Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

The lovely, wooded Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is a collective of nine access areas scattered around the shoreline of an undeveloped, 14,000-acre reservoir. Jordan Lake State Recreation Area resides along a large reservoir in what was once farming land in Wake and Chatham counties in North Carolina. Guests to the area will find more than 1,000 campsites available for reservation spread among five of the access areas. Several of the campsites located in the recreation area can accommodate even the largest of recreational vehicles. The campgrounds in the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area offer a variety of outdoor lodging options including over 600 modern campsites with RV hookups, an additional 300 or so primitive RV camping areas, and 11 group campsites, each able to accommodate up to 35 individuals.

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors. There are seven swim beaches maintained within the recreation area. Visitors will also find several boat ramps which provide easy access to this huge reservoir. The boat ramps at Poplar Point, Crosswinds, and Parker’s Creek are exclusively for the use of registered campers. Most of the ramps are open just during park hours, although the ramps at Ebenezer Church and Robeson Creek are open 24 hours a day.

The state also maintains nearly 14 miles of hiking trails in the Jordan Lake Recreation Area. A walk along this meandering hilly lakeshore is an ideal way to spot native wildlife. This is the largest summertime home of the bald eagle in the Eastern United States. Expect to see not only birds, such as bald eagles, sandpipers, osprey, and egrets, but also rabbits, white-tailed deer, and North Carolina’s state mammal, the gray squirrel.

RV Rentals in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

Transportation in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

Driving

Jordan Lake Recreation Area is located 21 miles outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, just off of US-64. The park is spread out across both sides of Jordan Lake, so you'll have to do a bit of driving to access each of its nine access areas. The larger highways and smaller roads near and within the park are easy to navigate, even with a larger RV or trailer. Some areas are heavily forested, however, so you'll want to watch out for falling tree branches. Keep an atlas around, since GPS systems may have trouble offering accurate driving directions. Guests to the Jordan Lake Recreation Area will find ample parking, and there is designated parking in each of the nine access areas.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

Campsites in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

Reservations camping

Poplar Point Campground

Poplar Point Campground is the largest camping area, offering 579 sites for tents and RVs on the eastern side of the lake. If you are looking for electric and water hookups, you will find them at 363 of the sites. Every site comes equipped with a lantern holder, grill, and picnic table. Some sites offer lakefront views. You will have easy access to restrooms, showers, a dump station, and water spigots. Pets are welcome, but should be restrained when outside the RV.

If you love to be out on the water, this is the campground for you since you'll be steps away from a popular swimming beach and boat ramp. If you are camping with family, the kids will love to walk on the hiking trails or play on the playground. An amphitheater, which holds events throughout the year, is also located within the campground.

Reservations are recommended. Campsite reservations must be made 48 hours prior to your stay. There is a 14-day maximum stay within a 30-day period.

Crosswinds Campground

The Crosswinds Campground is located on the Eastern shore of Lake Jordan, a little over ten miles from the small town of Apex, NC, and sits close to the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Office.

This large campground offers 182 campsites that are suitable for RVs and tents. Several of the sites that make up this campground are accessible with a large RV. Each site includes a picnic table, grill, and lantern holder, and 134 campsites within Crosswinds Campground provide water and electrical hookups. Generators are allowed during the daytime hours, but should be silenced during the park’s quiet hours between 10 pm and 7 am. There are a few conveniently located bathhouses with showers and flush toilets in the campground, as well as trash containers and a dump station.

Crosswinds is a great campground for lake lovers. Visitors at this campground are invited to relax in the dappled afternoon shade and unwind at the sandy beach. There is a boat ramp for easy boat access to the waters of Jordan Lake. If you don’t have a boat, you can still enjoy the lake by taking a swim at the sandy swimming beach. The campground is surrounded by mature forest and is heavily populated by native wildlife, including squirrels, rabbits, songbirds, and deer. Leashed pets are welcome at this campground, but they must remain under the control of their owners at all times. They are not permitted in bathhouses or on swimming beaches.

Reservations are recommended, particularly if you have a larger rig. Campsite reservations must be made 48 hours prior to your stay. There is a 14-day maximum stay within a 30-day period.

Parker's Creek Campground

Parker’s Creek Campground is located on the Western shore of Jordan Lake, approximately ten miles east of Pittsboro, NC. This is a large campground that offers 250 sites with gravel pads for RV and tent camping, 120 of which are equipped with water and electric hookups. You will find a picnic table, grill, and lantern holder at your campsite. The campground maintains hot showers, restrooms, and a dump station. Pets are welcome, but make sure they are on a leash.

