Past Events – NC Blue Ridge

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Attend a lively musical performance, go dancing at one of the many street festivals planned throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains, explore regional gem mines, sample your way across a food and wine festival, or explore a new art exhibit. There’s no shortage of cool things to do here in Western North Carolina. Here’s a list of some of the best events taking place this month.

Boat Tour

Lake James State Park

Lake James is particularly beautiful as the trees put out fresh green buds and blossoms. There’s no better way to enjoy it than by boat. Ranger Earl Weaver is captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat to search for loons, otters, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be blustery, so dress warmly. Registration […]

Macro-Invertebrates Study

Lake James State Park

Aquatic life in our creeks and rivers go far beyond the fish and crawdads you see with a casual glance. The ecosystem of moving water can be incredibly diverse, depending on water quality and other factors. At Lake James State Park, we are lucky to have a waterway of fantastic biological diversity and this program […]

Salamanders Magnified

Lake James State Park

Come experience nature in a new way, a magnified way! Nature Magnified is a new program series at Lake James introducing kids to the natural world in a different way. Undoubtedly you’ve strolled along the trails and experienced the beauty Lake James has to offer, but have you ever seen the natural world magnified? Come […]

NC Science Festival – Statewide Star Party

Lake James State Park

Back by popular demand, Lake James State Park and the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club will be co- hosting the Annual Statewide Star Party. Learn some basic star gazing tips and take home your own star chart. Telescopes and binoculars provided, but bring your own if you have them. Folding chairs are also recommended. Meet in […]

Boat Tour

Lake James State Park

Lake James is particularly beautiful as the trees put out fresh green buds and blossoms and there’s no better way to enjoy it than by boat. Ranger Earl Weaver will be your captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat as we search for loons, otters, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be blustery, […]

Earth Day – Salamander Soiree

Lake James State Park

Earth Day! What better way to celebrate our wonderful planet than by searching for slimy amphibians? The wonderful world of salamanders will be on display as Park Ranger Kevin Bischof leads a hike to different types of salamander habitat in search of these small, elusive amphibians. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking area and […]

NC Science Festival Reptile and Amphibian Bioblitz

Lake James State Park

Join us in celebrating the North Carolina Science Festival! Explore with a park ranger in a citizen science project to find, count, and record the reptile and amphibian species found along a dedicated section of the park used to study these animals. Park Ranger Kevin Bischof teaches what park rangers do to inventory park species. […]

NC Science Festival Mini Bioblitz

Lake James State Park

Celebrate the North Carolina Science Festival by joining a park ranger in a citizen science project to identify, count and record as many species as we can find! All species of animals you can think of will be our focus. Park Ranger Kevin Bischof teaches what park rangers do to inventory park species. This program […]

Migration Meander

Lake James State Park

Warm southern winds are helping songbirds on their way to the nesting grounds and Lake James State Park is an important stopover for warblers, vireos, orioles, hummingbirds, swallows and a host of other birds. The Paddy’s Creek Trail is an excellent place to look for these tiny travelers, as well as the many species that […]

Spring Migration Bird Hike

Lake James State Park

Warm southern winds are helping songbirds on their way to the nesting grounds and Lake James State Park is an important stopover for warblers, vireos, orioles, hummingbirds, swallows and a host of other birds. The Fox Den Loop Trail is an excellent place to look for these tiny travelers, as well as the many species […]

Walking the Wetlands

Lake James State Park

Park Ranger Earl Weaver meets a group of adventurous hikers to the Old Catawba River to search for aquatic plants, animals, insects and birds. The wetland habitat in this area is rich in biodiversity and rarely visited by humans. Meet Ranger Weaver at the Canal Bridge Boat Access on NC 126 at 9:45 a.m. for […]

Celebrate Spring Boat Tour

Lake James State Park

Don’t let anyone fool you, Lake James is the place to be during early spring and this boat tour is a fantastic way to experience it. Ranger Clay Veasey is captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat to search for loons, otters, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be blustery, so dress warmly. […]

Boat Tour

Lake James State Park

Lake James hosts many species of waterfowl during their return migration north, as well as the critters that stay here year-round. Ranger Earl Weaver is captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat to search for loons, otters, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be blustery, so dress warmly. Registration is required and available […]

