Parker's Creek Beach & Playground - Jordan Lake
The beaches aren't just in Wilmington, friends. We've already talked about Seaforth beach over on Jordan Lake. C and I checked it out during the off-season for the blog, but DH and I had been during the summer in the past and enjoyed it. Hence while the pool we joined is closed for repairs right now, we were looking for a way to beat the summer heat and decided to try out another Jordan Lake beach.
This particular day I decided to take C to Parker's Creek. I had read that it was on an inlet completely closed off from boat traffic, and that was appealing. Something about keeping my toddler afloat and heads up while waves roll in makes the beach experience entirely unrelaxing, which defeats part of the point.
Park season has started. Which means that the Jordan Lake beaches and all access areas are fully open and operational; it also means you have to pay to get in. The charge for Parker's Creek is $6 per car.
Parker's Creek beach was really lovely! The beach area itself is smaller than Seaforth, and not as well maintained in that the beach was a lot of hard compacted sand with some tufts of grass. However, since it was a smaller beach I found it wasn't as crowded as Seaforth (of course, we weren't there on a weekend). And really, being closed off from boat traffic was great. It made for a quieter and calmer experience. Always a plus for mom.
There are still yellow barriers to stay within (which of course is way appealing then for toddlers to get outside of) and as with all Jordan Lake beaches there aren't any lifeguards. So bring flotation devices for your kids. There are life jackets available at the beach.
Parker's Creek also had really beautiful picnic benches and shelters. They were shaded, surrounded by Lob lolly pines. Very nice. And the playground structure was pretty new. The playground was designed for ages 5 and up so railings are higher on this and no swings but a tire swing. But it had some shade and is right next to the beach.
One thing to note: this is a public beach. Which means that smoking is allowed on the beach. We didn't have a huge problem with this since we were far from the people who were smoking, but I did see some discarded cigarette butts on the beach. Please, folks, pick up!!
But the water is like bath water right now, and we had fun watching the fish flitting about (yeah, I got nipped once but it's ok, I am a survivor). This was a really relaxing and fun trip for us and I recommend it.
There are permanent bathroom facilities available as well as water fountains. Feel free to bring in a cooler and a picnic lunch, but leave the booze at home.
Parker's Creek area also has camping and some trails (including a children's trail!), but we were here for the beach.
Parker's Creek Beach and Playground
Jordan Lake Map: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jord/pics/parkmap.pdf
Parker's Creek Map: http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/jord/pics/parkerscrk.pdf
"The entrance to Parker's Creek is on US 64. Traveling west on US 64, go over the bridge on Jordan Lake. The entrance is on the right. Traveling east on US 64, the Parkers Creek entrance is the first left after seeing lake."