Lake James State Park

Map of TRACK Trail at Lake James State Park

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. 

Track an adventure here
Collectible Sticker for Lake James State Park

Location Details

Recreational Features: Canoe / Kayak, Camping, Picnic Tables, Fishing, Interpretive Programs, Birding, Playground
Amenities: Restrooms, Nature Center, Visitor Center, Gift Shop
ADA Compliant: No
Seasonality: Open all year
Kids in Parks Trailhead Sign
Six-spotted tiger beetle
Ferns on forest floor
Box turtle
Fresh water mussel shells
Bridge over Paddy's Creek
Sunset over Lake James
White flowers

Adventures for Lake James State Park

Animal Athletes brochure
Hiking

Lake James Animal Athletes

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
The Animal Athletes adventure challenges kids to exercise with the animals. This brochure gives kids eight different animal exercises they can do along the trail. From hummingbird hand-swings to lizard pushups, kids are sure to have fun getting in shape with the animals during their outdoor adventures.
Nature's Hide and Seek brochure
Hiking

Lake James Hide n Seek

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
The Nature's Hide & Seek brochure is designed so that kids of all ages can walk along the trail and discover common things that are often overlooked in nature. Some of them are hard to find, others are easy. Best of all, the adventure never ends because every time you walk the trail you will discover new things hiding in nature.
The Need for Trees brochure
Hiking

Lake James Need for Trees

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
By following the picture and textual clues found in "The Need for Trees" brochure, kids will discover six of the more common trees found along the trail. During their adventure, kids will learn about the need that people and other animals have for trees and about the roles trees play in the forest.
The Overmountain Victory Trail brochure
Hiking

Lake James Overmountain Victory Trail

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
0.75
The Overmountain Victory Trail adventure introduces children to the Overmountain Victory Trail and describes how the Overmountain Men used their wilderness and hunting skills to defeat the British Loyalists at Kings Mountain.

Directions

6883 NC Highway 126
Nebo, NC 28761
Latitude: 35.754188000000
Longitude: -81.892165000000

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.

 

Partners

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.