Take a look at Lake James State Park activities in April

NORTH CAROLINA STATE PARKS

“SHIP OF FOOLS” BOAT TOUR – MONDAY, APRIL 1

It’s no joke! Lake James hosts many species of waterfowl during their return migration north, as well as the critters that stay here year-round. Ranger-in-training Earl Weaver will practice his boating skills aboard the park patrol boat as we search for loons, otters, bald eagles and scenic vistas. The weather could be warm and sunny, so be sure to dress warmly if you are one of the eight unlucky participants. Registration is required and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the park office at 828-584-7728 to reserve your spot. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area East Picnic Shelter at 1:45 for a briefing and prompt departure at 2 p.m. This is NOT an April Fool’s joke!

BOAT TOUR – FRIDAY, APRIL 5

Ranger Clay Veasey will be your captain and guide. Registration is required and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the park office at 828-584-7728 to reserve your spot. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area East Picnic Shelter at 12:45 for a briefing and prompt departure at 1 p.m.

NC SCIENCE FESTIVAL – WHERE DOES THE WATER GO? – SATURDAY, APRIL 13

Lake James is a terrific example of why clean water is so important to our way of life here at the top of the Catawba River Watershed. But, high water quality should never be taken for granted. Park Superintendent Nora Coffey will host this outdoor program that highlights the threats to our rivers, lakes and streams and what we can do to make sure they remain safe for all to enjoy. Meet at the Catawba River Area picnic shelter for a hands-on demonstration, followed by a short hike along the lakeshore. This program starts at 10 a.m.

THE MOON AND BEYOND: STATEWIDE STAR PARTY– SATURDAY, APRIL 13

Join Park Supt. Nora Coffey and the Catawba Valley Astronomy Club for an evening of exploring our moon and beyond. There will be activities for all ages and telescope viewing after dark. Telescopes will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own telescopes and/or binoculars if you have them. A chair or blanket is also recommended. Meet in the East Shelter of the Paddy’s Creek Area at 7:00 p.m. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged by calling the park office at 828-584-7728.

The NC Science Festival’s annual Statewide Star Party is made possible through the generous support of the NC Space Grant. www.ncspacegrant.org

NC SCIENCE FESTIVAL - MACRO-INVERTEBRATE STUDY – SUNDAY, APRIL 14

Aquatic life in our creeks and rivers goes 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 will show participants many of the hidden animals that call Paddy’s Creek home. Armed with nets, seines and buckets, participants will collect aquatic insects, crustaceans, fish, amphibians and more with Park Superintendent Nora Coffey. This program is suitable for all ages, especially those who are willing to get wet and have a great time. We will meet in the parking lot for the Holly Discovery Trail at the Paddy’s Creek Area at 11 a.m. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet and water shoes or waders if you have them.

HIKE PADDY’S CREEK TRAIL – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17

When most folks have their minds on reading the newspaper or another cup of coffee, let’s take a morning stroll along one of the park’s most-popular trails – the Paddy’s Creek Trail. Park Ranger Clay Veasey, an expert in plant and animal identification, will guide you on this easy, 2-mile trek. Dress appropriately for the forecast and bring your curiosity for the wonders of Nature. Heck, we might even spot a bald eagle. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area bathhouse breezeway at 10 a.m.

BOAT TOUR – SUNDAY, APRIL 21

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 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, so be sure to dress warmly if you are one of the eight lucky participants. Registration is required and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the park office at 828-584-7728 to reserve your spot. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area East Picnic Shelter at 9:45 a.m. for a briefing and prompt departure at 10 o’clock.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.