Steep, forested ridges covered with mixed hardwoods, pines and hemlocks dominate the landscape. Wildflowers are abundant, and the clear waters of Lake James reflect different types of vegetation in each season.
Wildflowers commonly seen in the park include pink lady slipper, Jack-in-the-pulpit, passion flower, Indian pipe and cardinal flower. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and flame azalea are also abundant in the hilly terrain.
Deer, flying squirrel, red and gray fox, rabbit, muskrat and mink all reside at Lake James State Park. Waterfowl - including green heron, belted kingfisher, mallard and Canada goose - enjoy the park's large body of water. The skies are also home to pileated woodpeckers, hawks and owls. Reptiles include eastern box turtle and fence lizard, while amphibians - including northern red salamanders, eastern red-spotted newts and tree frogs - frequently may be found along park trails.