Explore the most popular hiking trails in Lake James State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful trails. Well maintained and in a peaceful place. We are visiting NC from MA and are delighted to find such a lovely place.

nature trips
2 months ago

Not familiar with this area but took a stroll on the trail to the waters edge and to the docks. The big trail with the loop was closed. Bummer.

Only had time for part of trail but like it. Many good views of lake. Fairly level but somewhat uneven footing. Great facilities (bathroom,etc). Lots of picnic areas and swimming beach nearby.

Quiet east trail several finger trails to allow dog to wet feet, drink. Only wildlife were a couple of black racer snakes. Cool day “80” could see difficult hike in mid summer heat and humidity

walking
6 months ago

nice short loop and two easy trails up to overlooks of shortoff and the gorge across the lake . pretty picnic and swimming area

Did hike ( walk) due to the fact it was close by and could be done with out any prep work. It was definitely geared toward kids and the learning aspect of knowing a little more about nature . Would definitely bring my young nieces and nephews next time. Took us about 15 min to walk it.

11 months ago

One of my favorite trails.... There are a few to choose from but I usually do the longest one at just over 3 miles. Plenty of markers to follow and the trail has always been well maintained. I just went again this morning and brought my Labrador with me. I only saw one person just before we started. Waited about 10 to 15 minutes and never ran into anyone. Very peaceful hiking experience. It does tend to get more populated as we head into the warmer months. This is one of my "go to" places and visit quite frequently throughout the year. Our family also enjoys camping and kayaking at this particular state park as well.

hiking
Sunday, December 24, 2017

Really well marked trail follow the red triangles on the trees

Fun for our pups very serene and not busy

Ends up in a wooden dock on the water pretty cool

I’m out of shape and this was not super easy for me but definitely doable so don’t be afraid if you’re not in peak fighting fitness to do this trail

hiking
Thursday, December 21, 2017

Easy trail through some forested areas with good views of the lake and the mountains.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

We were headed down I-40 and saw Lake James State Park sign, so thought we'd take a quick side trip to check it out. After a few turns we came to the Catawba entrance, went down to the parking lot and saw the "trail" sign. The trail has a loop and some finger out and backs. We went down the finger that started at the sign next to the HCP parking space. Nice wide fairly flat trail that goes to a split rail fence with some caution signs and an overlook platform that is at the top of a dirt cliff. Interesting to see how many trees have fallen into the lake due to erosion, storms, etc. We took the rest of the trail to the left down to the water's edge with a great view of the lake, mountains behind, and those lucky folks with houses across the lake. On the way back took a right turn down the short path to a beach area with another nice view. Great place for a stroll if you are in the vicinity or camping, but not really a destination hike.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

on Paddy's Creek Trail

hiking
2 months ago

trail running
6 months ago

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