What to do in Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

The New Hope River Valley, now home to the corporate world of Research Triangle Park, has been the site of a broad range of cultures for more than ten thousand years. Archaeologists have explored the remains of 450 prehistoric and historic sites in the area and have uncovered many Indian artifacts. This plot of land was not only settled by Scottish Highlanders in the 1740's, but saw action in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Following a disastrous hurricane, which struck the Cape Fear River Basin in 1945, Congress directed the Army Corps of Engineers to undertake a comprehensive study of water resource needs in the area. The project, then known as New Hope Lake, was authorized in 1963 and construction began in 1967. In 1973, the name of the project was changed to B. Everett Jordan Dam and Lake in honor of the former senator from North Carolina.

Jordan Lake's 46,768 acres are not only a popular source of recreation, but they also provide the water supply for surrounding cities, flood and water quality control and fish and wildlife conservation.

Fishing tournaments are held throughout the year and attract hundreds of fishermen to the bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill waters. The area hosts 24 boat ramps and a marina.

Swimming is available at 3 of the recreation areas while sailing and windsurfing are popular at 2 of the sites.

Camping, picnicking and hiking are also natural attractions.

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area holds the honor of being one of the largest summertime homes of the American bald eagle. The population of eagles in the Jordan Lake area has increased dramatically since the flooding of the reservoir in 1983. Vast undisturbed areas provide the perfect home for the eagle. There is plenty of fish to eat and a mature forest for roosting. The eagles generally congregate at the north end of the lake and can be seen best from the SR 751 bridge crossing Northeast Creek or the Wildlife Resources Commission's Wildlife Observation Deck. The observation deck is located 5 miles south of I-40 on SR 751 or 6.5 miles north of US 64.

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is located in Chatham County, 21 miles southwest of Raleigh off US 64. It can be reached via SR 751 or US 15-501 from Durham and Chapel Hill.

North Carolina has a temperate climate with mild winters and long fall and spring months. Summers can be hot and humid, especially in the piedmont and coastal plain region, which don't get relief from coastal breezes or higher elevations. The mountains tend to be substantially cooler and receive some winter snow.

In the Piedmont Region, winter daytime temperatures normally range from the upper 30's to the upper 40s. Summer daytime temperatures range from the high 70's to the low 90's. The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 44-52 inches (112-132 centimeters).

280 State Park Road
Apex, NC 27502

Phone: 919-362-0586

Fax: 919-362-1621

Email: jordanlake@mindspring.com
  • Jordan Lake State Recreation Area Travel Q&A