I didn't plan for my girls to go swimming when we headed over to Jordan Lake in Chatham County the other week.
The plan was to walk a trail, have a picnic at the beach and go on our way. But the trail was closed the day we visited and now I had a couple of hours to kill. We headed over to the beach. I intended for the girls to play on the playground and wade in the waters of Jordan Lake.
But it was hot, there were other kids swimming in the lake. I told them to go for it ... fully dressed. They had a blast (and, thankfully, I had packed extra sets of clothes just in case they fell in while wading).
Disclosure here: I've never been a fan of swimming in lakes ever since my older cousins scared us younger kids about tales of leeches and other water creatures at my grandparents' lake house in Indiana. But I've worked hard not to pass my heebie jeebies on to my kids though they likely noticed that I barely got my feet wet.
Seaforth, a very popular beach especially on the weekends, was very clean when we were there on a recent Monday. The long beach was dotted with groups of moms with their young children, who came with floaties and sand toys and beach chairs and were having a blast. Destination: Seaforth at Jordan Lake
You'll find life jackets on the beach for those who aren't strong swimmers. There are no lifeguards here.
Between the beach and the parking lot, is a grass lawn, along with a nice playground and sand volleyball court. Bathrooms, changing rooms and outdoor showers sit right next to the playground. And there is a nice, shady forested area with picnic tables scattered about. You'll also find picnic shelters here.
We didn't tackle the Pond Trail, a 1.5 mile hike. But you can pick that up by the display case on the western side of the beach parking lot. The trail ends near a picnic shelter and takes you through a loblolly pine forest, an old field and three ponds. There's also a boardwalk that cuts across a wetland, according to Jordan Lake's website.
The Seaforth recreation area sits off U.S. 64. Jordan Lake, of course, offers other day use and camping sites. Check its website for all of the details and a map. Jordan Lake is a state park.
You'll need to pay $6 per car in order to enter the recreation area, but once you do, your receipt will get you into other areas of the lake that day. I do recommend a trip over to the Jordan Lake visitors center where they have a small building with an exhibit about the lake. The visitors center is free.
For a closer look at the playground and beach, watch the quick video.