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Jones Lake State Park is comprised of 2,208 acres, which include Jones Lake at 224 acres and Salters Lake at 315 acres. Established in 1939, Jones Lake is one of the oldest state parks in North Carolina. Both Jones and Salters lakes are Carolina Bays.
Natural Features
Concentrated in the coastal plain of the southeastern United States is a series of 50,000 elliptical depressions. These depressions are called bays, so named for the sweet bay, loblolly bay and red bay trees found growing around them. Few bays are more than 500 feet in length, but the Jones Lake bay is approximately 8,000 feet long. In the past, nearly all bays contained open water. Today, most bays are filled with we, organic soils and overgrown with swamp-type vegetation. Only a few relict lakes remain.
Picnicking: 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 in the shade of pine and cypress trees. The covered picnic shelter will accommodate up to 100 people. Trails: Bay Trail is a four-mile loop around Jones Lake, offering an excellent chance to experience the habitats of a Carolina Bay. Begin Bay Trail a the picnic area or campground. Cedar Loop Trial is 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. Boating and Fishing: These are both popular pastimes at Jones Lake. A road to the lake for small craft is located at the west side of the picnic area. Only motors that are 10 horsepower and under are allowed on the lake. Canoes and paddleboats may be rented from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Vehicular access to Salters Lake requires a permit issued by park staff. Few fish species are present due to the water's acidity. Yellow perch are the most abundant. Swimming: The sandy beach of Jones Lake is ideal for sunbathing and the shallow water is a swimmer's delight. Swimming is permitted only in the designated swim area. A bathhouse is located nearby and a concession is operated from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Picnic Shelters

Unreserved picnic shelters are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. However, the shelters are very popular, so reservations are strongly suggested.

The picnic shelter accommodates up to 100 people. Water, restrooms, concession stand, volleyball court, swimming canoeing, and boating are nearby. The shelter is handicap accessible.

Confetti is prohibited at all shelters and in the picnic area in an effort to protect our natural resources.


The auditorium is located in the visitor center and accommodates up to 50 people. Exhibits, classroom, drinking water and restrooms are nearby. The building is handicap accessible. Reservations are required; please contact the park.


The classroom is located in the visitor center and accommodates up to 35 people. Exhibits, auditorium, drinking water and restrooms are nearby. The building is handicap accessible. Reservations are required; please contact the park.


The front gate is closed and locked at posted closing times for your protection. There will be no exiting or entering the gate after this time and the combination will NOT be given out. All visitors not spending the night will need to be out by closing time. If you leave the park and do not return before closing time, you will not be able to re-enter. If you have an emergency, see camp host. Please notify camp hosts for emergencies only.
A secondary entrance is open, after park hours, for access into and out of the campground. Additional information is provided during check in.

Jones Lake State Park camping trips are easy to plan with ReserveAmerica. Jones Lake State Park campground reservations can be made online. Click one of the links below to see available campsites at Jones Lake State Park or day pass availability.