Of the six major public boat ramps on Jordan Lake, you might ask "why put in a canoe or kayak at one of the busiest?" It's true that Ebenezer Church is especially popular with the motor boat crowd. It's just off Beaver Creek Road not far from U.S. 64, and with two boat ramps and a sea of parking, it's easy to see why it's popular with the outboard crowd. But the majority of motorboaters put in and go west, into the heart of Jordan Lake. The savvy paddler, on the other hand, heads east, under the Beaver Creek overpass into two long fingers of the lake. The shorter of the two, for the time-strapped, veers to the southeast and heads up Little Beaver Creek. You should be able to paddle at least a mile and three quarters; at higher water levels perhaps as much as 3 miles. The larger Beaver Creek heads east and north. You can easily paddle three miles before the Beaver Creek looks less like a lake, more like a Piedmont creek. At a decent lake level you can continue on another three-quarters of a mile to the New Hill Olive Chapel Road bridge and possibly another mile to the wetlands where the American Tobacco Trail passes through. You might not make it that far, though. This stretch has numerous diversions along the way. Most quickly peter out in a cove, others will take you up to a quarter mile into the woods. For a big lake - 14,000 acres - you'll find some surprisingly intimate paddling. More info here. Access here. Maps: "GMCO's Pro Series Map of Jordan Lake," $5.95; also here. Getting there from downtown Raleigh here.