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Top 10 Things to Know about Lake James

Back to: Blog Vacation Tips
17 Feb 2021

The perfect vacation destination, Lake James provides over 150 miles of picturesque shoreline and long-range views of the Linville Gorge Wilderness, and it’s the perfect setting to enjoy a number of area activities and outdoor adventures. Nestled between the lively city of Charlotte (just under two hours away) and the eccentric city of Asheville (just under an hour away), city and mountain culture converge at Lake James to create a unique atmosphere worth retreating to. 

Boasting over 15 miles of mountain biking trails in the Paddy's Creek recreation area and endless hiking options that span Lake James State Park, Linville Gorge Wilderness, Pisgah National Forest, and South Mountains State Park, Lake James is ripe with opportunities to explore the burgeoning fauna and flora on land. For those interested in exploring by water, Lake James State Park has two public boat ramps which offer access for power boats, sailboats, and smaller boats. Kayaks and canoes are also available to rent. 

Neighbored by the charming towns of Morganton and Marion that offer plenty of dining, drinking, and shopping options, there’s no shortage of interesting things to do and see at Lake James. Speaking of, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most interesting things to know about this thriving, up-and-coming community: 

Top 10 Things to Know about Lake James: 

  1. Lake James is named for tobacco tycoon, Duke University benefactor, and Duke Power Company founder, James Buchanan Duke.
  2. Lake James is situated on over 6,000 acres with 150 miles of shoreline.
  3. It was the filming site for the 1992 epic historical drama The Last of the Mohicans starring Daniel
    Day-Lewis, and it was the backdrop for the final scenes of the 1990 spy thriller starring Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery, The Hunt for Red October.
  4. Lake James State Park was established in 1987, and it is North Carolina's largest waterfront State Park to date.
  5. In the late 1990s, several bald eagle nests were found in trees on the northeastern shore of Lake James, and a tiny species of invasive jellyfish, native to the Yangtze River in China, known as the “peach blossom fish” was found inhabiting its waters. No worries though, these freshwater jellyfish aren’t true jellyfish, but rather a hydrozoa, and while their tentacles are complete with stingers, they aren’t capable of penetrating human skin.
  6. There’s an abundance of wildflowers that call the area home. Some of the most common ones include the pink lady slipper, Jack-in-the-pulpit, passion flower, Indian pipe, cardinal flower, mountain laurel, rhododendron, and vibrant flame azalea.
  7. The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, located in the Paddy's Creek area of Lake James, received its historic designation in 1980 from President Jimmy Carter, as it memorializes the march of the Patriots known as the "Overmountain Men" who defeated the British in the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War.
  8. The Fonta Flora State Trail, authorized in 2015, is a popular loop trail that locals and visitors alike frequent for hiking and biking that will eventually connect downtown Morganton to downtown Asheville.
  9. Lake James allows jet skis and various other types of boats, with no speed or horsepower limitations, as well as other
    outdoor recreation like fishing and camping (in designated areas).
  10. Lake James is now home to 1 of 4 Greybeard offices in the greater Western North Carolina area.

Designed to accentuate the tranquil and natural beauty of the area, the communities within Lake James offer unparelled privacy and convenience. As a resident or visitor of Lake James, you'll be able to take advantage of the amazing amenities and entertainment offerings exlcusive to this lakeside community. 

With a steadily growing inventory of opulent Lake James real estate and luxurious lakeside vacation rentals, you can count on Greybeard as a premier source for investment and retreat opportunities in the Lake James and surrounding area of Morganton!