The park offers a gamut of outdoor recreational activities, from hiking and horseback riding to rock climbing and camping, with accesses on both the rugged terrain of the monadnock and the Yadkin River. South Mountains State … North Carolina state forests are managed by the North Carolina Forest Service. Alternatively, visitors can rent or bring their own kayak or canoe for a closer exploration of the marshlands and maritime swamp forests that surround the park's island areas. Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. This page provides a snapshot of camping options, activities, and facilities available at each park. It became the first state park in the Southeast and among the first in the nation. North Carolina has 41 state parks with trails for hiking, walking, biking, paddling and horseback riding, ranging from easy to strenuously difficult. At the fee-based Chimney Rock attraction, hike to Hickory Nut Falls and take an elevator or climb to the top of the park's namesake, a 315-foot freestanding rock spire. At the main access, visitors can enjoy hiking trails, fishing ponds, a picnic area and shelter, and a group campsite. Located in Cumberland County 15 miles northwest of Fayetteville, Carvers Creek State Park features Long Valley Farm, which was once the winter retreat of James Stillman Rockefeller, and the new Sandhills access that offers multiuse trails through beautiful longleaf pine ecosystems. Park Lake, set off from the larger Lake Norman by a dam, offers quiet fishing spots and paddling. The park office also manages limited access to nearby White Lake and Bay Tree Lake. A new pedestrian bridge over Waccamaw Dam allows visitors to travel the lake's entire 14-mile shoreline. The swift, but often shallow stream of the river can make for difficult paddling but provides beautiful landmarks like the Cascades. Located in Halifax County 30 miles northwest of Rocky Mount, Medoc Mountain State Park stands on the 325-foot remnant of a once-mighty mountain range from 350 million years ago. Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. Swim beaches and areas are closed. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. From Gorges State Park on the Blue Ridge escarpment to Jockey's Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks, you'll find mysterious bay lakes, wild swamps, sandhills with their longleaf pine habitats, piedmont river systems, and bold mountain streams. 9:00am to 5:00pm The mountain, first spotted from the Blue Ridge Parkway, rises abruptly from the surrounding landscape. Remnants of the mills that once dominated the area dot Raleigh's William B. Umstead State Park, while up the road at Eno River State … Camping is available at many North Carolina state parks, typically for RVs as well as tents. Learn more about them here. The park's winding road to the summit hosts an annual downhill skateboarding event. Alternate hikes towards the river reward visitors with landmarks like Lanier Falls Rapids, Fish Traps Rapids, and the remains of the Northington Lock and Dam. Some are open to horseback riding and mountain biking, and a portion is part of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. Trails lead to picturesque mountain views, rock outcrops, waterfalls, and even a mountain cave. More than 300 campsites offer a variety of overnight experiences. A few parks … The park is known for habitats like Sugarloaf Dune, a 50-foot dune that once served as a navigational marker for river pilots, as well as three limesink ponds that each feature a unique plant community. Click the image above to open an interactive Google map of all of the state parks. Most have campgrounds and many have modern visitor centers. These are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. … Campsites at both Catawba River and Paddy's Creek accesses provide an opportunity to spend the night by the lake, with some sites accessible only by paddling. Our 41 state parks, 10 national park sites and four national forests offer … Elk Shoals has a swim beach, and all accesses allow for launching kayaks and inner tubes to paddle or float along the shallow, gentle river. Located in Durham and Wake counties 15 miles east of downtown Durham, Falls Lake State Recreation Area provides seven access areas to the reservoir. Great Trails, Great Partners U.S. Department of … A trail traverses the salt marsh and ends at an observation deck with views of Zeke's Island and the Cape Fear River. Instead of a typical "mountain" adventure, visitors can enjoy picnicking in the park's open meadow, fishing on Little Fishing Creek, and traversing the trails on foot, bike, or horse. Possibilities for paddling on this 115-mile river are extraordinary. Many parks have open space amidst shade trees and unique facilities. The hellbender — the largest salamander in the U.S. — and 14 species of rare and threatened plant species inhabit the New River valley. An 11-acre lake complements the river in providing opportunities for water recreation. For nearly two months starting in mid-March, most of the state’s 41 parks and recreation areas were completely closed to the public, with about a dozen still open to hikers. All access areas provide at least one boat ramp, offering access to one of the best fishing lakes in the eastern United States. weekdays only, 121 W. Jones St. Hiking the surrounding trails or paddling the placid, shallow waters of the pond offer a great way to explore this wetland environment. The park offers nearly all types of outdoor activity to experience a high country landscape adorned with beautiful waterfalls, winding