Location: The Jordan Lake Vista Point trails are located in the Vista Point recreation area of Jordan Lake. On US 64 on the West side of the lake, turn South on to North Peak Ridge Road and drive approximately 3 miles to the park entrance.
Distance: blue loop: ~2.5 miles red loop: ~3 miles
Don’t go when: If the water levels are above 220 you will have to bushwhack some sections of both trails…
(The GPS tracker I am using tends to underestimate mileage on these kinds of trails, so the mileage on the map above is slightly off.)
Description: There are two loops, a red (~3 miles) and blue (~2.5 miles), which can easily be combined. The terrain in this area of Jordan Lake is quite flat with less than 70 feet of elevation difference throughout the entire trail system.
If you park at the ranger’s office just outside the gate, you can start on the blue trail, which loops around to an old tobacco barn before heading towards the group camp area. Just before the camp area is a large grass field. It is best to hike around this if the grass has not been mowed recently — it can be thick and slow going, and the chiggers are bad in the spring and summer. Just before the grass field the trail is a bit hard to follow as a few blazes are missing, but you can just keep the road on your left and the lake on your right and look towards the field. At the group camp area you have exit the camp area gate and cross the road to hit the red trail.
The red trail is about 3 miles long and first runs out along a long peninsula with views of the wide open area of Jordan Lake, eventually loops near the RV camp sites, before hitting one of the shelters. From the Shelter the trail either heads down to the beach, or you can cut through the parking lot, cross the road, head back towards the park entrance, and pick up the blue loop again at the group camp site. It actually continues when you cross the road but this section is not really maintained and doesn’t really go anywhere except back to the group camp area. I normally just take the road back to the came area instead.
(I’ll try to add more as I go out each time.)
The trail head for the blue trail at the ranger’s office.
The marquee at the trail head.