Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

Jordan Lake, a 14,000-acre reservoir, is one of the most visited state parks in North Carolina. The park has nine access areas, more than 1,000 campsites, seven beaches for swimming, picnic shelters and 14 miles of hiking trails. Home to bald eagles and osprey, visitors enjoy birdwatching and other wildlife year-round. Each recreation area has boat-launching ramps, including two 24-hour ramps. The park is open every day of the year except Christmas.

In addition to fishing, a popular sport on the lake, adjacent land serves as public game land regulated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

The lake is fed by the Haw River, and when discharged at the B. Everett Jordan Dam, the water joins the Deep River to form the Cape Fear River, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean south of Wilmington.

River Activities

Chatham County has three rivers: the Haw, Deep and Rocky. The rivers and surrounding scenic land are enjoyed by those who like to paddle, hike, fish, picnic and enjoy the water. The Haw and the Deep rivers are particularly popular for recreation, with many public access points and natural areas. The rivers are important water sources for Chatham County and its towns. All three rivers eventually join in southeast Chatham County to create the Cape Fear River. Paddlers can ride the 200-mile Cape Fear all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

Parks, Greenways & Bike Trails

Chatham County is home to hundreds of acres of parks and public greenways. The American Tobacco Trail, a 22-mile rails-to-trail greenway, has 4.5 miles in northeast Chatham County. The trail connects to systems in Durham and Wake Counties. Chatham County Parks & Recreation manages four parks throughout the county, featuring walking trails, sports fields and courts and other amenities. The Town of Siler City Parks & Recreation maintains six parks, two gyms, a community center and a greenway. The Town of Pittsboro Parks & Recreation has six parks, including a disc golf course, a community house and a greenway.

Cyclists can enjoy hundreds of miles of designated bicycle routes, including loops beginning and ending in the same location. View the Chatham County bike loop map created by the Chatham County Transportation Advisory Committee, which includes North Carolina Department of Transportation bike routes.


Chatham County, Siler City and Goldston offer various sports leagues. There are also independent sports leagues and private gym facilities for residents to enjoy.

Golfers can take advantage of several highly acclaimed golf courses in Chatham County, including the Jack Nicklaus-designed Governors Club Golf Course and the highly exclusive Old Chatham Golf Club. Pinehurst Resort, a historic golf resort that hosts prestigious tournaments, is located a short drive away in Pinehurst.

Spectators have many opportunities too. College rivalries are fierce with three top NCAA Division 1 universities within an hour's drive, where each school has won multiple national titles in various sports. The Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) are based in Raleigh, as is the North Carolina Football Club (NASL), a professional soccer league in Cary. Baseball lovers enjoy the Durham Bulls, a Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.