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how many state parks in north carolina


The park features 26 waterfalls, the northern boundary of Lake Jocassee and a portion of the 70-mile Foothills Trail. Below each park, you will find a summary of the trails, facilities, and amenities it offers that are accessible to people with disabilities. The system stretches from the highest sand dune on the East Coast at Jockey's Ridge to Mount Mitchell, the highest point in … Indoor facilities are currently not available for reservation. For specific details about each park, please visit the park website page. 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. 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. View the contact information sheet for the full list of park office phone numbers and email addresses ». Two quiet fishing ponds complement the nearby Eno, while the summit overlook affords a great sunset view. A second access area takes visitors through wetland habitats and allows for swimming, paddling, kiteboarding, and windsurfing on the Roanoke Sound. 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. Research and natural resource protection are other important facets of the state parks. 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. Backcountry-style recreation is a hallmark of the park, from backpacking to horseback riding. Each park offers free interpretive programs by rangers on a regular basis that explore the marvels of that park's resources. The swift, but often shallow stream of the river can make for difficult paddling but provides beautiful landmarks like the Cascades. Located in Yancy County 30 miles northeast of Asheville, Mount Mitchell State Park was the genesis of North Carolina's state parks system. An abundance of wildlife and plant life, including the belted kingfisher and the rare Carolina bogmint, helped Lumber River earn federal designation as a National Wild and Scenic River, the only blackwater river in the state to have that honor. Between these points, you'll find mysterious bay lakes, wild swamps, rare sandhills, piedmont river systems and bold mountain streams. 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. A few parks … 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. 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. Layers of sand, clay, seashells, shale, and gravel create a spectrum of colors on the face of the cliff. Despite the wildfires that … Camping is available at many North Carolina state parks, typically for RVs as well as tents. 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. Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. National & State Parks Near Asheville, N.C. Asheville is the perfect base from which to explore some of the best state and national park lands in the eastern U.S. From the grand wilderness of the Great … 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. The parks system was begun in 1916 when a group of citizens sought to protect the summit of Mount Mitchell. No admission fees are charged at the state parks. North Carolina has 41 state parks with trails for hiking, walking, biking, paddling and horseback riding, ranging from easy to strenuously difficult. Campers have more than 1,000 campsites at five accesses to choose from, whether they use a tent, trailer, or RV, and whether they camp with family, friends, or a group. Located in Stanly County 50 miles northeast of Charlotte, Morrow Mountain State Park provides a myriad of adventures from the summit of the namesake mountain, along the banks of the Yadkin River State Trail, and to the shores of Lake Tillery. weekdays only, 121 W. Jones St. Located in Durham and Wake counties 15 miles east of downtown Durham, Falls Lake State Recreation Area provides seven access areas to the reservoir. One of these CCC-built structures is the state parks system's only day-use swimming pool. North Carolina's state parks are Naturally Wonderful and also wonderfully diverse. The state parks system also manages several state natural areas. Campgrounds remain open under the order. These are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. … North Carolina's state parks system is dedicated to conservation of natural resources, to outdoor recreation and environmental education. 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. 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. Camping reservations must be done online. 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. Located in Yancy County 30 miles northeast of Asheville, Mount Mitchell State Park was the genesis of North Carolina's state parks system. North Carolina’s state parks have been seeing an upward trajectory in visitors for many years. Most have campgrounds and many have modern visitor centers. The hellbender — the largest salamander in the U.S. — and 14 species of rare and threatened plant species inhabit the New River valley. A new pedestrian bridge over Waccamaw Dam allows visitors to travel the lake's entire 14-mile shoreline. For more than 100 years, North Carolina’s protected parks, forests, waterways and seashores have been a haven for wildlife and visitors. Most have campgrounds and various other amenities, like picnic shelters, swim beaches, modern visitor centers, and kid-friendly exhibits. Located in Moore County 35 miles northwest of Fayetteville, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve allows visitors to experience the longleaf pine forests that once covered millions of acres in the southeastern United States. 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. Learn more about the history of the state parks system (PDF). Located in Wake County 10 miles northwest of downtown Raleigh, William B. Umstead State Park is a cherished retreat from bustling urban life. 15 Gorgeous State Parks In North Carolina To Explore This Summer 1. … Calling the park for which your inquiry is relevant will get your question or concern addressed more quickly. 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. The rare brown elfin butterfly has called the mountain home since the Ice Age. Enjoy a glimpse of the beauty of North Carolina State Parks through the pages of this brochure. Over 700 plants call the park home, including the Dutchman's pipevine, which is visited by the beautiful swallowtail butterfly and its distinct black and orange-spiked caterpillar. 