Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jordan Lake Hiking-New Hope Overlook

What it is:  So, the weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend, and it was our first real taste of spring.  We really wanted to get our little family out for a hike.  Instead of heading north to the Eno River which is one of our favorite haunts, we headed south to Jordan Lake.  This great hiking location was actually a pretty lucky find.  It was a recommendation from a park ranger that we just happened to meet along the way. 

New Hope Overlook is a section of Jordan Lake just around the corner from Ebenezer Church Recreation Area.  There are actually two fairly long trails (about 3 and 5 miles), a boat ramp, and a campground.  You pay six dollars to enter the area during the busy season (details below).  However, when we headed over in early March it was free.  While the entirety of either of the trails there would be too long for my boys' little legs, we found a great short route with an absolutely awesome view.

What we did is head over to park at parking area A.  From there we walked a few hundred yards back down the road until one of the trails crossed over the road.  We headed left on the trail and walked on a great path through the woods for about .25 miles.  Then, we followed the obvious signs for the overlook.  We came out of the woods, and there was a little clay beach and a beautiful overlook of the lake.  There was just enough room for us to wander around, play at the shoreline, skip rocks, watch boats, and have a great time.  The boys loved it and didn't want to leave.  

It was the perfect distance hike for my little ones, and it definitely made us want to head out on more hikes as the spring continues.  There's a campground at that area, and I thought it might be fun to head back for an overnight camping trip sometime soon.

What we liked: The overlook was absolutely beautiful, fun, and definitely worth the trip.  The hike was the right distance for us.  Make sure you look at the map, so you can find the route that we took to the overlook before you head out.

What we would change:  As we said earlier, it does cost $6 to park there during busy season, but that we a perfectly reasonable price to pay for our lovely morning hiking.  The overlook area's clay dirt is slippery and it's not a large area, so watch your munchkins to make sure they don't fall in!

Website and other important information:

Website: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jord/pics/newhope.pdf

Hours: May, June, July, August: 8am to 9pm
September, October, March, April: 8am to 8pm
November, December, January, February: 8am to 6pm
Parking fee information Charged daily $6 from Memorial Day through Labor Day; charged on weekends and holidays in April, May and September

Address and directions New Hope Overlook From US 64, turn south on Beaver Creek Road/SR1008 and continue for three miles. Turn right onto Pea Ridge Road and continue for 2.2 miles. Turn right onto W. H. Jones Rd., continue .1 miles to park entrance.


(hiking through the woods...can you see the lake through the trees?)

(view from the overlook)

(another beautiful view)

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