Lake James, Indiana, USA
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake James — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Lake James
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Lake James Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Lake James Gifts
Looking for Lake James cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.
All About Lake James
Roughly 10,000 years ago the same receding glaciers that filled the Great Lakes created kettle holes in Northeast Indiana that resulted in a chain of lakes, bogs, and other morainal features. Lake James is the crown jewel in Northeast Indiana’s Chain of Lakes. The entire chain is fed by Follet Creek, Crooked Creek, Croxton Ditch, and Walter’s Lake Drain. As the largest of the five lakes in Steuben County, Lake James stands out not only for its size, but also for its beautiful shoreline and fantastic State Park offering year-round recreational opportunities.
Nearly the entire Eastern shore of Lake James is home to Pokagon State Park, one of the top parks in the state. The park was founded in 1925 when local Steuben County residents bought and donated the land. The state more than doubled the size of the park two years later after the famed Potawatomi Inn was opened and began operation. In addition to the Inn, the park boasts many three-season activities including horseback riding, a wooded campground, a clean beach for swimming, roughly 11 miles of walking trails, a bike trail, picnicking, fishing and a Nature Center. And the Park doesn’t go dormant in the winter either. The Park offers a toboggan slide, cross country skiing on groomed trails, ice skating, and ice fishing. In addition, the Lake James Association hosts many community and visitor-friendly events, including the 4th of July Fireworks and Flotilla, the Lake James Fly-In, and the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic’s Patriotic Pops on Lake James. Other nearby attractions include an amusement park, an outlet mall, and Trine University.
Lake James is really a “Lakelubbers” paradise. The 1229-acre lake allows for boating, water skiing, fishing, or just trolling along the shore to check out the beautiful houses. Lake James boasts the highest price for shoreline homes in Steuben County. Since fishing is one love of nearly every Lakelubber, it’s only fair to list the species that anglers find in Lake James. Bass, catfish and panfish abound, while a concerted effort is being made to make walleye one of the top catches in the lake.
There is a wide variety of wildlife readily available for your viewing pleasure as well; deer, Canada geese, Mute Swan and Sand-hill Crane live on the shores and surrounding farms. In fact, this summer a Sand-hill Crane actually nested and produced a family on Lake James for the first time in over 100 years! The Canada Geese population has become such a nuisance around the lake and the entirety of Northeast Indiana that landowners have been given the opportunity to obtain permission to destroy eggs and remove nests from their property.
Lake James is a beautiful lake that deserves your attention. If you are in Northeast Indiana, make this your first, and maybe last stop – you won’t be sorry you did.
Things to Do at Lake James
- Vacation Rentals
- Ice Fishing
- Water Skiing
- Ice Skating
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
- Amusement Park
Fish Species Found at Lake James
Find Places to Stay at Lake James
If you’re considering a Lake James lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Recommended Sites to Book a Lake James Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lake James lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
- Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
- TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
- Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
- KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
- RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
- CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Lake James Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed
Surface Area: 1,229 acres
Shoreline Length: 18 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 965 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 968 feet
Average Depth: 27 feet
Maximum Depth: 88 feet
Water Volume: 33,171 acre-feet
Water Residence Time: 2.39 years
Lake Area-Population: 7,344
Drainage Area: 48 sq. miles
Trophic State: Mesotrophic
We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.
Shop Lake James Gifts
Advertise Your Lake James Business or Vacation Rental
LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.
Looking for the Lake James Forum?
LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
Lake James Photo Gallery
New photos coming soon!
Spread the word! Share our Lake James article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!