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. The Jordan Lake State Recreation Area resides along a large reservoir in what was once farming land in Wake and Chatham counties. Guests to the area will find more than 1,000 campsites spread among five of the access areas. Campgrounds in the recreation area can accommodate RV’s up to 125 feet in length. The campgrounds in the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area offer a variety of outdoor lodging options. The Jordan Lake Recreation Area maintains campsites with RV hookups, primitive tent camping areas, and group camp sites.
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area offers a variety of outdoor activities. There are seven swim beaches maintained within the recreation area. Guests will also find several boat ramps. It should be noted that some swimming areas and boat ramps are reserved for campers only, so please be mindful of this before proceeding into a beach or boating area. The state 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. Expect to see bald eagles and osprey as well as squirrels, rabbits, deer, and turtles. This is the largest summertime home of the bald eagle in the Eastern United States.
RV Rentals in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
Transportation in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
The park's address is:
Jordan Lake State Rec Area
280 State Park Rd
Apex NC 27523
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is easily reached. The recreation area has access points along US1/ US-64 between Pittsboro and Apex. Guests traveling west or east on I-40 from Raleigh, will exit onto US 1/US 64 west (exit 293A, Sanford/Asheboro). Take the US 64 exit (exit 98B) and travel west. The park office is on the left just before the bridge over Jordan Lake.
Traveling east on I-40 from Greensboro, guests will take exit 274, NC 751/Jordan Lake. Travel south on 751 and turn right onto US 64 to travel west. The park office is on the left just before the bridge over Jordan Lake.
Guests to the Jordan Lake Recreation Area will find ample parking. There is designated parking in each of the nine access areas.
There is no access to public transportation within the Jordan Lake Recreation Area.
Campgrounds and parking in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
Campsites in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
The Crosswinds Campground is located on the Eastern shore of Lake Jordan and is close to the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Office. Crosswinds Campground offers 182 campsites for both recreational vehicles and tent camping. RV’s up to 121 feet in length can be accommodated here. 134 camp sites within Crosswinds Campground provide 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.
Crosswinds is a great campground for lake lovers. Guests to this campground are invited to relax in the dappled afternoon shade and relax at the sandy beach. The campground is surrounded by mature forest and is heavily populated by native wildlife. 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 maintains hiking trails here as well.
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. Once guests have reached the 14-day limit, they must vacate the park for 16 nights before returning.
Parker's Creek Campground
Parker’s Creek Campground is located on the Western shore of Jordan Lake. Parker’s Creek Campground offers 250 sites for RV and tent camping. 120 sites within Parker's Creek have water and electric hookups. RV’s up to 116 feet in length can be accommodated in Parker's Creek. Each site contains a picnic table, grill and lantern holder. The campground maintains hot showers, restrooms, trash containers, and a dump station in a convenient location. Guests to this campground will find an amphitheater, a sandy swimming beach, easy meandering hiking trails, and a picnic shelter nestled among the mature largely pine wood forest.
This popular space offers campers a sandy beach for relaxing and cooling off in the warm summer months. The forested surroundings provide a mix of sun and shade for an afternoon picnic.
A boat ramp, available for campers, provides easy access to the waters of Jordan Lake. Parker’s Creek campground maintains a one and a half-mile hiking trail and a half-mile children’s nature trail. Guests will frequently site native wildlife and catch a cool breeze coming off the lake in summer months in this area.
Large picnic shelters are available for rent at Parker’s Creek. Each shelter features picnic tables, fireplace, charcoal grill and electricity. Shelters can be reserved and are available on a first come basis if not reserved.
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 returning.
Seasonal activities in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
With its sun dappled hiking trails, Jordan Lake invites guests to meander through tranquil forest paths and commune with nature. You can choose from a variety of trails. These include:
The Children’s Trail in the Parker's Creek access area. This is an easy half-mile loop trail that begins at Picnic Shelter #3. Guests choosing this trail will enjoy note long boardwalk and an old farm pond. This is the best trail for spotting old tobacco rows, the last hints of the farm fields of the past. Spring hikers may notice Jack-in-the-Pulpit flowering along the trail.
Alternatively, there's the Ebenezer Church Old Oak Trail in the Ebenezer Church Recreation Area. The trailhead is at Area A across from shelter #8. The Old Oak Trail is an easy one-mile sand and gravel loop trail beginning at the parking lot in the Ebenezer Picnic Area 1. Guests can cut this trail into two half-mile trails by taking the shortcut loop. The half-mile trails are more suitable for small children. Expect to find large hollow oaks, two ponds, fence-rows, and remnants of the farms that once filled this area.
