Jordan Small

Summer Fun at Jordan Lake

Even though it’s not technically summer yet, it sure feels like it! Cool off at Jordan Lake with a series of summer activities, from eagle watching to swimming.

With more than 180 miles of shoreline, Jordan Lake is a prominent feature in Chatham County, sitting right between Pittsboro and Raleigh. It’s primarily fed by the Haw River, which cuts across the eastern half of the county. It’s nearly 16 miles long and five miles across, meaning it will take a long time before you explore the whole thing!

It’s only May, and it looks like we’ve got a hot summer coming. Take advantage of Jordan Lake, and you can enjoy the sunshine while staying cool.


Visitors can bring their own boats and use one of the several launching ramps throughout the park. This includes sailboats; the most popular area for sailing is Vista Point while windsurfers enjoy Ebenezer Church. If you don’t own a boat, just make a stop at Crosswinds Boating Center, which rents kayaks and pontoon boats.

Bald Eagle Watching:

It may take a keen eye, but see if you can spot our national symbol when you visit Jordan Lake. The park is home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the Eastern United States, and these regal birds often fly over the lake in search of fish or other prey. According to Jordan Lake officials, this time of year is actually the best time to look for eagles because they are migrating northward. The best spots to catch a glimpse of the eagles are Vista Point, Ebenezer and Seaforth recreation areas.


No need to limit your time at Jordan Lake to one day. Spend the night (or nights) at one of the many campgrounds in the park. There are more than 1,000 campsites spread throughout the area, conducive to both RV camping and tent camping. If you prefer to “rough it,” Jordan Lake provides 24 Hike In camping sites, about half a mile from the nearest parking lot. But you won’t be too far in the wilderness — all campsites have drinking water and toilets nearby.


Enjoy one of the most popular activities in North Carolina and take advantage of the underwater stumps, logs and rocks that help create the perfect environment for bass, crappie, catfish and pan fish.


There are several trails at Jordan Lake, all suitable for hikers of every ability. If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge, try the New Hope Overlook trail, which has a few steep climbs. Otherwise, take advantage of the other six trails around the park. For details on each trail, visit the park website here.


Take a splash in one of the designated swimming areas, located at Ebenezer Church, Seaforth, Parker’s Creek and White Oak Recreation Areas. The lake temperature is already 73 degrees, and it will only get warmer as the summer progresses.


Don’t forget to bring food along if you plan to spend the whole day at the lake. Ebenezer Church, Parker’s Creek, Seaforth, Vista Point and White Oak Recreation Areas are set up for picnickers, with picnic tables, grills, trash containers and drinking water. All you need to bring is the food!

If you’re familiar with the North Carolina summers, you know that June, July and August are hot! But the hotter the weather, the better the water will feel! Because Jordan Lake is so large, you’ll never be more than an hour away if you live in Chatham County — which means you’ll always be near some of the best summer fun around. My idea of the perfect trip? Hiking in the morning, stopping for a picnic at lunch, boating in the afternoon, and ending with a quick swim. Usually, along the way, I’ll catch a glimpse of those beautiful eagles!