Thu, Dec 28, 10am – 11am
Explore the northern portion of the lake with a ranger, a great area to observe Bald Eagles, winter birds, and water fowl. The deck is located approximately 150 yards from the gravel parking lot. Please dress for the weather; it’s often colder on the deck. Start location: Observation Deck off Marthas Chapel Rd.
Fri, Dec 29, 10am – 11am
Great time of year to view migratory waterfowl that make the lake their home for the winter. The outing will focus on the middle and the southern areas of the lake. Join a ranger for a causal look at waterfowl, eagles, and brief talk of the history of the lake. Location will be near the volleyball court. Start location: Ebenezer Day Use Area
Jan 1, 9am – 11am
First Day Hike
Start the first day of the year with a ranger walking at New Hope Overlook. Hike the Blue Loop Trail, which is 2.7 miles long and is a challenging trail with several steep hills, sweeping views of the lake, mature hardwood forests, groves of mountain laurel and more. Meet at the trail head near the boat ramps, dress for the weather, and bring plenty of snacks. Birders, bring your binoculars! No need to register; questions, 919-362-0586. Start location:New Hope Overlook Recreation Area (339 WH Jones Rd, New Hill NC 27562) Blue Loop Trail.
Other events throughout the year:
Take an informal tour of the constellations with MPSC educators: telescopic views of beautiful objects, including planets, nebulae, star clusters and, of course, the Moon when available. Please check the weather on day of event (if cloudy, event will be canceled). Call Guest Relations, 919.962.1236, to be sure weather conditions will permit us to host this outdoor activity. The event is hosted by the staff from Morehead Planetarium. If using GPS: 2582 Beaver Creek Rd, Apex NC 27502. Location: Ebenezer Day Use Area
Skywatching (always weather permitting)
Join an expert from Morehead Planetarium. Morehead hosts free skywatching sessions every month (weather permitting). Morehead educators and CHAOS members (from Chapel Hill Astronomical & Observational Society) bring telescopes and guide you through fun observations of stars, planets, moons, nebulae and other celestial objects. You might even see a few meteors!
WHAT HAPPENS AT A SKYWATCHING SESSION?
Skywatching sessions are very informal and family-friendly. Each session is scheduled for two hours, but you can arrive and leave at any time during the session. During the evening, you might do any of these things:
- Peek through telescopes for up-close views of celestial objects
- Take a laser-guided “star tour” of the night sky
- Learn where to look for major constellations
- Listen to legends told by ancient cultures about the constellations
- Ask the astronomers for answers to all the astronomy questions you have!
Still have questions about Skywatching? Check out our Skywatching FAQs. Please note: Because of Earth’s rotation, some sky objects may be visible during only part of a skywatching session, depending on the times they rise and set.
SKYWATCHING SITES Most skywatching sessions are at Ebenezer Church Recreation Area, part of Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. This site has restrooms, a picnic shelter and a sandy beach area. You’ll find the telescopes at the far (west) end of the parking lot. Directions for Ebenezer Church Recreation Area.
CHECK THE WEATHER It’s hard to see stars through a cloud cover, so Morehead cancels skywatching sessions if the weather forecast predicts stormy or cloudy conditions. Cancellation decisions are made as soon as possible — at least two or three hours in advance.