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Lake James Boasts Breathtaking Beauty and Plentiful Outdoor Adventure

Lake James NC Real EstateTucked at the base of Linville Gorge in the Blue Ridge Mountains is Lake James, a large reservoir offering myriad outdoor adventures against a breathtaking setting. The lake, with more than 150 miles of shoreline, is situated between Marion and Morganton, easily accessible via I-40, and only 45 minutes from Asheville. The lakefront communities dotting the area offer a peaceful retreat nestled in natural beauty.

Lake James, which straddles the border between Burke and McDowell counties, is named for tobacco tycoon and Duke University benefactor James Buchanan Duke. The lake, with surface elevation of 1,200 feet, lies behind a series of four earthen dams and was created by Duke Power from 1916 to 1923 as a hydro-electric project (still generating power today).

Lake James: plentiful water activities, hiking and camping

Lake James State Park is located on the lake’s southern shore. In 2004, the 605-acre park was expanded by 3,000 acres, making it the largest waterfront state park in N.C. The surrounding terrain is covered with hardwoods, pines and hemlocks; it is home to a range of wildflowers, as well as mountain laurel, rhododendron and flame azalea along the hilly terrain.

Lake James NC Real EstatePaddy’s Creek and Catawba River are the park’s main areas to enjoy. Paddy’s Creek features a large, sandy beach and swimming area, along with a pavilion, restrooms and concession stand. Hiking and camping spots – including boat-in camping – are plentiful in both areas. Paddy’s Creek offers 15 miles of mountain biking trails for beginners as well as intermediate riders. Two miles east of Lake James State Park entrance sit two boat ramps, Hidden Cove and Canal Bridge, offering access for motorboats, sailboats and small watercraft.

A range of available homes in Lake James

Most housing development around Lake James is clustered along its southern and eastern shores, offering a range of styles including sprawling estates, rustic ranches, and green-build properties, many with long-range mountain and lake views.

Restaurants and breweries in and around Lake James offer a variety of options when you don’t feel like cooking at home. Among local favorites are Catawba Brewing, Lake James Grille, Slices Bistro, Fonta Flora Brewery and Root & Vine.

For information about real estate in Lake James, contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

Explore Lake James area real estate near Nebo

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