Guests to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area will find the Ebenezer Church Trail in the Ebenezer Church Recreation Area. The trailhead is located in the southeast corner of the beach parking lot. This easy one-mile trail passes the site of the historic Ebenezer Church. This trail offers interpretive display marker at this location. Guests that choose this gravel trail will follow an abandoned roadbed and traverse a large farm pond.
There's also the Jordan Lake Trail/Seaforth Pond Trail in the Seaforth access area. It's an easy sand and gravel one-mile trail. The path begins at the display case on the western side of the beach parking lot and ends near the picnic shelter #9. Those that choose this trail will enjoy glimpses of the lake while walking through Loblolly Pine forests, hardwood forests, and an old field. Wind your way past three ponds on this trail and encounter a long boardwalk traversing a wetland teaming with Buttonbush and Black Needle Rush.
Those with an interest in boating and water recreation will be excited to find that the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area maintains boat-launching ramps. This provides easy entry onto the water. Note that 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 boat ramps while 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.
Boaters should be cautious of underwater hazards such as stumps, logs and rocks.
Guests to the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area can test their sailing skills. Vista Point is the most popular site for sailing, but windsurfers tend to prefer Ebenezer Church area.
Those without a boat of their own may wish to rent a boat from nearby, privately-owned Crosswinds Boating Center. Guests will find kayaks and pontoon boats for rent here.
Anglers will find the reservoir an exceptional place for fishing. Bass and crappie dominate the attention of anglers at Jordan Lake. This 14,000-acre reservoir in the north-central part of North Carolina boasts a mixed variety of fish species. Fishermen in the area will often catch sunfish, striped bass, white bass, and catfish. The reservoir offers approximately 180 miles of shoreline and provides plenty of fishing opportunities. Guests to the area enjoy fishing from kayak, boat, and canoe as well as shoreline fishing. The reservoir supports a healthy supply of fish with its abundant aquatic vegetation. Guests to the area will find a variety of marinas, campgrounds, eateries, lodging, and stores here. Guests will find boat rentals available on the lake and as well as public boat ramps for launching private watercraft.
The Chatham County Historical Association Museum
Guests to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area with an interest in history and local culture may be interested in the Chatham County Historical Association Museum. The museum, housed in the historic Chatham County Courthouse, offers guided tours: Wed – Fri, 11 am to 4 pm.
See photographs and artifacts from the historical association’s collection. In the Chatham Historical Museum exhibit room, located on the first-floor, guests will notice a time line along the west wall. This timeline starts before European settlement and progresses through colonial times, the early 1800s, the Civil War, recovery and industrial innovations, to modern changes.
The north wall within this room, features an exhibit on the people of the county. This space offers voice to an early settler, a woman, and an African-American individual. Here guests will hear these individuals speak about their roles in history.
The east wall of the room offers stories related to Chatham County schools, churches, and country stores. This space serves to weave a tale of the social fabric of the county.
The House in the Horseshoe
Those with an interest in history will find the House in the Horseshoe in Carthage, North Carolina an interesting peak back in time. The House in the Horseshoe, also known as the Alston House, is a historic house in nearby Moore County. This historic site is managed by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources' Historic Sites division. The 1772 House in the Horseshoe was built by Philip Alston. It was the scene of a Whig/Tory conflict during the American Revolution. Loyalists commanded by 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 was later home of four-term North Carolina governor and prominent statesman Benjamin Williams from 1798 to 1814. With the labor of enslaved workers, Williams raised 300-acres of cotton here annually. This property became a North Carolina Historic Site in 1971. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The property is now a museum and acts as the site of Revolutionary War reenactments and living history demonstrations each year.
Jordan Lake Earthcache
Guests to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area with an interest in geocaching may want to try their hand at the Jordan Lake Earthcache. This is a twist on traditional geocaching as there is no physical cache to locate. .
Guests are asked not to search for the earthcache except during park hours. Park hours are: Thanksgiving through January 30
Monday - Friday 9-5
February 1 until Thanksgiving
Monday - Friday 9-5
Saturday- Sunday 11- Sunset
Earthcaches have no hidden box or cache to find. Instead, guests searching for this earthcache are asked to discover something about the geology of Jordan Lake. For more information guests can go to earthcache.org.