creeks, and bountiful trout streams. The state forests are Bladen Lakes State Forest, Clemmons Educational State Forest, Dupont State Recreational Forest, Holmes ESF, Jordan Lake ESF, Headwaters State Forest, Mountain Island ESF, Rendezvous Mountain ESF, Turnbull Creek ESF, and Tuttle ESF. The park offers plenty of recreational opportunities just minutes from city amenities, and it is one of the state parks along the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. Located in Durham and Orange counties 10 miles northwest of downtown Durham, Eno River State Park spans across five access areas along its namesake river. Please check with North Carolina Department … Campgrounds remain open under the order. The system stretches from the highest sand dune on the East Coast at Jockey's Ridge to Mount Mitchell, the highest point in … To get a printable version of this page, please download our Naturally Wonderful brochure. Please check the park pages for more information about camping procedures. Camping reservations must be done online. A second access area takes visitors through wetland habitats and allows for swimming, paddling, kiteboarding, and windsurfing on the Roanoke Sound. Nature and history combine at the state parks and recreation areas in the Triangle. Trails traverse the salt marsh and dune fields and provide the opportunity to see one of the 312 species of birds found in the park. Each park page also has a calendar of Events and Programs, as well as maps of the park you can print and download prior to your visit. The National Park Service manages the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, Great Smoky Mountains, the Wright Brothers National Memorial, and other national historic and recreation sites. Located in Columbus, Robeson, Scotland, and Hoke counties 60 miles south of Fayetteville, Lumber River State Park has two access areas located about 1 hour from each other: Princess Ann and Chalk Banks. Trails and a boardwalk offer a journey into wetlands and a floodplain swamp, where visitors may see great blue herons and a bounty of other animals. The park features an extensive network of hiking and multiuse trails, as well as three manmade lakes and their tributaries that are perfect for fishing. Located in Stokes County 30 miles north of Winston-Salem, Hanging Rock State Park started as a Civilian Conservation Corps project and has become a park that offers every part of a traditional outdoor experience. Located in Wake County 10 miles northwest of downtown Raleigh, William B. Umstead State Park is a cherished retreat from bustling urban life. Walk-up camping are available only at certain loops at Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake and at backcountry campsites with self-registration boxes at trailheads. Group camps, primitive cabins, and the historic Maple Hill Lodge let visitors experience a rustic overnight experience without typical modern camping amenities. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. Croatan, Nantahala, Pisgah, and Uwharrie are national forests. The park's estuarine habitats can be explored on foot or by paddling the Pamlico River. Located in Onslow County 20 miles southeast of Jacksonville, Hammocks Beach State Park comprises a mainland area and three barrier islands, including the 4-mile-long Bear Island. A portion of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail runs through the park near the backcountry campsites. The marsh, brimming with wildlife, provides plenty of watching opportunities for birders and photographers year-round. Amenities like the community buildings provide popular venues for local gatherings. Please check the park pages for more information about camping procedures. Located in Rockingham County 30 miles northwest of Greensboro, Mayo River State Park offers various recreational opportunities at the main Mayo Mountain access and at multiple accesses along the Mayo River. Warm weather months bring loggerhead sea turtles to nest along the park's sandy shores. The trails along the bluffs that lead to the rock are dotted with beautiful wildflowers including mountain laurel. Located in Columbus County 25 miles west of Wilmington, Lake Waccamaw State Park sits on the shores of the largest Carolina bay. This park located in the Blue Ridge Escarpment spans over 8,000 acres of temperate rainforest and hosts extraordinary biodiversity. Trails offer challenging hikes and towering cliffs — and even the opportunity to traverse two states through the Ridgeline Trail, which connects to Kings Mountain State Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina. At 6,684 feet, the mountain is the highest point east of the … Campgrounds remain open under the order. The parks system was begun in 1916 when a group of citizens sought to protect the summit of Mount Mitchell. For more than 100 years, North Carolina’s protected parks, forests, waterways and seashores have been a haven for wildlife and visitors. Extensive exhibits educate visitors on fort history and the natural surroundings. There are biologists on staff and frequent joint projects with universities and conservation organizations that expand knowledge about conservation. Research and natural resource protection are other important facets of the state parks. Located in Harnett County 40 miles southwest of Raleigh, Raven Rock State Park celebrates the namesake 150-foot crystalline structure that overlooks the Cape Fear River. Lake James State Park is located at 7321 North Carolina 126, Nebo, NC 28761. Located in Rutherford County 25 miles southeast of Asheville, Chimney Rock