Lake James State Park

Lake James, North Carolina 28761

Lake James State Park

Lake James State Park Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Lake James, fed by the fine waters of the Pisgah River, is one of the cleanest, clearest lakes in the Carolinas. It also has some of the best views, as the high mountains of the Pisgah National Forest burst skyward beyond the water to the northwest. The contemporary facilities reflect Lake James State Park’s status as one of North Carolina’s newer public preserves.

The sign for the park on Interstate 40 says, “No RV Camping.” I knew then it was a likely inclusion for this book. It’s a good thing that all the turns between the interstate and the state park are signed; otherwise, finding the park would have been difficult. The campground is ideal for tent campers. Its nice bathhouse and two disabled-access campsites, 19 and 20, are immediately adjacent to the walk-in parking area. A hilltop field backs the parking area, and a foot trail takes you to the balance of the campsites."

Lake James State Park Trip Reports

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The campsites are very pleasant but there is little buffer (read: privacy) between them. The cove is protected but the Lake itself was the great disappointment. Powerboaters and jet skiers and noise - the area is becoming so highly developed that it is not the pleasant stay that it once was - Typical of powerboaters, they had no reasonable consideration of canoeists, no concept of what a wake is, and were just rude, loud, annoying.
The camping ground itself was fine - but it is NOT going to stay that way. They are destroying the current sites (no water elect or sewage hook ups, so no RV's allowed) and turning it into a picnic area. They are building a NEW set of campsites with all the WalMart amenities so as to ATTRACT RV's. There will be little left for tenting with any hint of wilderness to it. A sad commentary. Scheduled to be completed in 2010, Lake James will ultimately be Lake Norman in disguise. ack...
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I loved Lake James. The campsites are nice and very close to the water. The campsites are in a nice cove but you still see boats and jet skis, which the kids loved. We took our inflatable canoes and it was great. We never went to the swimming area, but we swam in the cove, which i don't believe is allowed, but it was just so nice we didn't care. It is a great place to go.
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Not at all what we expected. I anticipated a lovely swim in a cool mountain lake. What we found was a cramped swimming area filled with a beach marred by loud radios and running, screaming children. We never went into the water. We did take the short hike out to the lake over-look. A well traveled path. Worth the walk. Nice views. But not serene. Motor boats and jetskis noisily criss-crossed the lake. This might be a good spot on a weekday. Definitely not tranquil on a hot August Sunday afternoon.

Lake James State Park Photos

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Lake James
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Lake James State Park
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