New Hope Creek from the southwest terminus of Duke Forest's Laurel Hill foot trail.
New Hope Creek is a watercourse that rises in rural Orange County, North Carolina, in the United States. It drains the western portion of Orange County and the southern half of Durham County and flows into the northern end of Jordan Lake reservoir. The drainage area encompasses urban, suburban and rural lands. Formerly the New Hope River, it was a tributary of the Cape Fear River until it was dammed to create Jordan Lake. Construction of the lake began in 1973, after a comprehensive study of regional water management by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, motivated by major flooding in a 1945 hurricane. Several communities draw drinking water from Jordan Lake, increasing interest in protection of the New Hope Creek watershed.
Since the late 1980s, local environmentalists have tried to protect a 20 mile corridor along New Hope Creek for conservation and recreational use. A comprehensive plan for the corridor was approved in 1992 by the City of Durham, Durham County, Orange County and the town of Chapel Hill. Since that time, approximately $3 million has been spent on land acquisition in the corridor and several miles of public trails have been constructed.