- Jones Lake State Park covers 2,208 acres including two natural lakes, Jones Lake and Salters Lake. The park's recreational activities center around Jones Lake while Salters Lake is not developed for public use.
Copyright: - North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
Jones Lake State Park
Jones Lake opened in the summer of 1939 as the first state park for blacks and achieved immediate popularity. In later years the park, like all other North Carolina parks, became fully integrated. Besides serving as a source of recreation, the park has played other important roles in the area's history. During W.W.II, it was open only for picnicking and fishing while the area was used by the antiaircraft School from Camp Davis for special training programs. In the spring of 1970, the area achieved prominence when astronomers gathered there to view the total eclipse of the sun.
Park Hours: November-February 8 am-6 pm; March, October 8 am - 7 pm; April, May, September 8 am - 8 pm; June-August 8 am - 9 pm. Office hours: 8 am-5 pm Monday through Friday. Gates will remain locked, except in emergency situations, when the park is not in operation. Please plan accordingly. The park is closed Christmas Day.
Recreation - Swimming and picnicking are the most popular day activities. Swimming is available from Memorial Day through Labor day, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fees apply.
There are a couple self-guided foot trails, which as of this writing, are presently closed due to Hurricane Floyd.
There are over 50 tables and eight grills available for picnicking and a shelter accommodating up to 150 people. The picnic shelter is free of charge unless a reservation is requested. There is a large open area with a volleyball net located near the large picnic shelter in the picnic area.
Twenty single unit campsites, each has a table and a grill. Hookups are not available, but water, flush-type toilets and hot showers are in a centrally located washhouse. Campsites are available on a first-come/first-serve basis. Jones Lake has one primitive group site that can hold a maximum of 20 people. The cost is $1 per person with a minimum charge of $8 a night.
The sandy beach at Jones Lake is ideal for sunbathing and the shallow water is a swimmer's delight. Vending machines and a bathhouse are located nearby.
A pier provides access to the lake and the boathouse. Due to the high level of acidity in Jones Lake, there are relatively few species of fish, but yellow perch, chain pickerel, catfish, chub suckers and blue spotted sunfish exist. Boating and fishing are popular pastimes at Jones Lake. A boat ramp for small craft with motors of 10 HP or less is located at the west side of the picnic area. Canoes and paddle boats may be rented at the boathouse adjacent to the pier.
Jones and Salters lakes, excluding the developed areas, are registered natural areas. These areas are preserved in their natural state for education and scientific research. Contact the park staff to charter an exploration of Jones Lake for your group or class. Environmental Educational Learning Experience (EELE)--A Close Encounter with a Carolina Bay. Grades 6, 7, and 8. Introduces students to the unique geology of a Carolina Bay. Major concepts covered include: physical characteristics of a Carolina bay, water quality, pH, animal adaptations, water testing methods and geomorphology of Carolina bay lakes.
Climate - North Carolina has a temperate climate with mild winters and long fall and spring months. Summers can be hot and humid, especially in the piedmont and coastal plain region, which don't get relief from coastal breezes or higher elevations. The mountains tend to be substantially cooler and receive some winter snow.
In the Piedmont Region, winter daytime temperatures normally range from the upper 30's to the upper 40s. Summer daytime temperatures range from the high 70's to the low 90's. The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 44-52 inches (112-132 centimeters).
Jones Lake State Park is located in Bladen County, four miles south of Elizabethtown on NC 242.