Lake James State Park


Hours & Seasons

  • Seasons - March 15 - Nov. 30


  • 6683 NC 126

    Nebo,   NC   28761

  • Mailing Address -

    PO Box 340

    Nebo,   NC   28761


Straddling McDowell and Burke counties, Lake James State Park occupies about 605 acres on the southern shore of the 6,500-acre mountain lake. Along with 20 walk-to primitive campsites and two boat ramp areas, park facilities include picnic sites, horseshoe pits, a swimming area and beach, seasonal canoe rentals and concession stand, restrooms, a small nature center, and hiking trails with lake overlooks. Nature programs are presented throughout the year by rangers including guided nature hikes, wildlife discussions, hands-on activities for kids and special night-time events. With over 150 miles of shoreline and 6510 surface acres, Lake James offers excellent year-round fishing in a beautiful mountain lake setting. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, bream, and crappie are common. The lake’s Largemouth bass record is over 14 pounds, and the smallmouth bass record is over 7 pounds. The North Carolina record tiger muskellunge at 33 pounds, the state record white catfish at 13 pounds, and the state record northern pike, at almost 12 pounds, were all taken from Lake James.

Public access to the lake in McDowell County includes Black Bear Access Area on the northern perimeter of the lake (Lake James Road), Canal Bridge via NC 126 at the McDowell - Burke County line, and Hidden Cove Access Area near Lake James State Park off NC 126. A private landing, Lake James Landing (formerly the North Fork Access Area) is on the northwest corner of Lake James off Hankins Road. There are several commercial landings plus bait and tackle shops available along the lake perimeter.

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6683 NC 126
Nebo NC 28761


Latitude: 35° 44' 26.16" / Longitude: -81° 53' 1.6794"

Special Directions:

Off of I-40 take exit 94.
From the East(Turn Right), From the west (turn left).....Travel approximately.4 miles
Turn left onto Hwy 70 West; Travel 1.5 miles; Turn right onto Bridgewater Road; Travel 1.2 miles, take a left onto Benfield Landing Road; Follow to the end(2.1 miles); Take a left, cross over canal bridge, park just ahead on the right.

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