A boat ramp, available just for registered campers, provides easy access to the waters of Jordan Lake. Parker’s Creek Campground is close to a nearly two-mile hiking trail, as well as a half-mile children’s nature trail. Native wildlife such as beavers, squirrels, and deer are often sighted near the campgrounds, and campers will be delighted when they catch a cool, refreshing breeze coming off the lake in summer months. Large picnic shelters are also available for rental at Parker’s Creek.

Campsite reservations are required. Reservations must be made 48 hours prior to your stay, and there is a 14-day maximum within a 30-day period. Once the 14-day limit is reached campers must vacate the park for 16 nights before return.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

In-Season

Hike

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area offers a number of hiking trails that range in difficulty. If you are with children or are a history buff, head down the easy one-mile Ebenezer Church Trail, which will take you past the remnants of a historic church. For those looking for a challenge, you might enjoy the 5.4-mile New Hope Trail where you'll find some steep climbs and lush forest views. For more scenic view points among the hardwoods, try the three-mile Vista Point Red Trail.

Boat

Boaters and sailors will love a chance to cruise on the waters of Jordan Lake. There are several access points dotted around the lake. New Hope Overlook and Seaforth offer six boat ramps, while Vista Point offers four. If you are visiting in your campervan for the day you can launch your boat from any of the day-use areas. Only campers can launch their watercraft from the campground boat ramps. If you want to go sailing head to Vista Point, and if you love windsurfing you should head to Ebenezer Church.

Fish

Fishing enthusiasts will want to be sure that they bring their rods and reels in their motorhome and order their NC fishing license if they want to go fishing at this exceptional reservoir. This 14,000-acre reservoir in the north-central part of North Carolina boasts a mixed variety of fish species. While striped bass, white bass, and crappie dominate the attention of anglers at Jordan Lake, fishermen will often catch sunfish, bluegill, and catfish as well. The reservoir supports a healthy supply of fish with its abundant aquatic vegetation to feast on and underwater stumps, logs, and rocks to hide under.

Guests to the area can enjoy fishing from kayaks, pontoon boats, and canoes, as well as from the shoreline. The reservoir offers approximately 180 miles of shoreline that provide plenty of fishing opportunities for those who prefer to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Anglers will find boat rentals, marinas, and a few stores available along the lakeshore.

Off-Season

Visit the Chatham County Historical Association Museum

History buffs may enjoy visiting the Chatham County Historical Association Museum. See photographs and artifacts from the historical association’s collection. You'll learn all about life in Chatham County through the ages, from colonial times to modern day. You can listen to the voices of early settlers and pioneer women. Children will love the interesting exhibits that detail everything from the social to business history of the area. Guided tours are offered on certain days of the week.

Visit the House in the Horseshoe

Those with an interest in history will find that a visit to the House in the Horseshoe in Carthage, North Carolina is an opportunity for an interesting peek back in time. The House in the Horseshoe, so-called due to its location at a horseshoe-shaped bend in the road, is also known as the Alston House in honor of the builder, Philip Alston, a revolutionary patriot born in Halifax County. This historic house was built in 1772 in nearby Moore County.

During the American Revolution, this home became the scene of a conflict between the Whigs, who desired freedom from England, and the Tories, who remained loyal to the British throne. The Loyalists, commanded by Colonel David Fanning, clashed with the patriot militiamen commanded by Philip Alston here in 1781. The battle ended with Alston's surrender to Fanning, in which Alston's wife negotiated the terms with the loyalists. Visitors to the home can still see the bullet holes and feel where the bullets marred the wooden frame of the house.

The House in the Horseshoe later became the home of four-term North Carolina governor and prominent statesman Benjamin Williams, where his family from 1798 to 1814. The property is now a museum and acts as the site of Revolutionary War reenactments and living history demonstrations each year.

Jordan Lake Earthcache

Geocaching is a type of international treasure hunt in which participants search for a small container known as a cache using GPS and cellular technology. Earthcaching is twist on traditional geocaching in that the goal is not to find a physical container using modern technology, but a specific geological point of interest instead. Participants looking for earthcaches will discover something about the geology of Jordan Lake itself. Guests are asked not to only search for earthcaches during park hours.

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