Jordan Lake State Park: New Hope Overlook

img_2178With Fall in full swing, it’s a great time to do some hiking in Raleigh’s backyard.  Months ago we visited Jordan Lake State Park for some hiking and a picnic and with the leaves changing colors now it’d be a perfect time to go back.   Having survived Profile Trail in western NC we wanted to try one of Jordan Lake’s more challenging trails.  After researching the NC Parks website we decided on the blue trail at New Hope Overlook.   Jordan Lake has several hiking trails across many entrances so be sure to research ahead of time which one to go to.  New Hope Overlook is located off WH Jones Rd and has a cash-only entrance, where the fee is $6/car.

The parking lot at the trail head is shared with the boat ramps, so there should be plenty of parking for all patrons.  Before heading on the trail we scoped out the path again at the on-site map.  Needing to be home for a 1pm naptime we opted for the 2.7 mile Blue trail instead of the 5.4 mile Red trail.  The trail is heavily wooded and follows the perimeter of the lake through much of the trail.  Being so close to the water made for some great photo ops and a chance to see a lot of wildlife, such as ducks, herons, turtles and frogs.  It also gave us a chance to take a few breaks and let Ripken enjoy a cool dip in the water.

img_2183The Blue trail had a moderate difficulty with some gradual hills and tree stumps along the path.  It was well cleared and easy to follow.  It took us about 1.5 hours to finish the hike, making it a great mid-morning outing with Ashley and Ripken.  After the hike we headed over to the shore line near the boat ramps for a yummy picnic lunch.  Unfortunately there weren’t any picnic tables so we roughed it on the shore line.  We all had a great time and can’t wait to head back to Jordan Lake soon for some more hiking and perhaps some camping!  Visit the NC Parks website for more information about the features of Jordan Lake.

Directions from Raleigh: follow 64 west and turn left on Beaver Creek Rd before crossing over Jordan Lake, turn right on Pea Ridge Rd, and then a right on WH Jones Rd.

Thumbs up: scenery, shady trail, clearly marked paths, lake views, moderately challenging trail

Thumbs down: lack of picnic tables near parking lot

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