State Park offers some of North Carolina's most dramatic mountain scenery, overlooking Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Located in New Hanover County 20 miles south of Wilmington, Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is the only park in the system that allows four-wheel-drive beach access, making it popular for surf fishing. Hang gliding is a hallmark activity at the park, and a private concessionaire offers lessons. Many of these are representative samples of the state's great diversity of resources and fragile ecological systems. North Carolina . The free Rumbling Bald and Eagle Rock accesses provide a more rugged backcountry experience. Campgrounds, a swim lake and access to paddling on the Dan River complete the gamut of recreational opportunities. Located in Camden County abutting the state's northeast border with Virginia, Dismal Swamp State Park provides access to the Great Dismal Swamp, the largest remaining swamp in the eastern United States. The state parkland sits between privately owned Grandfather Mountain attraction (admission fee charged) and Blue Ridge Parkway trails managed by the National Park Service. 1615 Mail Service Center The mountain is a study in geologic wonder — with Native American artifacts made of rhyodacite to argillite mined by the Civilian Conservation Corps to create many of the park's structures. Singletary Lake State Park in Kelly is specifically designed for cabin camping by recognizable non-profit groups. North Carolina State Parks. For campgrounds with 24-hour access, please observe the Night-Time Public Closure Period guidelines and do not leave the campground between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Despite the wildfires that … Located in Carteret County 40 miles southeast of New Bern, Fort Macon State Park is centered on an impeccably restored pre-Civil War fort that offers daily guided tours and cannon and musket demonstrations. The beautiful lake is one of the largest summertime homes of the bald eagle, and an observation platform makes for easy spotting of our national bird. Below each park, you will find a summary of the trails, facilities, and amenities it offers that are accessible to people with disabilities. Located in Guilford and Rockingham counties 15 miles north of Greensboro, Haw River State Park is a unique park that centers on The Summit, a residential environmental education and conference center, accommodating retreats and conferences for groups big or small. The park's marina provides access to the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway, making the area popular for boaters and anglers. The system also has exhibit specialists, naturalists and interpretive specialists that expand opportunities for education. Enjoy a glimpse of the beauty of North Carolina State Parks through the pages of this brochure. The state parks system employs about 480, and over 200 of those are park rangers and park superintendents who are commissioned law enforcement officers. Located in Gaston County 25 miles west of Charlotte, Crowders Mountain State Park boasts two mountain peaks that offer magnificent views of the surrounding Piedmont. New Cases Reported Last Week: 51,449. The park also marks the eastern terminus of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. A limestone bluff reduces the lake's acidity, making it an ideal home for several aquatic species that are found nowhere else in the world. Located in Dare County in the Outer Banks, Jockey's Ridge State Park is home to the tallest living sand dune system on the Atlantic coast and provides an ideal location for flying kites and watching sunsets. Larger outdoor facilities with a maximum capacity of more than 50 people are also not available for reservation. There are 500,000 of these mysterious craters, and the lake is one of the few that contains open water instead of vegetation. Camping reservations must be done online. North Carolina's state parks system is dedicated to conservation of natural resources, to outdoor recreation and environmental education. Easy trails at the summit explore the Fraser fir forest, while a vast network of challenging trails — including the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail — extend into adjacent wilderness areas and lead to backpacking opportunities within Pisgah National Forest. In the winter, about 1 mile of ungroomed trail is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. weekdays only, 121 W. Jones St. (There is a modest parking fee charged at three state recreation areas.) The 22-mile Dismal Swamp Canal is a popular paddling destination and hosts the annual Paddle for the Border event. Located in Iredell County 40 miles north of Charlotte, Lake Norman State Park boasts the region's popular mountain biking trail system, the Itusi Trail, offering nearly 31 miles of single-track trail. All access areas provide at least one boat ramp, offering access to one of the best fishing lakes in the eastern United States. Junior Ranger Program North Carolina has a Junior Ranger Program, in addition to a variety of other children’s programs, like their … The division's mission is to promote conservation of North Carolina… Each park offers free interpretive programs by rangers on a regular basis that explore the marvels of that park's resources. View the contact sheet for the email address and phone number of each park », (General information – please do not call this number for camping or park-specific questions), Office Hours Located in Ashe and Alleghany counties 35 miles northeast of Boone, New River