Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
|Bald Eagle Watching||Heritage Day|
|Education and Events||Swimming|
Parking outside campground gates is prohibited. Gates close and lock according to seasonal closing times. See the Hours of Operation link on the left for more information. Please plan accordingly. Towing is enforced.
Accessible Activities: Persons with disabilities will find access to a wide range of recreational facilities, including accessible picnic shelters, swim beaches, campsites, and courtesy docks. Most parking lots have special spaces available, and the restrooms are accessible as well. Accessible camping is available at Parker's Creek, Poplar Point, and Crosswinds campgrounds. Accessible group camping is available at both Vista Point and Parker's Creek group camps. The beaches at Ebenezer and Seaforth are accessible, and all the campground beaches are accessible as well. Park staff will guide you to facilities best suited to your needs.
Bald Eagle Watching: On your next visit to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, see if you can spot our national symbol, the bald eagle, soaring over the waters of Jordan Lake. As Jordan Lake supports the largest concentration of bald eagles in the eastern United States, these majestic birds can often be spotted soaring over the lake in search of fish and other prey.
Though bald eagles are active throughout the daylight hours, the chances of observing an eagle are best during the early morning hours or late in the day. The best time of year for observing eagles around Jordan Lake is during the spring migration northward, generally April, May and June. Areas that offer a wide view of the lake are your best choices. These would include Vista Point, Ebenezer and Seaforth recreation areas.
Hear the call of a bald eagle by clicking the Sights and Sounds link on the Park Menu to the left.
Boating: Each recreation area has boat-launching ramps providing easy entry to the water. Boat ramps and courtesy docks located at Ebenezer Church and Robeson Creek recreation areas are open 24 hours per day.
All other boat ramps are open during park hours, and visitors must exit the park before the park's closing time. Boating facilities open during park hours include six boat ramps at New Hope Overlook. Seaforth offers six both ramps and Vista Point offers four boat ramps. Boat ramps at day-use areas are open to the public. Crosswinds and Poplar Point campgrounds offer boat ramps and courtesy docks for campers only. Parker's Creek has a small boat ramp for campers only. The Parker's Creek boat ramp has very limited parking and does not have courtesy docks.
Be cautious of underwater hazards such as stumps, logs and rocks. The Uniform Waterway Marker System has been installed for your safety and convenience. Obey all buoys and markers.
Test your sailing skills on Jordan Lake. The most popular area for sailing is Vista Point while windsurfers enjoy Ebenezer Church. Wind speed information can be obtained by dialing 919-387-5969.
The nearby, privately-owned Crosswinds Boating Center rents kayaks and pontoon boats. For more information about the marina and its services, call 919-387-7011.
Camping: Pitch your tent or park your recreational vehicle at one of more than 1,000 family campsites.
Crosswinds Campground offers 182 campsites for both recreational vehicles and tent camping; 134 sites have water and electric hookups. Each site includes a picnic table, grill and lantern holder. Showers, restrooms, trash containers and a dump station are conveniently located.
Parker's Creek offers 250 sites for RV and tent camping; 120 sites have water and electric hookups. Each site contains a picnic table, grill and lantern holder. Showers, restrooms, trash containers and a dump station are conveniently located.
Poplar Point offers 579 sites for RV and tent camping; 363 sites have water and electric hookups. Each site includes a picnic table, grill and lantern holder. Showers, restrooms, trash containers and a dump station are conveniently located.
Hike-in camping: For those who prefer a more primitive campsite, New Hope Overlook offers 24 campsites nestled in the woods. These sites range from 100 yards to a half mile from the parking lot. Each site has a picnic table, grill and lantern holder. Toilets and drinking water are provided nearby.
Group tent camping: Two areas offer sections for camping clubs and other groups. Parkers Creek has six campsites available for group tent camping. Vista Point also offers five group tent campsites. Drinking water and showers are located nearby.
Group RV camping: Vista Point offers 50 campsites for group RV camping. All sites contain water and electric hookups. Although these sites are open year-round, water to the sites is turned off in the winter. Showers, restrooms, trash containers and a dump station are conveniently located.
Education and Events: Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. Search our database of park events that are free and open to the public.
Rangers also hold special programs for groups and classes. To arrange an exploration of Jordan Lake State Recreation Area for your group or class, contact the park office for further information.
A movie clip of a ranger giving an educational program is available from the Sights and Sounds link on the Park Menu to the left.
Educational materials about Jordan Lake State Recreation Area have been developed for grades K-3 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Jordan Lake program introduces students to local predators and prey and how they fit into a food chain. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, available free of charge to educators. Search our database to learn more about upcoming environmental education workshops by clicking the Education tab, above.
Exhibit Hall: Gain a better understanding of the natural and cultural history of the waters and lands associated with B. Everett Jordan Lake by visiting the park's exhibit hall located in the Visitors Center. The theme of the exhibit hall is 'We all live downstream.' A series of interactive exhibits, images, and artifacts guide the visitor through the natural history of the Haw and New Hope Rivers and the surrounding forests and fields. Displays allow the visitors to explore the world of water environments and the species that those aquatic environments support. A major feature of the exhibit hall is the life size eagle's nest which allows visitors a bird's eye view of the interior of this massive nest. The exhibit hall is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.
