Lake James, NC



Lake James is located between Burke and McDowell counties in the foothills of Western North Carolina.  It has been named in the top 50 lakes by VRBO and is considered one of the cleanest lakes in NC.  Surrounded by the new Fonta Flora State Trail (not completed as of today but open to the public), the Linville Gorge, hiking, mountain and road biking, and a multitude of other outdoor activities.  


Area Amenities & More

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Fonta Flora State Trail

The Fonta Flora State Trail - Lake James Loop will provide pedestrians and bicyclists of all abilities a safe and legal route to circumnavigate Lake James within Burke County. The trail will allow users to experience the natural diversity of the area, incorporate multiple access points and support facilities, and create a community and regional asset that will provide a variety of opportunities for local residents and visitors; and promote tourism and low infrastructure economic development within Burke County and the surrounding region.

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Lake James State Park

Lake James State Park offers a full menu of activities. Along with boating, swimming and fishing in the beautiful, clear waters of the 6,812-acre lake, there are 25 miles of trails, 15 of which are open to mountain biking. Trails vary from the short, educational Holly Discovery Trail with child-friendly activities, to the more adventurous, historic section of the Overmountain Victory Trail. There are three campgrounds. The Catawba River Area has 20 walk-in campsites, many of which offer lake views. The Paddy’s Creek Area has 33 drive-to, family-friendly campsites. The remote boat-in campground on the Long Arm Peninsula offers a true outdoor adventure for those willing to paddle or steer their canoes, kayaks or powerboats to their own slice of heaven. Boat ramps at Hidden Cove and Canal Bridge on NC 126 are located between the park’s two day-use areas. And, canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals are available at the Paddy’s Creek Area concession stand from May through September.