State Park covers seven accesses along this National Wild and Scenic River that flows north through three states. Many of the state parks were initiated by local citizens with a strong conservation ethic. Located in Alleghany and Wilkes counties 60 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, Stone Mountain State Park is home to the 600-foot granite dome that is a designated National Natural Landmark and the historic Hutchinson Homestead, a restored mid-19th-century farm situated at the mountain base. The namesake lake is the largest manmade lake within the state, and the park covers about 17 miles of its northern shoreline. Uncommon species such as Lewis' heartleaf and the Neuse River waterdog call the park home. 15 Gorgeous State Parks In North Carolina To Explore This Summer 1. These rates and the Annual Pass apply to the ferry at Hammocks Beach State Park only. The State Parks Act of 1987 lists six types of units included in the NC State Parks System. Amenities like the community buildings provide popular venues for local gatherings, COVID-19 information for parks under Modified Stay at Home Order. Across North Carolina, state park staff are proud of our parks and eager to welcome you and your family. Some parks have multiple entrances or access areas, and the addresses for these areas are also conveniently listed on this page. Located in Surry and Yadkin counties 20 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, Pilot Mountain State Park centers around the iconic geologic knob that serves as a beacon inviting outdoor enthusiasts to a vast array of activities. This area features unique and abundant plant life and wildlife, as well as a rich cultural history that intertwines with George Washington, the Underground Railroad, and Prohibition. The rare brown elfin butterfly has called the mountain home since the Ice Age. The state parks system also manages several state natural areas. The North Carolina State Parks System began in 1915, when Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi River, was bought by the state to save it from destructive lumbering practices. Most state parks and forests open, with many … All reviews highest point east of the mississippi observation deck parking lot the blue ridge parkway gift shop highest peak paved path steep walk degrees cooler nature trail smal NC State University Campus Box 7009 Raleigh, NC 27695-7009 919.515.3794 [email protected] Trails include a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail, as well as one of the premier mountain bike trail systems in the Triangle area, located at Beaverdam access. Visit our NC Trails program website to learn more about North Carolina state trails. A passenger ferry transports visitors to the pristine beach that provides an opportunity to camp oceanside — an experience unique amongst North Carolina's state parks. Mount Mitchell is the crown jewel of North Carolina's breathtaking mountain range. Both accesses include diverse habitats that are home to unique species like the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the Pine Barrens tree frog. The park provides plenty of opportunities for recreation and experiencing natural and cultural history. This riparian environment is popular with anglers, birdwatchers and photographers alike. View the Components to learn more about the different types of park units and the size of the North Carolina State Parks system. Heron rookeries on two islands shelter over 25 great blue heron nests. 199 Hemphill Knob Road Asheville, NC 28803-8686 (828) 271-4779 / (828) 298-0398 (recorded information) Locator Map (Parkway Visitor Center at Asheville) / Parkway Map / Visit Website. Parks in Mecklenburg County come in all shapes and sizes ranging from small neighborhood parks to large regional parks. There are no equipment rentals and concessions available. NPS also manages the America the Beautiful Pass. Larger outdoor facilities with a maximum capacity of more than 50 people are also not available for reservation. Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers. 9:00am to 5:00pm Swim beaches and areas are closed. There are 41 places that are currently part of the North Carolina State Parks system: 34 parks, four recreation areas, and three staffed state natural areas. Alcohol is not permitted in North Carolina’s State Parks. Located in Wayne County 15 miles southeast of Goldsboro, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park sits on 90-foot bluffs overlooking the Neuse River. Trails include bike trails at Paddy's Creek, the kid-friendly Holly Discovery Trail, the historic Overmountain Victory Trail, and the Fonta Flora State Trail. This page also provides the contact information for each park. North Carolina's state parks system is managed by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and encompasses 41 state parks along with 33 units as undeveloped natural areas, state rivers and lakes and state trails. Visitors have even spotted the American alligator here, at the northernmost point of its range. Layers of sand, clay, seashells, shale, and gravel create a spectrum of colors on the face of the cliff. There is also a conscious attempt to offer facilities and recreation opportunities in a low-impact manner that protects the land. The park is also perfect for day-use visitors looking to explore the headwaters of the Haw River. For most inquiries, we encourage you to find the park you are trying to reach and call the office number or email them directly, rather than contacting the administrative office in Raleigh. Campers can choose from seven