Fishing: Fishing is a popular sport on the lake. Underwater stumps, logs and rocks help create the perfect environment for bass, crappie, catfish and pan fish. A state fishing license is required, and rules of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission must be obeyed.
Heritage Day: Every fall on the first Saturday of October, Jordan Lake holds a festival to celebrate the unique cultural and natural resources of the region. It gives participants an opportunity to experience hands-on activities, demonstrations and view exhibits from the past to the present. Visit our Sights and Sounds page for photos from previous years' events.
Hiking: There are numerous hiking trails at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. All are easy walking and suitable for all trekkers of all ages, although the New Hope Trail is more strenuous than others. Pets must be leashed at all times and bicycles are not permitted on any trails at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area.
More detailed trail descriptions are given below:
Ebenezer Church Recreation Area: Ebenezer has two loop trails, each about a mile in length as well as a short trail connecting the picnic areas to the swimming beach. The Ebenezer Church Trail is an easy one-mile loop trail that passes the site of the historic Ebenezer Church for which the area was named. An interpretive display marks the location. Parts of the path follow an abandoned roadbed and traverse a large farm pond. The trailhead is at the southeast corner of the beach parking lot.
The Old Oak Trail is an easy one-mile loop trail that begins at the parking lot in Ebenezer Picnic Area A. This trail can be cut to one half mile by taking the shortcut loop, making this a great trail for small children. Hikers will see large hollow oaks, two ponds, fencerows and clues of the farms that used to fill the area.
The half-mile Connecting Trail begins at Picnic Area A parking lot and connects to the beach parking lot. This trail is an alternative to walking on the road.
New Hope Overlook: New Hope Trail is our newest and most strenuous hike. The trail begins near the bathrooms at the boat ramp. The red loop is 5.4 miles and the blue loop is 2.7 miles in length. This is the most challenging trail with several steep hills. Hikers will enjoy sweeping views of the lake, mature hardwood forests, groves of mountain laurel, lush creek crossings and a variety of wildflowers and ferns.
Vista Point: The Red Trail is an easy three-mile hike that begins near the showerhouse. It is nearly a loop trail, but requires walking along the park road for about 100 yards to end up back at the shower house. Hikers can rest on a bench along a quiet lake cove and then continue their trek through some beautiful pine and mixed hardwood forests. In winter, hikers will enjoy an abundance of green from the numerous American Holly trees, while during the fall; they will enjoy a broad field of golden Bur Marigolds.
The Blue Trail is a one-mile loop trail that begins near the entrance gate. Hikers will pass by an old tobacco barn. Summer hikers can look for red Cardinal flower in the wet area near the boardwalk.
Seaforth: The Pond Trail is an easy 1.5-mile trail. The path is nearly a loop; it begins at the display case on the western side of the beach parking lot and ends near Picnic Shelter #9. Hikers will enjoy glimpses of the lake while walking through loblolly pine forests, hardwood forests, an old field, and past three ponds. A long boardwalk traverses a wetland teaming with buttonbush, black needle rush and other water-loving vegetation.
Parker's Creek: The Children’s Nature Trail is an easy half-mile hike. This loop trail begins at Picnic Shelter #3. Hikers will enjoy a long boardwalk and an old farm pond. This is the best trail for spotting old tobacco rows, the last clues of the farm fields of the past. Spring hikers may notice Jack-in-the-Pulpit flowering along the trail.
The Connector Trail is 1.5 miles in length and connects each camping loop to the swimming beach. Hikers can see signs of old home sites, including rock foundations, farm fencing and ornamental plants.
Crosswinds Campground: The easy 1.5-mile trail begins at the boat ramp parking lot and ends near campsite C1. The trail connects the boat ramp to each camping loop. Hikers can see a wide variety of native spring wildflowers including Trout Lily and Bigleaf Snowbell. Crosswinds Campground is for registered campers only.
Poplar Point Campground: This easy 2-mile trail winds its way from loop B to loop J and can be accessed from each camping loop. Hikers can see some of our most interesting flowering trees such as Fringetree, Magnolia, Sourwood, Dogwood and Witch Hazel. Poplar Point Campground is for registered campers only.
Picnicking: Ebenezer Church, Parker's Creek, Seaforth, Vista Point and White Oak Recreation Areas offer picturesque spots for picnicking. Picnic tables, grills and trash containers are provided, and drinking water is located nearby. Picnic shelters are available in each of these areas. The shelters can be reserved for a fee. Otherwise, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Swimming: Sandy beaches are offered to day visitors at Ebenezer Church, Seaforth, Parker's Creek and White Oak Recreation Areas. Crosswinds Campground, Poplar Point and Vista Point offer sandy swim beaches for use by campers only. Closely supervise children at all times and outfit them with personal flotation devices when they are in or near water.
In the summer months, food trucks are stationed at Seaforth and Ebenezer. These privately-owned vendors sell sandwiches, drinks, ice cream, and snacks.