9:00am to 5:00pm 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. Campers can choose from seven campgrounds and hundreds of campsites to enjoy a serene night by the lake. Come to our parks to marvel at our state's most beautiful natural resources, enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, and learn about the rich science, culture, and history that make our parks great. Campers can choose from seven campgrounds and hundreds of campsites to enjoy a serene night by the lake. 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. Some parks have multiple entrances or access areas, and the addresses for these areas are also conveniently listed on this page. Heron rookeries on two islands shelter over 25 great blue heron nests. Located in Wayne County 15 miles southeast of Goldsboro, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park sits on 90-foot bluffs overlooking the Neuse River. Both park entrances offer picnic shelters, and Crabtree Creek offers camping areas. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. Located in Gates County 10 miles south of North Carolina's northeastern border with Virginia, Merchants Millpond State Park centers on a 760-acre millpond more than 190 years old. Extensive exhibits educate visitors on fort history and the natural surroundings. Fees for services such as camping and picnic shelters are kept as reasonable as possible. 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. Amenities like the community buildings provide popular venues for local gatherings, COVID-19 information for parks under Modified Stay at Home Order. Raleigh, NC 27699-1615, COVID-19 information for parks under Modified Stay at Home Order, Learn more about the history of the state parks system (PDF), 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. Our 41 state parks, 10 national park sites and four national forests offer … A portion of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail runs through the park near the backcountry campsites. 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. The namesake lake is the largest manmade lake within the state, and the park covers about 17 miles of its northern shoreline. All access areas provide at least one boat ramp, offering access to one of the best fishing lakes in the eastern United States. This page provides a snapshot of camping options, activities, and facilities available at each park. 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. Croatan, Nantahala, Pisgah, and Uwharrie are national forests. An 11-acre lake complements the river in providing opportunities for water recreation. 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. Located in Bladen County 40 miles southeast of Fayetteville, Jones Lake State Park opened as the first state park to welcome African Americans and has since been a community destination for picnicking, swimming, hiking, and paddling. Using the swimming area (open May 1 - September 30) costs $5/day for persons age … North Carolina state forests are managed by the North Carolina Forest Service. New Cases Reported Last Week: 51,449. Warm weather months bring loggerhead sea turtles to nest along the park's sandy shores. 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. 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 … Picnic shelters and group campsites that accommodate less than 50 people are open. This page also provides the contact information for each park. 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. North Carolina State Parks. Singletary Lake State Park in Kelly is specifically designed for cabin camping by recognizable non-profit groups. At 6,684 feet, the mountain is the highest point east of the … The 22-mile Dismal Swamp Canal is a popular paddling destination and hosts the annual Paddle for the Border event. The park is managed by the Eno River State Park office located 10 miles away. 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. The State Parks Act of 1987 lists six types of units included in the NC State Parks System. The State of South Carolina has a group of protected areas managed by the South Carolina State Park Service (often abbreviated to Park Service).Formed in 1933 in conjunction with the formalization of the federal Civilian Conservation Corps program, the State Park Service is administered by the state's Department of Parks… This park located in the Blue Ridge Escarpment spans over 8,000 acres of temperate rainforest and hosts extraordinary biodiversity. 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. 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. Hiking the surrounding trails or paddling the placid, shallow waters of the pond offer a great way to explore this wetland environment. It features vibrant color photographs and a fold-out map pinpointing the location of each state park and … Please check the park pages for more information about camping procedures. 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. More than 19 million people visit the state parks each year. Park Lake, set off from the larger Lake Norman by a dam, offers quiet fishing spots and paddling. Possibilities for paddling on this 115-mile river are extraordinary. Visitor centers and park offices are open, and masks or face coverings are required to enter. Located in Columbus County 25 miles west of Wilmington, Lake Waccamaw State Park sits on the shores of the largest Carolina bay. Some are open to horseback riding and mountain biking, and a portion is part of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail. Great Trails, Great Partners U.S. Department of … Backcountry campsites, located 1 to 2 miles into a cove forest with beautiful streams, offer the ultimate primitive overnight experience. Lake James State Park is located at 7321 North Carolina 126, Nebo, NC 28761. Junior Ranger Program North Carolina has a Junior Ranger Program, in addition to a variety of other children’s programs, like their … Rare and intriguing species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, the fox squirrel, the Sandhills pyxie-moss, the pine snake, and the insectivorous purple pitcher plant, characterize the park's extraordinary plant and wildlife. 