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Lake James State Park
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Lake James State Park

Spanning 6,510 acres with more than 150 miles of shoreline, Lake James is the recreational jewel that beckons boaters, water skiers, swimmers, and fishing enthusiasts to North Carolina’s Lake James State Park.

Located at the base of Linville Gorge, Lake James State Park also offers hiking and nature trails, backpack camping facilities, and twenty picnic sites with scenic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wildflower lovers will find a wide variety of species in season, including 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.

Rangers offer regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Lake James State Park. Scheduled events are listed on the park’s website.

Hours of Operation

November – February 8 am – 6 pm
March – April 8 am – 8 pm
May – August 8 am – 9 pm
October – September 8 am – 8 pm

The park is closed on Christmas Day.

The park office is open intermittently.

Swim area hours are 10 am to 6 pm, May 1 through September 30.

Admission Fees

Campsites are $20 per day, per site; $15 a day for senior citizens 62 years of age or older.

Use of the twelve-table picnic shelter is free of charge unless reservations are requested. Reservations are $98 per day.

Canoe rentals are $5 for the first hour and $3 each additional hour. Rental canoes are available Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.


Lake James State Park is located five miles northeast of Marion on NC 126.

Lake James State Park
Nebo, NC 28761
(828) 584-7728