Jones Lake Trail is a 3.5 mile loop trail located near Elizabethtown, NC that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and off road driving and is accessible year-round.
off road driving
Directions from Elizabethtown, NC: Jones Lake State Park is located in Bladen County, four miles south of Elizabethtown on NC 242. After passing the park entrance, park in the mail parking lot. The trail begins along the lake behind the picnic shelter.
Great loop trail. Well-marked, not a lot of foot traffic on a week-day afternoon. Loved walking between different mini ecosystems, from wetlands to sandhills forest. Saw some neat birds, amphibians and plants!
4.5 mile loop trail around Jones Lake. Well maintained trail, and you pass through a variety of ecosystems, which is nice, but unfortunately more than half the hike is just walking along the access roads. There are a few lookouts onto Jones Lake, but there really isn't much to see - and most of the trail is around the Carolina Bay, so the lake is quite far from the trail. Saw only 3 other people during the entire walk so it is definitely secluded which is a plus. Bring bug spray.
Beautiful little hidden treasure. I wore my garmin throughout and measured the trail to be 4 miles. Very easy walking, and even running, trail. Flat, well marked with lots to see. The views of the bay are only at the beginning and the end of the trail, but they are beautiful. There are several lookouts along the trail around the bay that have a bench for you to sit and enjoy the view. Miles 1, 2, and 3 are marked when walking clockwise along the trail (I didn't look behind me). Even the service road portion is nice. Not much foot traffic in January. I plan to visit again. -uploaded several pictures and my garmin track
Great view on the lake, but you will not see much of it from the trail. A large portion of the trail is service roads of the state park, which are not as nice as the rest of the trail. Different maps say different lengths of the trail, but this 3.5 to 4 mile trail can be extended by takinghe trail half way through to go around another lake... maybe next time.