State Parks & Hiking Trails in North Carolina

State Parks & Hiking Trails in North Carolina
North Carolina state parks feature varying terrains as well as diverse land and water structures. Hikers can view diverse plant and animal life along the way, including red fox and coyote in Carolina Beach State Park. Challenge yourself with a summit hike in Crowders Mountain State Park or view the waterfalls and rock cliffs at Hanging Rock State Park.

Carolina Beach State Park

Carolina Beach State Park spans 761 acres and lies between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. The park has six miles of hiking trails that wind through distinct habitats with diverse species of plants and animals.

Choose from any of six marked hiking trails, including the three-mile sugarloaf trail that passes through a tidal marsh, pine forests and follows the river's edge to Sugarloaf Mountain. Other activities in the park are boating, fishing and camping.

Carolina Beach State Park

1010 State Park Road

Carolina Beach, NC 28428


Goose Creek State Park

Goose Creek State Park is situated where Goose Creek meets the Pamlico River. The park is on the north side of the Pamlico River in Beaufort County, 33 miles east of Greenville. Goose Creek State Park boasts eight miles of hiking trails that pass through the estuarine areas of the state park. As you hike the trails, expect to see wetlands, marshes, cypress swamps and pine forests.

Hike the Goose Creek Trail, about two miles long, that runs from the campground at Goose Creek to the Pamlico riverfront. The trail features a boardwalk that passes through cypress swamps and black gum. The state park also has a primitive camping area, swimming beach and paddling trails.

Goose Creek State Park

2190 Camp Leach Road

Washington, NC 27889


Crowders Mountain State Park

Located in Gaston County about 34 miles west of Charlotte, Crowders Mountain State Park offers many miles of hiking trails lined with mountain laurel and wildflowers. Choose from strenuous hikes that lead to the summits of Crowders Mountain and Kings Pinnacle or easier ones that circle the lake.

The state park has 11 marked trails including the 1.8-mile round-trip Backside Trail and the 5-mile round-trip Crowders Trail. The Backside Trail is strenuous and begins at the Linwood Access Area and reaches the summit of Crowders Mountain. Hikers must climb up 336 wooden steps to reach the summit.

Crowders Mountain State Park

522 Park Office Lane

Kings Mountain, NC 28086


Hanging Rock State Park

Hanging Rock State Park is in Stokes County 33 miles north of Winston-Salem and 31 miles east of Mount Airy. The park boasts more than 18 miles of wooded pathways that form a network of 12 trails within the park. Expect to be greeted with picturesque waterfalls and rock cliffs along the way.

Other scenic views include the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains as well as a mountain cave. Hikers can also enjoy other recreation in the park including fishing, boating and swimming.

Hanging Rock State Park

1790 Hanging Rock Park Road

Danbury, NC 27016-7417


Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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