New Adventures at Jordan Lake

We’ve been to Jordan Lake multiple times (one day I’ll count). This time we tried something new and found kid-friendly and dog-friendly hiking options less than seven miles from the campground.

Where We Stayed

We love staying at Poplar Point Campground at Jordan Lake. The sites are large and there is plenty of shade. At this specific site, there are no neighbors behind us; just a trail through the woods, but it’s far enough away from the site that it’s not an issue at all. The only downside is there is quite a bit of plane noise since we’re near RDU airport.

Campground NamePoplar Point Campground
LocationApex, NC
DatesMay 10-12, 2024
Site NumberSite F49
Site SurfaceGravel
Hook-upsWater + 50-amp electric
Cost$36 per night (including taxes and fees)
Water Pressure50-60 psi
AT&T Speed Test4 Mbps down; 0.5 Mbps up
Verizon Speed Test1 Mbps down; 1 Mbps up
T-Mobile Speed Test61 Mbps down; 53 Mbps up
Campground WiFiNone

We have big Jordan Lake news from this trip! The trash cans are back! They were removed during the pandemic and still weren’t back the last time we camped here. Now, there are two trash cans every few sites.

What We Did

Jordan Lake Educational State Forest

The Jordan Lake Education State Forest is a great place to visit when you’re camping at Poplar Point Campground! I can’t believe we’ve never been here before. It’s less than seven miles away. There are plenty of trails and they vary in length, so you can do as much or as little as you like. There are several picnic shelters and lots of individual picnic tables, so consider bringing a snack or lunch with you.

Educational State Forest Travel Tip

Pay attention to the hours. The park is gated, and the gates are locked outside of open hours.

Note that their park map leaves something to be desired. The trail distances on the map differ from the distances listed at the start of each trail. Also, some trails don’t appear on the map as they do in person. My advice would be to embrace your adventurous spirit and go with the flow while you’re there.

In case it helps, the Demo Trail, Talking Tree Trail, and Bottomlands Trails are near the parking lot and training center. The Wildlife Trail is near the helicopter. We chose to take the Wildlife Trail and the Talking Tree Trail. The Demo Trail sounded interesting but was a little longer than we thought we could manage that day.

Forest Service equipment

Near the Stanford Training Center, you’ll find a Forest Service helicopter and some other large pieces of equipment on display. You’re not allowed to climb on or sit in them, but they’re still pretty cool to see.

Talking Tree Trail

The Talking Tree Trail is a half-mile gravel trail. Along the way, look for posts about four feet high with a drawing of a smiling tree. Push the button on the post to begin a recording about a nearby tree, designated by a red Forest Service sign.

One of the trees mentioned on the trail is the hickory tree. The recording talked about identifying it by its long shaggy strips of bark. I had never heard about that, but I looked up and there it was!


We saw a lot of wildlife this weekend. Unfortunately, I was only about to get photos of a few of them.

I did not get photos of the osprey we saw on the way to the educational forest or the wood duck we saw fly out of a nest box.

I did get photos of several spiders around the campground. We also found a lizard and a turtle at the educational forest.

Happy travels!

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