Attractions April 05, 2021
10 Amazing State Parks To Add To Your North Carolina Bucket List
North Carolina is home to some astoundingly beautiful and unique state parks, including those at the beach, in the mountains, and many places in between. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or just a day trip, you can’t go wrong with a visit to any of the state parks below. How many have you already visited?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Jockey's Ridge State Park - Nags Head
The state's most visited state park features the tallest dunes found on the east coast. The living dunes at Jockey's Ridge are always changing, but average anywhere from 80 to 100 feet in height. The park offers 427 acres to explore. Find it at 300 W Carolista Dr, Nags Head, NC 27959.
2. Carolina Beach State Park - Carolina Beach
This state park dishes up a diverse ecosystem featuring marshes, a maritime forest, a wooded campground, a beach, and even carnivorous plants that are indigenous to North Carolina, like the Venus Flytrap and the Pitcher Plant. Find the park at 1010 State Park Rd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.
3. Lake Waccamaw State Park - Lake Waccamaw
At 9,000 acres, Lake Waccamaw is the largest Carolina Bay lake in the country. The unusual lake is only 7.5 feet deep at its deepest point and provides thousands and thousands of birds a home base, and in turn, a place for birdwatchers to rejoice at spotting them. Find the state park at 1866 State Park Dr, Lake Waccamaw, NC 28450.
4. Falls Lake State Recreation Area - Wake Forest
Access the undeveloped Falls Lake shoreline via seven access areas around the lake by way of this state recreation area. Swim from five beaches around the lake, camp, hike, bike, and more from this little-known spot for recreation. Find it at 13300 Creedmoor Rd, Wake Forest, NC 27587.
5. Fort Macon State Park - Atlantic Beach
A restored Antebellum-era fort is at the center of this state park in North Carolina. But the fort isn't the only draw to the park. There's also a 1.5-mile stretch of gorgeous beach here and five miles of trails to explore. Find it all right here: 2303 E Fort Macon Rd, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512.
6. Mount Mitchell State Park - Burnsville
Established as North Carolina's first state park in 1915, Mount Mitchell features the highest peak in North Carolina as well as the highest peak in the Appalachian Mountain chain. At the top is an observation tower with astounding 360-degree views of the surrounding terrain. Find the park just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at 2388 NC-128, Burnsville, NC 28714.
7. Jordan Lake State Recreation Area - Apex
Within the recreation area, there are nine access areas scattered around the shores of Jordan Lake, including seven swim beaches and several camping areas totaling more than 1,000 campsites. If camping is your gig, then a visit to Jordan Lake is a must! Find an access point at 280 State Park Rd, Apex, NC 27523.
8. Hammocks Beach State Park - Swansboro
One of the lesser-traveled beaches in the state is accessible only via a ferry (unless you have your own boat) from the state park's Visitor Center in Swansboro. And wow, once you're over there on the island this park is absolutely stunning. It's also the
best place in North Carolina to go looking for sea shells!
. Find the visitor center at 1572 Hammock Beach Rd, Swansboro, NC 28584.
9. Goose Creek State Park - Washington
Enjoy camping, picnicking, and more at this state park along the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina. The park doles out a trail system featuring eight miles of hiking trails through a maritime forest, past Spanish moss-draped live oak trees, and through a swamp with cypress trees. Find the park at 2190 Camp Leach Rd, Washington, NC 27889.
10. Stone Mountain State Park - Roaring Gap
A massive 600-foot-tall smooth granite stone rises above the terrain in unique fashion at this incredible state park. A fantastic trail system at the park includes a path that leads around the back of the mountain and then all the way to the top where visitors can survey the area from a high vantage point. The park also has a campground, picnic area, and historic structures found at the base of the mountain along the trail. Find the park at 3042 Frank Pkwy, Roaring Gap, NC 28668.
With so many wonderful state parks in the system in North Carolina, why not set a goal to visit them all? Find a full list and more information on all of the parks listed above as well as all of the remaining parks, too,
right here at the official website for North Carolina State Parks! Address: 300 W Carolista Dr, Nags Head, NC 27959, USA Address: State Park Rd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428, USA Address: State Park Dr, Lake Waccamaw, NC 28450, USA Address: 13300 Creedmoor Rd, Wake Forest, NC 27587, USA Address: Fort Macon State Park, 2303 E Fort Macon Rd, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512, USA Address: 2388 NC-128, Burnsville, NC 28714, USA Address: 280 State Park Rd, Apex, NC 27523, USA Address: 1572 Hammock Beach Rd, Swansboro, NC 28584, USA Address: 2190 Camp Leach Rd, Washington, NC 27889, USA Address: Stone Mountain State Park, 3042 Frank Pkwy, Roaring Gap, NC 28668, USA