Tucked into the rolling hill country at the base of mighty Linville Gorge is Lake James, a sprawling 6,812-acre reservoir with more than 150 miles of shoreline. This impressive waterway is the centerpiece of Lake James State Park, where nature offers scenic vistas of the Appalachian Mountain range and beckons those with an appetite for outdoor recreation.
Bring family and friends to one of North Carolina's most popular state parks for a variety of activities. Go swimming and sunbathing or enjoy a quiet picnic along the lakeshore. Boat, water ski or fish in the lake's cool mountain waters, or take a walk on the wild side and enjoy the beautiful forest wildflowers and abundant wildlife along park trails. Of course, you just may find that your favorite thing to do at Lake James is simply relaxing.
The Lake James State Park TRACK Trail adventures were designed for use on the Holly Discovery Trail, but they can be used anywhere at Lake James State Park. Be sure to check out the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, which can be accessed 150 yards south of the Holly Discovery Trail parking area.
Adventures for Lake James State Park
Nature's Hide & SeekDifficulty:
Lake James Need for TreesDifficulty:
Overmountain Victory TrailDifficulty:
Click here for official map and directions.
Lake James State Park is located in Burke and McDowell counties, five miles northeast of Marion on NC 126.
To get to the Paddy's Creek Area of Lake James State Park:
Traveling east on I-40: From I-40, take the Nebo/Lake James exit (exit 90) and head north. After a half mile, turn right onto Harmony Grove Road, and follow it for 2 miles to a stoplight. Proceed straight across the intersection and past Nebo Elementary School to a stop sign. Turn right onto NC 126, and follow the signs to the park entrance 4.8 miles on the right.
Traveling west on I-40: From I-40, take the Dysartsville/Lake James exit (exit 94) and head north for 0.5 mile to a stop sign. Turn left onto US 70 and follow it for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Bridgewater Road and travel 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Benfield's Landing Road, and follow it for 2 miles to a stop sign. Turn right onto NC 126, and follow the signs to the park entrance 0.7 miles on the right.
The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.
The Lake James State Park TRACK Trail was made possible by a partnership formed between the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation's Kids in Parks program and North Carolina State Parks.