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Jones Lake State Park
113 Jones Lake Drive
Elizabethtown, NC 28337
(910) 588-4550
Park Description
Venture to Jones Lake State Park and view one of the greatest geological mysteries of the eastern United Statesthe phenomenon of the Carolina bays. Adjacent to the Bladen Lakes State Forest and home of two natural lakes, Jones and Salters lakes, the 2,208-acre park is a nature lover's delight. Peaceful surroundings and a variety of facilities, including a trail with several outlooks that circles Jones Lake, make this state park a favorite for hiking, picnicking, swimming, fishing and camping.

Park hours November-February, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. March and October, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. April, May, September, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. June-August, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Christmas Day

Park office hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays Closed state holidays

Boating and fishing Boating and fishing are popular pastimes at Jones Lake. A road to the lake for small craft is located at the west side of the picnic area. The access road ends at the lakeshore, and only motors that are 10 horsepower and under are allowed on the lake. Canoes and paddleboats may be rented from Memorial Day through Labor Day at the boathouse adjacent to the pier. Salters Lake is undeveloped, and permission to use the lake must be obtained from park staff.

Few fish species are present due to the water's acidity. Yellow perch are the most abundant; chain pickerel, catfish, chub suckers and blue-spotted sunfish also occupy the lakes. Pier fishing is allowed only from the lake trail access points.

Camping Jones Lake State Park has 20 campsites for family camping. Each wooded site is equipped with a picnic table and grill. Drinking water and restrooms with showers are located nearby. One site has electrical and water hookups and is available for both tents and recreational vehicles. However, the park does not offer a dump station for recreational vehicles. Campsites are available on a first-come basis. The park campground is open year-round except Christmas.

Group camping: A primitive group campsite, available for organized groups, is open year round. The site includes a fire circle and grill, picnic tables, benches and a pit toilet. Water is also available. The site is available by reservation only, and reservations must be made at least one week in advance. No more than 20 people can occupy the site.

Education and events Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Jones Lake State Park.

To arrange a special exploration of Jones Lake State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.

Educational materials about Jones Lake State Park have been developed for grades 6-8 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Jones Lake program introduces students to the unique geology of Carolina bays. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.

Hiking Lake Trail is a three-mile loop around Jones Lake, offering an excellent chance to experience the habitats of a Carolina bay. Wander through dense vegetation and over boggy soil to view lovely lakeside flora. Large pond cypress trees, draped with Spanish moss, line the shore and grow in the shallow water. Leatherwood plants with delicate white flowers, also called titi, overhang the water's edge. Several short side-trails lead to the lake, allowing hikers a chance to catch their breath while viewing the vista across the lake. Begin Lake Trail at the picnic area or campground. For trail interpretation, contact park staff.

The park also has a one-mile nature trail. The loop journeys through both the bay forest and sand ridge communities.

Picnicking A picnic is a great way to enjoy a day out-of-doors. More than 50 tables and eight grills are available at the picnic grounds. A grassy area, also available for picnicking, is adjacent to the beach where the shade of pine and cypress trees promises respite from the sun. The covered picnic shelter, perfect for a large gathering, will accommodate up to 150 people. Use of the picnic shelter is free of charge unless reservations are requested.

Swimming Take advantage of the aquatic activities offered by this cool, tea-colored lake. The sandy beach of Jones Lake is ideal for sunbathing, and the shallow water is a swimmer's delight. A fee is charged for swimming from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A concession stand and bathhouse are located nearby. A pier provides access for swimming and rental boats.

Fees: Fee structure not known
No Metro Region listed. Park Management: State

Restrooms   BBQ Grill   Benches   Boat Ramp   Camping: RVs   Camping: Tents   Fishing   Trails, Natural Surface   Open Space   Parking   Picnic Tables   Pond/Stream/Lake   Scenic Views   Shelter/Pavillion   Showers / Locker Room   Swimming-Nature   Water Fountain   Wildlife Viewing