campgrounds and hundreds of campsites to enjoy a serene night by the lake. A wide variety of resident birds, from songbirds to birds of prey, make the park a great spot for birdwatching. It showcases a rich history, from dugout canoes thousands of years old that have been dredged up from the lake, as well as the nearby Somerset Place, a State Historic Site that preserves a vast plantation worked by hundreds of enslaved persons. North Carolina's state parks are Naturally Wonderful and also wonderfully diverse. America's parks operate under many names; State Parks, National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Areas, Preserves, Nature Area..... We collaborate with numerous government agencies, departments and … There are no equipment rentals and concessions available. Jones Lake and the adjacent Salters Lake are two of the mysterious geological formations known as Carolina bays, a series of elliptical depressions along the Atlantic coast, the origins of which are unknown. The park boasts elevations up to 3,000 feet, an 80-foot waterfall, and nearly 50 miles of trail for hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers. Deaths Reported Last Week: 516. An overlook summit rewards visitors with a panoramic view of North Carolina's high country. It features vibrant color photographs and a fold-out map pinpointing the location of each state park and … Conservation, recreation and education are what North Carolina state parks are all about. The lanky pines — some of them hundreds of years old — tower over a network of trails that traverse expanses of wiregrass. Paddle-in only campgrounds provide a remote experience. Located in Burke County 55 miles east of Asheville, South Mountains State Park is situated at the crossroads of the Appalachian Mountains and the Foothills to provide the ultimate backcountry experience. Located in Chatham County 30 miles west of downtown Raleigh, Jordan Lake State Recreation Area includes seven access areas that provide plenty of camping, boating, and swimming opportunities. Thank you for following these guidelines and helping us keep you, your fellow visitors and our staff safe as we open facilities at our parks. For specific details about each park, please visit the park website page. Our state parks are Naturally Wonderful — and wonderfully diverse. It also boasts an unmatched ecological diversity that has been recognized as a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve. The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. › North Carolina State Parks does not operate any other ferry service. Located in Orange County 15 miles northwest of downtown Durham, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area offers a quick escape into nature with trails winding through forests of mountain laurel and rhododendron. As North Carolina celebrated the 100th anniversary of its state parks last year, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation said it saw a record number of visitors. Maintain a social distance of 6 feet, regardless of the behavior of others, Bring a mask or face covering; they are required to be worn inside buildings and when social distancing cannot be implemented, Share the trail — warn other trail users of your presence, step to the side or wait at the end of a bridge, Do not enter restrooms until others have cleared out and please be patient when staff is cleaning them, Wash or sanitize your hands before, during, and after your visit, Do not share equipment like phones or cameras with other visitors, If the park seems crowded when you arrive, come back another time, Stay at home if you are exhibiting symptoms. Campers can choose from seven campgrounds and hundreds of campsites to enjoy a serene night by the lake. Located in New Hanover County 10 miles south of Wilmington, Carolina Beach State Park is home to the Venus flytrap, a unique carnivorous plant. Located in Ashe County 25 miles northeast of Boone, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area surrounds a natural landmark that offers vistas as far as Tennessee from its overlooks and Luther Rock. The trademark camps provide a unique experience for organized groups to unite in work and play in the midst of the unique Carolina bay environment, complete with dormitory-style cabins, a mess hall, and a 500-foot pier for swimming. 1615 Mail Service Center Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. Four accesses — Deshazo Mill, Anglin Mill, Hickory Creek, and Mayodan — allow entry to the river, home to rich wildlife and Class II rapids. Entry into the park is free. Located in Vance and Warren counties at North Carolina's north-central border with Virginia, Kerr Lake State Recreation Area is a collective of eight access areas around the shoreline of this 50,000-acre reservoir. More than 19 million people visit the state parks each year. The park features 26 waterfalls, the northern boundary of Lake Jocassee and a portion of the 70-mile Foothills Trail. Walk-up camping are available only at certain loops at Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake and at backcountry campsites with self-registration boxes at trailheads. We have provided a quick link to Google Maps directions to each park office or visitor center. Use the keyboard command Ctrl F and search for things like "backpacking" or "fishing" or "boat ramp" to quickly navigate down the page and find which park offers that particular activity, amenity, or facility. Some of these state natural areas offer public facilities and interpretive programs. 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