MTB Project

Lake James State Park

Consensus:    (details)
 4.0 from 5 votes
greenBlue  Easy/Intermediate from 3 votes
Rank: #3 in the Hickory and South Mountain area
#27 in NC, #674 Overall
Views: 2,410. Last 30 days: 164
Sep 21 just right
Featured Ride near Glen Alpine,  area, 
“New Trails at Paddy's Creek!”
Paul Stahlschmidt on Jun 7, 2014
Getting There     GPX File     Print
12.920.8 milesKilometers 770’235 m Ascent 1,393’425 m High 2% Avg Grade (1°)
100% Singletrack -767’-234 m Descent 1,218’371 m Low 15% Max Grade (8°)
These trails are closed by the park staff when impacted by wet weather or freeze-thaw. If the weather in the area of the park is questionable (i.e. it has rained within 24 hours of your trip), be sure to check the trail status at the top of the Lake James State Park website before you go.
1:38 average ride time for 11.7 miles. Details

While new-school in design, the trails at Lake James State Park provide a back-country experience with an open feel and solid mileage for any level of rider.

This featured ride follows all of the rideable trails at Lake James, including the beginner-rated Tindo Loops, West Wimba Loop, and East Wimba Loop.
Need To Know
This ride is approximately 15 miles. There are plenty of rollers and grade reversals, but not many technical features incorporated in the trails, but the difficulty ratings do follow and appropriate progression. The Beginner rated Tindo Loops are nearly flat; the West Wimba Loop adds more flow and speed, and the East Wimba Loop has tighter turns, more elevation change, and requires more commitment. All of the trails at the park are directional and signed as such. The Wimba loops are currently signed in the clockwise direction but may rotate in the future.
From the parking lot, take a left at the first intersection on the half-mile connector to the Tindo Loops. This trail will cross a road and continue downhill to the intersection with the loops. Stay right here. After about 1 mile, you come to a four way intersection at the center of the figure eight configuration. Go straight to do the lower of the two loops, and continue straight across again when you arrive back here the second time.

After completing the Tindo Loops, follow the connector back toward the parking lot taking a left at the first entrance trail, and a left on the West Wimba Loop. West Wimba is the longest of the two intermediate loops, approximately 6 miles. Climbs are short, and overall there are some fast flowy sections in this loop.

East Wimba Loop is currently open, but routed by a two-track connector temporarily. A large bridge and a singletrack connector is under construction. After about approximately 3 miles on West Wimba, take a left on a road and follow the signs. You’ll be climbing up this road on the return. East Wimba has more tight and twisty turns compared to West Wimba. It is also about 2 miles shorter, but takes you a good distance from the trailhead.

After completing East Wimba, take a left on the road to connect you back, and a left again on singletrack at the top of the hill. The next section is a long downhill stretch, which turns sharply right at near the bottom. Use caution on this turn as it is a fast corner. Just after the land bridge at this turn, you’ll see the future connector to your left (which is taped off). Stay right and work your way back approximately 3 miles to the trailhead.
History & Background
The mountain bike trails at Lake James State Park opened on National Trails Day, June 7, 2014. The project represents an investment of $210,000 from the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, the principal funding source for state park capital projects and land acquisition. The new trail system augments a swim beach, bathhouse, picnic areas, foot trails and a maintenance compound that have been opened at the park’s Paddy’s Creek Area since 2010. The newly developed access is on 2,915 acres that were acquired for the park in 2004 from Crescent Resources Inc., separate from the original 605-acre state park opened in 1987. The Paddy’s Creek Area encompasses more than 30 miles of shoreline on the 6,812-acre lake.

The Northwest North Carolina Mountain Bike Alliance assist the park staff in maintaining the trails and are also involved in the planning for future trails.
View in 3D
5.0 (1)
Miles of old-school Pisgah riding that includes one epic descent
near Marion, NC
3.5 (2)
A great beginner trail but still a good ride for the veteran cyclist.
near Morganton, NC
3.0 (1)
Mostly dirt roads, but a good singletrack finish.
near Lenoir, NC

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PHOTOS of Lake James State Park
 2.7 from 3 votes
Fresh Dirt (Glen Alpine, NC)
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