receive funds for development and operation upon its acquisition.
Nature of the Area
Steep, forested ridges covered with mixed hardwoods, pines and hemlocks dominate the landscape. Wildflowers are abundant, and the clear waters of Lake James reflect different types of vegetation in each season.

Wildflowers commonly seen in the park include pink lady slipper, Jack-in-the-pulpit, passion flower, Indian pipe and cardinal flower. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and flame azalea are also abundant in the hilly terrain.
History of the Area
Located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, between the towns of Marion and Morganton, Lake James is 1,200 feet above sea level. The lake was created between 1916 and 1923 with the construction of dams across the Catawba River and two tributaries, Paddy Creek and Linville River. These impoundments were connected by a broad canal to form a 6,812-acre body of water. Named for James B. Duke, founder of Duke Power Company, Lake James has been a hydroelectric unit for the power company since the early 1900s.
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Location
Lake James State Park is located near Marion, Morganton and Spruce Pine

Trails
East Wimba Loop - Paddy's Creek Area. The trail is appropriate for mountain bikers of intermediate or advanced skill levels.

Fishing Pier - Catawba River Area. A short walk down to the Catawba River Area fishing pier.

Fox Den Loop - Catawba River Area. This trail loops through mature forest with a thick canopy. It is an undulating track with a steep staircase up the highest pitch. The trail begins near Catawba River picnic shelter.

Holly Discovery Trail - Paddy's Creek area. The trail is a flat, easy trek through riparian forest adjacent to Paddy's Creek. The Lake James State Park TRACK Trail adventures were designed for use on the Holly Discovery Trail, but they can be used anywhere within the park trail system.

Homestead Trail - Paddy's Creek Area. The trail is an excellent connector to the Paddy's Creek Trail for hikers who park in the mountain bike trail system parking lot.

Lake Channel Overlook - Catawba River Area. The trail is an easy hike to a scenic overlook of Lake James and Linville Gorge.

Lower Tindo Loop - Paddy's Creek Area. The trail is appropriate for mountain bikers of beginner or intermediate skill levels.

Mill's Creek Trail - Paddy's Creek Area. The trail offers an undulating track through forested ridges adjacent to the lake with some scenic vistas along the way.

Overmountain Victory Trail - Paddy's Creek area. The trail follows the shoreline of Lake James and Paddy's Creek through rolling terrain. Almost all of the trail is shaded under a mature, forest canopy. Park at the Holly Discovery Trail lot and walk back past the Paddy's Creek Bridge to access the trailhead.

Paddy's Creek Trail - Paddy's Creek area. The trail runs along the shoreline of Lake James to the mouth of Paddy's Creek. It is mostly flat with a few rolling sections. This trail runs through mature forest.

Sandy Cliff Overlook - Catawba River Area. The trail is an easy hike to a scenic overlook of Lake James and Linville Gorge.

Upper Tindo Loop - Paddy's Creek Area. The trail is appropriate for mountain bikers of beginner or intermediate skill levels.

West Wimba Loop - Paddy's Creek Area. The trail is appropriate for mountain bikers of intermediate or advanced skill levels.

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Area Campgrounds
Mountain Stream RV Park
6954 Buck Creek Road
Marion, NC
828-724-9013
Optimistic RV Resort
6618 Highway 181 North
Morganton, NC
828-438-0550
Bear Den Family Campground
600 Bear Den Mountain Road
Spruce Pine, NC
828-765-2888
Spruce Pine Campground
260 Spruce Pine Campground Road
Spruce Pine, NC
828-765-7007

North Carolina
601

North Carolina State Parks

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