Lake James Real Estate: Homes and Lots for Sale
Lake James is one of Western North Carolina’s most scenic outdoor destinations, with tranquil waters, flourishing plant and animal life, stunning views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, and a variety of recreational activities to enjoy. Whether you come for a visit or decide to make Lake James your home, you’ll clearly see the many things locals and guests love about this hidden gem nestled in the mountains.
In this post, we’ll look at the recreation options at Lake James, as well as the available real estate.
- About Lake James
- Towns Near Lake James
- Fishing at Lake James
- Lake James Outdoor Recreation
- Lake James Restaurants and Bars
- About Real Estate at Lake James
- Lake James Neighborhoods
- All Lake James Real Estate Listings
The lake, which is part of Lake James State Park, sits at the base of Linville Gorge, and it also borders Pisgah National Forest. Lake James and nearby mountains were used as the shooting location for the 1992 film Last of the Mohicans. This man-made lake exists because of Bridgewater Hydro Station, which was constructed by Western Carolina Power Company starting in 1916. The lake is named after James B. Duke, the company’s chairperson. It was originally created as a source of hydro-electric power for the area’s residents, and it continues to provide hydro power for Duke Energy. For more detailed history about Lake James, check out this article on the Duke Energy website. Now, Lake James State Park and the small towns nearby are popular with tourists looking for a getaway in the outdoors.
Lake James is located about an hour east of Asheville, close to the small towns of Marion, Nebo, and Morganton, NC. Here are some approximate drive times to Lake James:
- Asheville – 1 hour
- Black Mountain – 45 minutes
- Charlotte – 1 hour, 45 minutes
- Hickory – 55 minutes
- Marion – 23 minutes
- Morganton – 30 minutes
- Old Fort – 37 minutes
Yes, fishing is allowed in Lake James. This deep, cold-water lake is home to many types of freshwater fish and it has become a popular destination for anglers. There are marinas around the shoreline that offer boat rentals and tackle and bait for sale.
What kind of fish can you catch in Lake James?
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, bluegill, white bass, striped bass, northern pike and tiger muskie can all be found in Lake James. In response to the lake’s popularity with fishing enthusiasts, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission enhanced the fish habitat in Lake James in 2013. With two large boulder reefs and 40 fish attractors added to the water, the Commission ensured that the fish population would remain healthy enough to support a high number of visitors each year. Click here for more information on fishing at Lake James.
Can you swim in Lake James, NC?
Yes, swimming is allowed in Lake James, and the water is clear and safe for kids to enjoy.
With 150 miles of shoreline, Lake James has plenty of room for all its visitors. The state park is free to enter. Boating is allowed on the lake, and there are two boat ramps along NC-126 with access to the water: Canal Bridge (which is open 24/7) and Hidden Cove, which is open while the rest of the park is open. Various areas of the park offer canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, boats, and motors for rent.
If you would rather take a hike, check out the park’s 25 miles of trails, which range in difficulty from child-friendly to challenging. Fifteen of the trails are also open to mountain biking. To get a panoramic view of Lake James, Linville Gorge and the surrounding mountains, hike the Lake Channel Overlook Trail (a moderate three-mile round trip hike).
The Fonta Flora trail at Lake James offers breathtaking views and is open to hiking and mountain biking.
There are three campgrounds in the park: the Catawba River Area, with 20 walk-in campsites; the Paddy’s Creek Area, with 33 family-friendly campsites accessible by car; and the remote campground on the Long Arm Peninsula, which can only be reached by boat and is perfect for the adventurous at heart.
Click here for maps and more information on outdoor recreation at Lake James from the NC Division of Parks and Recreation.
After a day of hiking, swimming or fishing at Lake James, visit Bear Creek Marina Restaurant located on Lake James, or head to one of the nearby small towns to enjoy a tasty meal. Here are some of our favorites:
- Fonta Flora Brewery at Whipporwill Farm is just minutes away from the lake and is a great spot for local brews and food truck fare after a day on the lake or on the trails.
- Elliotts Diner is an old-fashioned, cozy diner in Nebo that has been family-owned for almost 30 years. Enjoy Southern comfort food, sandwiches, sides and desserts served with warm hospitality.
- If you’re craving Italian food, check out Roma Restaurant in Nebo. You can dine-in or pick-up their pizzas, pasta, lasagna, salads, and wings. Roma is also family-owned and has been in business for 15 years.
- Burrito Bros, located on Main Street in Marion, offers burritos stuffed with delicious ingredients (including a wide variety of grilled meats, from carnitas to shrimp to al pastor, as well as vegetarian options) all wrapped up in soft flour tortillas. They also serve tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, nachos, and more, all for affordable prices.
- Bantam Chef is a drive-thru burger joint in Marion which has been in business since 1971. Their steakburgers are beloved by locals – as is their “Big Foot Special” – and they also serve up gyros, seafood, salads, country breakfast, biscuits, and soft serve ice cream.
Real Estate in Lake James, NC
When most people think about Lake James real estate, they think about being on the lake! But homes and lots for sale at Lake James offer much more than than just the lake. This lakeshore community also features homes and land with views of the water and mountains, private boat docks, walking trails, gated neighborhoods, and a peaceful atmosphere. Check out the variety of real estate for sale at Lake James below. If you’re interested in learning more about properties for sale in the Lake James area, let us know! We would love to help you find your dream home or lakeside getaway.