Salamander Soiree

Lake James State Park

The wonderful world of salamanders will be on display as Park Ranger Jamie Cameron leads a hike to different types of salamander habitat in search of these small, elusive amphibians. Meet at the Holly Discovery Trail parking area and come prepared to journey through woodlands, seeps, streams and pools. Bring appropriate footwear and keep in […]

Fox Den Loop 100-Mile Challenge Hike

Lake James State Park

100 miles … can you do it? Many North Carolina Park visitors are trying to do just that, hike 100 miles in 2017. Meet Ranger Kevin Bischof as he leads a hike in early Winter to discover the what winter residents are in the park. The 2-1/4-mile, moderate hike will trek around the Fox Den […]

Winter Waterfowl Boat Tour

Lake James State Park

Many species of waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, loons and cormorants spend the winter months on Lake James and now you have an opportunity to observe them in their element. Ranger Earl Weaver will be your captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat as we search for birds. The weather could be blustery, so be […]

Amazing Eagles

Lake James State Park

Easily the nation’s most iconic and easily identified birds (at least the adults), the bald eagle is the cherished symbol of our great country, but what do you know about its life cycle and habits? Lake James hosts a healthy population of eagles throughout the year – including a nest site that has been active […]

Animals in Winter

Lake James State Park

Bald eagles? Yes. Otters? Sure. Black bears? Yup. Bobcats? You betcha. Lake James and the land surrounding it are a paradise for wildlife. Winter is an excellent time to hit the woods and search for critters that can be easier to see now than any other season. Join Ranger Jamie Cameron for a hike on […]

Predators of Lake James

Lake James State Park

Predators come in all shapes and sizes; those with feathers, those with scales and those with fur – each is unique in its own way. Meet Park Ranger Kevin Bischof to learn about some of the predators of Lake James and their adaptations that make them so effective in the hunt for prey. This will […]

Walk Like a Duck

Lake James State Park

Many species of waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, loons and cormorants spend the winter months on Lake James and now you have an opportunity to observe them in their element. Ranger Clay Veasey will be your guide as we hike the Paddy’s Creek Trail in search of waterbirds. The weather could be blustery, so be sure […]

Winter Boat Tour

Lake James State Park

Lake James hosts many species of waterfowl during the winter months, as well as the critters that stay here year-round. As an added bonus, winter offers some of the most majestic views of the Linville Gorge and the Black Mountain Range of the year. Ranger Earl Weaver will be your captain and guide aboard the […]

Winter Plant Hike

Lake James State Park

Many species of waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, loons and cormorants spend the winter months on Lake James and now you have an opportunity to observe them in their element. Ranger Earl Weaver will be your captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat as we search for birds. The weather could be blustery, so be […]

Winter Waterfowl Boat Tour

Lake James State Park

Many species of waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, loons and cormorants spend the winter months on Lake James and now you have an opportunity to observe them in their element. Ranger Earl Weaver will be your captain and guide aboard the park patrol boat as we search for birds. The weather could be blustery, so be […]

Walk like a Duck

Lake James State Park

Many species of waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, loons and cormorants spend the winter months on Lake James and now you have an opportunity to observe them in their element. Ranger Clay Veasey will be your guide as we hike the Paddy’s Creek Trail in search of waterbirds. The weather could be blustery, so be sure […]

Open Water Birding Expedition

Lake James State Park

The open water of Lake James can host some unique species of birds during winter. Different species of gulls, cormorants, loons, ducks and grebes can be found far from shore and the park patrol boat is an excellent platform to get out and see them up close. Ranger Jamie Cameron will be your captain and […]

Mill’s Creek 100-mile Challenge Hike

Lake James State Park

100 miles … can you do it? Many North Carolina Park visitors are trying to do just that, hike 100 miles in 2017. Meet Ranger Kevin Bischof as he leads a hike in early Winter to discover the leaves after they have fallen for the year. The 4-mile moderate hike will trek around the Mill’s […]

Winter Bird Hike

Lake James State Park

It may come as a surprise to some, but birdwatching during the winter can be excellent. With all of the winged visitors from the north, we might see as many as 30 different types of birds in little more than an hour. Join Ranger Jamie Cameron for a walk around the Holly Discovery Trail to […]