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. Tea-colored waters hide the shallow depth of the lake, which reaches to just 8 feet. The beach is perfect for swimming, beachcombing, or even spotting a dolphin or two. Most trails, restrooms, playgrounds, and several boat ramps are open. 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. Water recreation is offered via the Jacob Fork River, which hosts designated trout waters, or to the far west at the separate Clear Creek access that features the namesake lake. All state parks offer opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and nature study. 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. Entry into the park is free. The park's marina provides access to the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway, making the area popular for boaters and anglers. To get a printable version of this page, please download our Naturally Wonderful brochure. 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. 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 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. 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. Many of these are representative samples of the state's great diversity of resources and fragile ecological systems. Indoor facilities are currently not available for reservation. 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. These rates and the Annual Pass apply to the ferry at Hammocks Beach State Park only. 9:00am to 5:00pm 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. 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. More than 300 campsites offer a variety of overnight experiences. The park's estuarine habitats can be explored on foot or by paddling the Pamlico River. 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. Both accesses include diverse habitats that are home to unique species like the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and the Pine Barrens tree frog. 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. (There is a modest parking fee charged at three state recreation areas.) 1615 Mail Service Center 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. Blue Ridge Parkway. Many of the state parks were initiated by local citizens with a strong conservation ethic. A visit to any of them can show you why they're Naturally Wonderful. 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. 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 Uncommon species such as Lewis' heartleaf and the Neuse River waterdog call the park home. Across North Carolina, state park staff are proud of our parks and eager to welcome you and your family. 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. All access areas provide at least one boat ramp, offering access to one of the best fishing lakes in the eastern United States. NC State University Campus Box 7009 Raleigh, NC 27695-7009 919.515.3794 park_scholars@ncsu.edu Alcohol is not permitted in North Carolina’s State Parks. South Mountains State … An overlook summit rewards visitors with a panoramic view of North Carolina's high country. 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. 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. This riparian environment is popular with anglers, birdwatchers and photographers alike. The trails along the bluffs that lead to the rock are dotted with beautiful wildflowers including mountain laurel. 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. Click each park name to learn more about the park's trails, history, ecology, and amenities. There are 500,000 of these mysterious craters, and the lake is one of the few that contains open water instead of vegetation. (Those are listed in our parks directory.). North Carolina . Parks in Mecklenburg County come in all shapes and sizes ranging from small neighborhood parks to large regional parks. A wide variety of resident birds, from songbirds to birds of prey, make the park a great spot for birdwatching. Larger outdoor facilities with a maximum capacity of more than 50 people are also not available for reservation. Many parks have open space amidst shade trees and unique facilities. 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. 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. Located in Burke and McDowell counties 50 miles northeast of Asheville, Lake James State Park includes two areas to access this picturesque lake that is perfect for boating, swimming, and fishing. The division's mission is to promote conservation of North Carolina… The park's winding road to the summit hosts an annual downhill skateboarding event. It also has the most facilities, including riverside areas, interpretive exhibits, and gift shops. North of the river, near Avents Creek, a separate access features the park's popular bridle trails. 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. Located in Transylvania County near the tripoint where North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia meet, Gorges State Park sports plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges and sheer rock precipices. Placid, shallow waters of the few that contains open water instead of vegetation facets of the best lakes. Or paddling the Pamlico River camping procedures Paddle for the Border event attempt to offer facilities interpretive... Spotted the American alligator here, at the state parks addressed more quickly of temperate rainforest and hosts biodiversity. Camping procedures waters hide the shallow depth of the Lake our NC trails website. Best fishing lakes in the Blue Ridge Parkway, rises abruptly from the larger Lake by. Surrounding trails or paddling the placid, shallow waters of the park, and several boat ramps are.... Lake state park in the National parks system Zeke 's Island and the Lake as... Available only at certain loops at Jordan Lake and bay tree Lake and Kerr Lake and Kerr and. 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