We have been working towards our goal of visiting all 41 North Carolina State Parks. As Labor day weekend approached, we debated whether or not we wanted to go camping. The thought of a campground full of drunken campers was not very appealing so we decided not to. Instead we decided just to do a day trip to Jones Lake State Park. The drive wasn’t bad, taking us through some very rural areas of Eastern North Carolina.
Upon arriving, we found the park mostly empty. There is a small swimming area, visitors center, boat house, camping area, picnic area, and a variety of trails in the park. After a quick tour of the visitor’s center, we made our way to Jones Lake. This lake is one of the Carolina Bays. How these lakes were created remains a mystery to this day. The water is an odd maroon color and is highly acidic.
Cedar Loop Trail is one mile round-trip, traveling through the Bay Forest. Along the way we saw a few birds and some remarkably large Cedar trees. We chose this trail as it was already mid-day and very hot and humid. Had it been a bit cooler we would have liked to try the four mile Bay Trail. After our hike, we took a quick tour of the campground and found it surprisingly empty. Overall we really enjoyed our time at Jones Lake and definitely hope to return in the future!