Description - Venture to Jones Lake State Park and view one of the greatest geological mysteries of the eastern United States—the phenomenon of the Carolina bays. Adjacent to the Bladen Lakes State Forest and home of two natural lakes, Jones and Salters lakes, the 2,208-acre park is a nature lover's delight. Peaceful surroundings and a variety of facilities, including a trail with several outlooks that circles Jones Lake, make this state park a favorite for hiking, picnicking, swimming, fishing and camping.
- Jones Lake State Park has 20 campsites for family camping. Each wooded site is equipped with a picnic table and grill. Drinking water and restrooms with showers are located nearby. One site has electrical and water hookups and is available for both tents and recreational vehicles. However, the park does not offer a dump station for recreational vehicles. Campsites are available on a first-come basis. The park campground is open March 15 through November.
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 from Memorial Day through Labor Day at the boathouse adjacent to the pier.
Recreation - Lake Trail is a three-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.
Take advantage of 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 charged for swimming from Memorial Day through Labor Day. A concession stand and bathhouse are located nearby. A pier provides access for swimming and rental boats.
Jones Lake State Park is located in Bladen County, four miles north of Elizabethtown on Highway 242.
To reach the park from Wilmington, drive west on US 74/76. Turn right onto NC 87 and travel north toward Elizabethtown. Turn right onto NC 87 Business. At the second light, turn right onto US 701. Travel north for one mile and take a left onto NC 53. Take an immediate right onto NC 242. Drive north for two miles. The park entrance, indicated by a large sign, will be on the left.
To arrive at Jones Lake from Fayetteville, drive east on NC 53 for approximately 40 miles, take a left onto NC 242 and travel north. The park entrance, marked with a large sign, is two miles on the left.