Bees, Butterflies and Other Pollinators

Lake James State Park

Over the last 5 years the staff at Lake James State Park has diligently landscaped with native plants that are attractive to insect pollinators. Those efforts are paying off and the pollinator gardens around the day-use portion of the Paddy’s Creek Area are a showplace for butterflies, bees and a host of other insects that […]

Snakes Magnified

Lake James State Park

Come join Ranger Kevin Bischof as he leads a group along the trails of Lake James to seek the snake species of the forest at a different level. Bring the kids and a sense of exploration. Magnifying loupes provided. Magnification will turn a walk in the woods into a whole new experience. Reservations can be […]

Eagle/Osprey Nest Tour

Lake James State Park

Park Rangers Earl Weaver and Clay Veasey are captains and guides aboard the park patrol boat to search for loons, ospreys, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be blustery or it could be sultry, so dress appropriately for the day (remember it’s always cooler on the water). Registration required and available on a first?come, […]

Canoe Excusion

Lake James State Park

The tranquility of paddling a canoe on a quiet morning is one of life's simple pleasures. Discover the beauty of Lake James State Park from the water with Park Ranger Kevin Bischof. Whether you're an expert paddler or you don't know the difference between starboard and port, we'll provide the equipment and instruction to make […]

Canoe Excursion

Lake James State Park

The tranquility of paddling a canoe on a quiet morning is one of life's simple pleasures. Discover the beauty of Lake James State Park from the water with Park Ranger Kevin Bischof. Whether you're an expert paddler or you don't know the difference between starboard and port, we'll provide the equipment and instruction to make […]

Creek Sampling

Lake James State Park

Aquatic life in our creeks and rivers go far beyond the fish and crawdads you see with a casual glance. The ecosystem of moving water can be incredibly diverse, depending on water quality and other factors. At Lake James State Park, we are lucky to have a waterway of fantastic biological diversity and this program […]

Fishing 101

Lake James State Park

One of the main attractions to Lake James State Park is the quality fishing opportunities that can be found in the lake. Have you ever wanted to fish, but don’t know where to start? Here is a great opportunity. Meet Park Ranger Kevin Bischof at the Paddy’s Creek Area office and be prepared to wet […]

Eagle/Osprey Nest Tour

Lake James State Park

Park Rangers Earl Weaver and Clay Veasey are captains and guides aboard the park patrol boat to search for loons, ospreys, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be blustery or it could be sultry, so dress appropriately for the day (remember it’s always cooler on the water). Registration required and available on a first?come, […]

Astronomy for Everyone

Lake James State Park

Lake James State Park Superintendent Nora Coffey will be co?hosting with the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club for a night of star gazing. Learn some basic star gazing tips and take home your own star chart. There will be telescopes and binoculars set up for viewing the night sky, but feel free to bring your own […]

Eagle/Osprey Nest Tour

Lake James State Park

Park Rangers Earl Weaver and Clay Veasey are captains and guides aboard the park patrol boat to search for loons, ospreys, eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be blustery or it could be sultry, so dress appropriately for the day (remember it’s always cooler on the water). Registration required and available on a first?come, […]

Canoe Excursion

Lake James State Park

The tranquility of paddling a canoe on a quiet morning is one of life's simple pleasures. Discover the beauty of Lake James State Park from the water with Park Ranger Jamie Cameron. Whether you're an expert paddler or you don't know the difference between starboard and port, we'll provide the equipment and instruction to make […]

Forest Plants ID Hike

Lake James State Park

Ever wondered what the different types of vegetation were as you hiked the trails at Lake James State Park? Armed with field guides and curiosity, Park Ranger Jamie Cameron leads a hike along the Fox Den Loop trail to learn about identifying native plants (and a few trees). The trail is a moderate, 2.25?mile trek […]

Centennial S’mores and Amphibians

Lake James State Park

Meet Ranger Kevin Bischof in the Paddy's Creek Campground for a campfire program on amphibians, complete with the NC State Park Centennial S'mores theme. Bring your camp chairs and prepare to learn about amphibians. The program begins at 7 p.m. near the bathhouse.