Jones Lake State Park
Geobox Protected Area
name = Jones Lake State Park
category_local = North Carolina State Park
category_iucn = III
image_caption = The picnic area with Jones Lake in the background
etymology_type = Named for
country = United States
state = North Carolina
region_type = County
region = Bladen
lat_d = 34
lat_m = 42
lat_s = 30
lat_NS = N
long_d = 78
long_m = 38
long_s = 30
long_EW = W
location_note = [cite web
url = http://www.topoquest.com/map.asp?lon=-78.6417&lat=34.7083&s=50
title = Jones Lake State Park, USGS Dublin (NC) Topo Map
accessdate = 2008-06-30
United States Geological Survey
elevation_imperial = 75
elevation_round = 1
area_unit = acre
area_imperial = 2208
area_round = 1
highest location =
established = 1939
management_body = North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
free_type = Nearest city
Elizabethtown, North Carolina
map_caption = Location of Jones Lake State Park in North Carolina
map_locator = North Carolina
website = [http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jone/main.php Jones Lake State Park]
Jones Lake State Park is a North Carolina state park in Bladen County,
North Carolinain the United Statesin near Elizabethtown. It covers 2,208 acres (9 km²) and includes the natural Carolina baylakes of Jones Lakeand Salters Lake. Jones Lake State Park is north of Elizabethtown on North Carolina Highway 242in North Carolina's Coastal Plain region. The park offers year round recreation including fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, picnicking and environmental and historical education programs.
The area surrounding Jones and Salters Lakes at Jones Lake State Park was settled by migrants for
Europein the late 1720s and early 1730s. Jones Lake was originally known as Woodward Lake a local justice of the peace. It was renamed Jones Lake for Isaac Jones a local land owner who donated the land on which Elizabethtown was built in 1773. Saltes Lake is named for an American Revolutionary War heroine, Sallie Salter. Salter spied on Tories that were camped near Elizabethtown on the Cape Fear River. cite web | url = http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jone/history.php | title = Jones Lake State Park: History | accessdate = 2007-12-05 | publisher = North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources]
The government of the state of North Carolina began to take an interest in Jones and Salters Lakes and other Carolina Bays in the 1800s. The
North Carolina General Assemblyblocked all further private claims on lakes. Soon after, the state assembly pass legislation that granted ownership of all lakes greater than 500 acres (2.02 km²) in Cumberland, Columbus and Bladen Counties to the state. The formation of Jones Lake, Lake Waccamaw and Singletary Lake State Parks can be traced back to this piece of legislation. cite web | url = http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/sila/history.php | title = Singletary Lake State Park: History | accessdate = 2007-12-05 | publisher = North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources]
The growth of the
cotton, turpentineand lumberindustries in the area of Jones Lake State Park eventually was greater than what the soil could support. The fertility of the farmland was depleted and most of the standing timber had been clear cut from Bladen County. The land could no longer support the demands of the people living on the land. Farmers were no longer able to produce sustainable crops and many were forced to leave their farms.
National Park Servicebegan purchasing the land surrounding Jones and Salters Lakes in 1936 for a recreational demonstration project. Out of work young men were employed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was established by United States President Franklin D. Rooseveltin 1933 during the Great Depressionmany of the facilities of Jones Lake State Park. The land was managed by the Resettlement Administrationuntil 1939.
Jones Lake State Park was opened in 1939 during the segregation era as a
state parkfor the use of African Americans. The black communities of southeastern North Carolina used Jones Lake State Park for family reunions, baptisms, and church picnics. A result of racial segregation of the state park systems was that the parks for blacks were left largely underfunded and thereby undeveloped. The area in and surrounded Jones Lake remains largely wild and undeveloped offering visitors a chance to see two Carolina Bays in a nearly natural state. cite web | url = http://org.elon.edu/geo/jones_lake.htm | title = Jones Lake | accessdate = 2007-12-04 | publisher = Elon University]
Jones Lake State Park, like
Singletary Lake State Parkjust convert|13|mi|km to the southeast, was used by soldiers training for World War IIat nearby Camp Davisfor special anti-craft training. The state park also received national attention in 1980 when astronomers gathered at the park to view a solar eclipse.
Jones Lakeis one of a series of Carolina baylakes that stretch from New Jerseyto Floridaalong the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Exactly how the lakes were formed remains a mystery. What is known is that Jones Lake is not fed by any stream but relies entirely upon rain. The land beneath and surrounding the lake is mica-rich sandy clay and sand that is from the Upper Cretaceousera with a thin layer of Pleistocenedeposits covering it. This land is lower than the surrounding land and drains very poorly, creating Jones Lake.
Jones Lake is surrounded by a bay forest. This forest consists primarily of bay trees such as the loblolly, red bay,
pond pineand Atlantic white cedar. The understory consists of huckleberry, leucothoe, gallberryand pepperbush. Turkey Oak, blueberry, hollyand Longleaf pinecan be found at the higher elevations away from the shoreline. cite web | url = http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jone/ecology.php | title = Jones Lake State Park: Ecology | accessdate = 2007-12-05 | publisher = North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources]
The forests of Jones Lake State Park provide a habitat for a variety of animals that are fairly common to an eastern woodland habitat.
Wild Turkey, white-tailed deerand rabbits can be spotted on from time to time. Wood ducks live on the lake. Red-cockaded woodpeckers can be seen in the forest as can red-tailed hawks, Yellow-throated warbler, White-eyed vireoand pileated woodpeckers. Jones Lake State Park is also home to box turtles, fence lizards, Pine barrens tree frog, southern toads, bullfrogs and Carpenter frogs.
This park is also the place where the type specimen of "
Phyllophaga nebulosa", a species of june beetle, was found and is currently the only known location for this species. [Citation| last = Polihronakis| first = Maxi | title = New Beetle Species Found At Jones| newspaper = The Steward| pages = 7| year = 2007| date = August| url = http://www.ncparks.gov/News/newsletter/stewards/August_2007.pdf]
Jones Lake State Park is open for year round recreation including camping, fishing, boating, hiking and enivronmental and historical education. Visitors to the park will find 20 campsites that are open for family camping. The sites are equipped with a
picnic tableand charcoal grill. Hot water showers are available at the park bath house. All campsites are available on a first come first served basis. The campground is closed November through February. cite web | url = http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jone/activities.php | title = Jones Lake State Park: Activities | accessdate = 2007-12-05 | publisher = North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources]
Jones Lake at Jones Lake State Park is open to recreational fishing and boating. All boats must be under convert|10|hp.
Canoes and paddleboats are available to rent at the boathouse Memorial Daythrough Labor Day. The waters of the lake have a high acidity level due to the amount of vegetation that is decomposing and the build up peat on the lake bottom. The acid levels have limited the numbers of fish that inhabit Jones Lake and recreation fishing is in turn limited. Yellow perch, chain pickerel, and catfishcan be caught from the shore, pier and boats.
Bay Lake Trail is a five mile (8.05 km) hiking trail around Jones Lake. It passes through the forests that surround the lake. Side trails lead to the lake where visitors can observe pond cypress trees that are covered in
Spanish Moss. Bay Lake Trail begins at the picnic area and ends at the campground. A one mile (0.6 km) nature trail, the Cedar Loop Trail, passes through the bay forest and over a sand ridge.
Swimming and picnicking are the two most popular recreational activities at Jones Lake State Park. The large picnic area is near the swimming beach. There are 50 picnic tables, eight grills and a large pavilion. The beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Nearby state parks
The following state parks are within convert|30|mi|km|0 of Jones Lake State Park:
Lumber River State Park(Robeson County)
Singletary Lake State Park(Bladen County)
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