Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
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 at the boathouse adjacent to the pier from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day when lifeguards are on duty. 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: Each of the 20 wooded campsites is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring/grill. Drinking water and a bathhouse are located nearby. One site has electrical and water hookups. However, the park does not offer a dump station for recreational vehicles. Reservations are suggested but campsites are available on a first-come first-served basis if not reserved.
Group camping: A primitive group campsite, available for organized groups, is open year-round. It includes a fire ring/grill, picnic tables, and benches. A bathhouse is located nearby. Available by reservation only and reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. No more than 35 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: Bay Trail is a four-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 Bay Trail at the picnic area or campground. Contact park staff for trail interpretation.
Cedar Loop Trail offers a one-mile journey through both the bay forest and sand ridge communities. Salters Lake Trail is a one mile, one way trail that connects the Bay Trail to Salters Lake. The trail passes through bay forest as well as sand ridge communities and ends at the shore of Salters Lake.
Picnicking: A picnic is a great way to enjoy a day out-of-doors. More than 50 tables and 15 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 100 people. Use of the picnic shelter is free of charge unless reservations are requested.
Swimming: Enjoy 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 charge for swimming from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day when lifeguards are on duty. A concession stand and bathhouse are located nearby.