An overnight stay in the Blue Jay Lodge is a great way to turn environmental education into an extended experience and cover many topics related to the Piedmont of North Carolina. Blue Jay’s Overnight Lodge is used exclusively for this purpose. Any group may rent and stay in the Lodge on the condition that one or more group leaders attend a required Leader Orientation Workshop and all group members complete at least six environmental education activities for each night that they stay in the Lodge. These activities may include (but are not limited to) group programs led by our education staff, guest speakers on environmental areas of interest, outdoor learning experiences that are part of your group’s curriculum and use of Blue Jay’s loaner Discovery Boxes. See more information about available educational resources below.
Leader Orientation Workshop
Helpful information for bringing your group to stay at the Overnight Lodge will be provided at the Leader Orientation Workshop (or LOW for short), which is conducted by Blue Jay staff once a month for those coming to stay in our Lodge. You do NOT have to attend a LOW before making a Lodge reservation but a representative from every group staying in the Lodge MUST register for and attend a free Leader Orientation Workshop at least two months prior to that group's reservation date. LOWs are also appropriate for individuals interested in knowing if a Lodge stay would be beneficial for their group, even before making a Lodge reservation, as you get an in-depth tour of the Lodge itself, plus information about the educational resources available from us at no charge to support your group’s learning goals. You may register for your LOW online!
The Lodge has a modern kitchen stocked with an abundance of pots, pans and utensils, place settings, microwave oven, electric range and oven, coffee maker, toaster, ice maker, large refrigerator and automatic dishwasher. Please do not bring throw away plates and utensils. The great room is furnished with tables and chairs for learning and eating. There are two seating alcoves, one with a fireplace. Sleeping quarters are divided into a men's bunk room and a women's bunk room (with bunk beds), each with its own restroom and showers. Total sleeping capacity is 36. Guests will need to provide their own twin-size linens or sleeping bags.
Outside the Lodge is a multilevel deck with an outdoor grill. A paved trail and a beautiful boardwalk lead down to the amphitheater with seating and a campfire area. Equipment available with reservations at no fee: TV/DVD, dry-erase board, Discovery Boxes and local telephone. No internet access is provided.
Overnight Lodge Rules
Obeying the following rules and applying good common sense during your Lodge stay will ensure a safe and pleasant visit:
- Speed limit 20 mph.
- No pets in the Lodge (service animals on duty only)
- Fires allowed ONLY in campfire area and grill. NC Burn laws are enforced.
- Park only in designated areas. This means no parking on roadsides or grass.
- No alcoholic beverages, firearms, hunting, boat launching or landing, swimming, amplified music, or collection, removal or release of any animal, plant or mineral material.
- Additional rules and polices specific to the Lodge are detailed in the LOW Manual.
All regular Park Rules and Regulations apply.
The park closes soon after sunset. Exact times can be acquired by calling Blue Jay Point. You will be provided with keys to the front gate and Lodge, and a member of Blue Jay Point’s staff will be “on-call” during your stay. You will be responsible for the gates and members of your group entering and leaving the park after park staff closes it for the night; please plan accordingly. Evening use of the park is limited to the Lodge area, unless proper scouting has been done in advance during daylight hours to check for possible hazards. Park maps are available inside the Blue Jay park brochure.
All groups will be required to carry out cleanup activities prior to vacating the premises. These will include:
- Stacking tables and chairs in the Great Room.
- Sweeping entire building, including porch/deck areas (we will mop after you leave).
- Cleaning counters in kitchen, bath and bunk areas.
- Loading and running dishwasher (unloading is preferred, but optional).
- Cleaning and putting away pots & pans, etc.
- Removing all belongings, including food from the refrigerator.
- Pulling all trash (bunk room, great room, kitchen, baths) and putting it in the cans on the back porch.
Care should be taken during your stay to keep the facility in good condition. We ask that you consider the Lodge your "home away from home."
Blue Jay education staff will support you in the process of designing your group’s agenda to meet the interests of your group while keeping hands-on, site-specific environmental education the main focus of your group’s stay in the Overnight Lodge.
Discovery Boxes are created by Blue Jay Point staff to assist groups doing environmental education by themselves. They are self-contained activity boxes comprised of background information, environmental education activities and all equipment needed to complete these activities, such as field guides, binoculars, nets, etc.
Staff-led programs are frequently available for weekday Lodge groups and sometimes available for weekend groups. Check out our Park Programs and Events page and look at the tabs that most closely resemble your group.
Agendas are required of all groups staying in the Overnight Lodge. To see how a typical lodge group uses the resources mentioned above, check out this Sample Overnight Agenda. Check out this short video of one of our groups in action during their Lodge stay!
- All Lodge guests must be at least 5 years of age.
- The Lodge and the Amphitheater/Firepit area are ADA accessible.
- No pets are allowed in/around the Lodge environs, certified assistance animals only.
Reservations can be made up to one year in advance. Our reservation calendar begins on the first business day (not Sundays) of a month for that month the following year. For example, Lodge reservations for the entire month of August 2021 opened on Saturday, August 1, 2020.
Call the Blue Jay Education Center at 919-870-4330 to inquire about available Lodge dates, Discovery Boxes and staff-led group programs.
- Private group overnight fee (Environmental Education focus only): $150
- Government/nonprofit organization overnight fee: $75
- Public/private School overnight fee: $50
As of Jan. 1, 2019, we no longer accept cash on site at any Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space location. Payments for the Lodge can be made with a credit or debit card online according to due date. Checks must be mailed in advance to our downtown office.
Cancellations MUST be submitted in writing at least one month prior to scheduled stay for refund.
Arrival & Departure
- CHECK-IN: 1 p.m. on day of arrival
- CHECK-OUT: 10 a.m. on day of departure
- Groups have NO access to the Lodge outside of these times.
While You Are Here
There is no day-use rental of the Lodge. All rentals must be for overnight, environmental education purposes, and group members must stay in the lodge each night they have reserved.
All Lodge guests must be at least 5 years old.
The group using the Lodge is financially responsible for any and all damages to the facility occurring as a result of the group’s stay.