Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Talking Trees Trail at Jordan Lake

A post today from new blogger Marney. I remember doing the Talking Trees with DH years before C came along and enjoying it as an adult. Sounds even better with kids! Thanks for the post Marney.

Hiking is a favorite activity for my family but it can sometimes be challenging to keep my kids interested enough to keep walking. So, I was extremely excited when we discovered a short hike at Jordan Lake called the Talking Tree Trail. The trail is a ¾ mile loop that has “talking trees” or 7 stations, each one with a recorded message about the history and area surrounding the trees.

The trail is part of NC Educational State Forests (ESFs) System which was designed to teach the public - especially school children - about the forest environment. Jordan Lake in Chatham County is one of the newest members.

I decided to invite my mom’s group for a weekday lunch and hike. W
e met at the picnic shelter located next to the trail. It’s a really nice place to have lunch; spacious enough for a group of kids to run around with 10 tables, a fireplace, electricity and water. Neighbors of mine actually had their Easter dinner there last year and of course it would make a great place for a kid’s party.

After lunch we headed out on the trail for some exercise and to learn about the trees. The kids loved the trail, so much so that we had difficulty keeping the
m from running from tree to tree. Their favorite part was pushing the button to make the trees talk. They actually listened and picked up at least one fact after hearing it a few times. The hike took us less than an hour and it was nice to end up right back at our car.

This path is stroller friendly, which is a nice addition. Also, there are many other trails in the area, so be sure to check out the trail map (see link below) to plan a whole day of hiking if you wish.

The bathrooms are also really nice and clean which is always helpful when you have a 1 yr old (B) that likes to lick the floor (I know, ick!). I recommend you have your kids where long pants and shirts to prevent ticks. S had one that I discovered that night in the bathtub, luckily it came right off (ick again).

If you have extra time there is a really cool yellow helicopter belonging to the Forest Service and a piece of forestry equipment to visit. You can easily walk from the parking area or drive by on your way out. The kids loved looking at all the dashboard in the helicopter and they can actually climb and sit inside the forest equipment.

Be sure to check the website for hours of operation, trail map and location map and have fun!

Jordan Lake Educational State Forest: Talking Tree Trail

3832 Big Woods Rd

Chapel Hill, NC


To get there: take Big Woods Road (a left hand turn off of Jack Bennett). Go approximately 3 miles. There is a sign that says Educational State park on the left, so turn in there to enter the park.



At August 18, 2010 at 10:45 AM , Blogger HeatherV said...

I had no idea this existed at Jordan Lake! Thanks for passing along. The helicopter alone would excite my 4 YO.

At August 18, 2010 at 12:30 PM , Anonymous Cate said...

Cool! I didn't know about this either. Thanks for posting. . .

At August 18, 2010 at 2:55 PM , Blogger Jill said...


At January 30, 2011 at 10:10 PM , Anonymous Laura said...

Was so excited to try this out on a spring-like day in January! Would have helped if I had looked at the details on the Jordan Lake website and noted that this is seasonal (not to mention that they have really late weekend hours?!?). Oh well, now we know where it's located and all was not lost, we had a lot of fun at Southern Community Park + picnic.

At January 31, 2011 at 7:22 AM , Blogger chapelhillmom said...

Laura I think we had the same day. I tried to get over to a park at Jordan Lake (Parker's Creek) and was stymied too! It didn't even occur to me that so much of Jordan Lake would be seasonal. Then ended up Southern Community Park....wonder if we were there at the same time?

And thanks for the clarifying post. Everyone should know that Jordan Lake parks, outside of Seaforth & Crosswinds, generally close to the public in the off-season. Don't make the same mistake!

At January 31, 2011 at 10:34 AM , Anonymous Laura R said...

Too funny! We were at So. Comm Park late morning and through lunch with the boys and our two dogs (tied outside the fence). The doggies got lots of love from kids which I guess made up for their lack of a walk at Jordan Lake.

I was surprised too that so much was closed. Maybe Falls Lake will have more open at this time of year.


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