The Catawba Falls trail will close on May 2, 2022, and remain closed until spring of 2023. The popular Old Fort area trail will be closed for 9-12 months to ensure the safety of the public and construction crews building retaining walls, boardwalks, staircases, and overlooks. Click the "Play" icon to find alternative waterfall and hiking trails.

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Lake James State Park and Campground

"Last of the Mohicans" and "Hunt for Red October" were filmed along the shores of this picturesque lake. Two park sites to choose from, the Catawba Section the Paddy's Creek Section. The Catawba Area offers hiking trails and shady picnic tables. The larger, Paddy's Creek Area offers picnicking, swimming, canoe and kayak rentals, mountain biking trails and hiking trails.

Camping facilities allow tent camping only. Some sites are only accessible by boat. 

Weekend options included guided hikes and boat tours. A state park ranger shares interesting stories and history about the hike, its inhabitants, and surroundings. FREE to all, call to reserve your place.

Boat access is also available at Bear Creek Marina or Black Bear Landing on the north side of the lake, Hidden Cove Access Area near Lake James State Park off NC 126 and Canal Bridge at the McDowell-Burke county line on NC 126.