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“Great camping and visit experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lake James State Park

Lake James State Park
2785 Nc Hwy 126, Nebo, NC 28761
(828) 584-7728
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Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Nebo
Attraction details
Asheville, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great camping and visit experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2013

We camped with our family and had a very enjoyable experience. Although it is a short walk to your campsite we like the fact that we were away from the parking lot and cars. The park and facilities were very clean despite a very busy summer weekend. The Ranger came through in the evening and was very friendly and informative. The Ranger offer programs on the weekend which we enjoyed especially our kids. I don't understand the bad reviews because we had a very pleasant experience and will definitely be back.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Hickory, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Do not camp here!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We are a family who LOVES camping, backpacking, and all things outdoors! However, we will never camp here again (which is a bummer because it is only 45 mins from home and has a lot of potential). I grew up not far from Lake James and always loved the area, but the rangers and staff of this state park are ruining the camping experience. There is trash everywhere, especially along the hiking trails and near the beach, but the rangers are more focused on searching coolers for beer than on keeping the place well-maintained and clean. Our nine year old, who is learning and practicing "leave no trace," picked up trash for them, but we had to stop her at the condom wrappers at the overlooks. When the ranger showed up at our campsite just before 9 p.m., he was not at all interested in those experiences; he went straight to searching our cooler and pouring out our beer. It was just our small family, and we were very close to bed time. We have stayed in MANY NC state parks, and no ranger has ever searched our cooler or poured out our beer. Couple these experiences with the small campsites (which are completely fenced off from the lake) that are hard to access, we will definitely never camp here again.

We did enjoy our time swimming at the Paddy's Creek beach area, but it was very small with absolutely no shade. We had fun, but we'll just head to the pool when we want to swim (especially since we can't enjoy hiking or camping here).

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, NC
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Don't Camp Here!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Beware, campsites are walk in, which we knew upon booking campsite. What they do not tell you is the elevation drops by 500 ft or more from parking lot, on top of the 100 yard distance. Booked a site on the water near boat ramp for using our kayaks. Could not lug them down the slope (wiped out after lugging tent, camping food, etc.) Camping area, Catabawa River does not allow swimming in the water off your site, disappointing when it is 90 degrees. Also only "allowed" swimming area is in Paddy's creek area, you have to drive to and they charge $5 per person. Left after one night, got a run around and would not refund other 2 nights fee. Never going there again!!!

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hickory, North Carolina
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Awesome little park on Lake James, NC”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

We went during Memorial Day, 2013. This is a relatively new park built in 2010. It has a nice bathroom/shower facility also with outdoor showers to wash off sand, etc. The facility also houses the location to buy tickets for the beach (inexpensive, but I forget the cost) and refreshments like ice cream or a soda. You can also rent kayaks or canoes here. The beach is about the length of a football field, but not as wide. The water is roped off from the rest of the lake and of course is in a no-wake zone. They have several lifeguards on duty which is nice. Plenty of Rangers on duty as well patrolling the park and road leading in.

They have several barbecue grills/picnic areas and also some picnic shelters for reservation for larger groups.

We took our own kayaks which you can put-in in between the picnic shelters. There is no fee for using your own kayaks; only for using the beach. The water was pretty clean, but a common lake green color.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hickory, North Carolina
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Make a day of it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

Unsure of what previous reviewer was referring to by "riffraff". I was at the park today with my husband and had no problem with the people there. There were plenty of rangers/officers/lifeguards, and everyone I encountered was pleasant and enjoying themselves. I highly recommend making a day of it at this park. You can hike, picnic (our choice today), swim, rent canoes and kayaks, fish, or sunbathe at the "beach"-like swimming area. We chose a picnic table near the shoreline and enjoyed seeing the boats pass by. All tables have grills. The main building near the swimming area has both outdoor and indoor showers. It also has lockers available, and there are a couple of unisex restrooms for families. There's a snack bar/grill-type place where you can get burgers, chicken sandwiches, ice cream, etc. It's a walk-up window, no seating. If you're going to picnic, I recommend driving to the furthest shelter from the main building, and walking down a path to the shoreline. The tables there are more secluded. To the right of the main building, there are handicapped-accessible picnic tables with nice views of the lake. From my house, this park is about a 45-min drive. We will definitely do this again. Very nice facility.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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