List of North Carolina State Parks
Many of the North Carolina State Parks offer camping, hiking, bridal trails, boating, and lodging facilities that include cabins. Please visit the links provided to North Carolina State Parks for complete and current information about specific activities and amenities available at each park.
The North Carolina State Park system is one of the most diverse and robust in the country. The state park system is home to both the rare and exotic, providing sanctuary, refuge, and habitat to preserve this natural heritage for your enjoyment and future generations. With 34 state parks and four state recreation areas, the system stretches from the highest sand dune on the East Coast at Jockey's Ridge to Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the eastern U.S. All state parks offer opportunities for hiking, picnicking and nature study. Most have campgrounds and many have modern visitor centers.
To explore our rich North Carolina State Park system and heritage we have provide an extensive list of our parks and recreational areas with our North Carolina State Parks Directory at our North Carolina Tourist Information Directory. Here, you'll find mysterious bay lakes, wild swamps, rare sandhills, piedmont river systems and bold mountain streams.
North Carolina is committed to this preservation and has done a wonderful job of fulfilling this commitment. Living or visiting in North Carolina, we are blessed with beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and countless rivers and streams. The North Carolina State Parks System exists for the enjoyment, education, health and inspiration. The ecosystems and cultural features protected by the state parks system often represent the highest quality examples of the state's natural landscape cultural heritage. In many cases, these ecosystems and cultural features are also among the most threatened.
The eastern coast of the state is home to the Outer Banks, a string of sandy, narrow islands which form a barrier between the Atlantic Ocean and inland waterways. Albemarle Sound in the north and Pamlico Sound in the south, are the two largest landlocked sounds in the United States. Moving inland the terrain gives way to 100's of the Carolina bays. The name "bay" for these natural basins originates from the fact that there is an abundance of sweet bay, loblolly bay and red bay trees growing beside these watery, oval depressions. Many are marshy; a few of the larger ones are lakes. These natural habitats attract and protect 1000's of species of waterfowl, some found rarely anywhere else in the world.
Traveling westward, we enter the piedmont and the countryside yields itself to the long leaf pine and rolling hills climbing into the foothills of the North Carolina Appalachian mountains. A number of small, isolated, and deeply eroded mountain ranges and peaks are located across the Piedmont, including the Sauratown Mountains, Pilot Mountain, the Uwharrie Mountains, Crowder's Mountain, King's Pinnacle, the Brushy Mountains, and the South Mountains. Two of the major rivers in the piedmont, the Yadkin and Catawba, tend to be fast-flowing, shallow, and narrow and renowned for their game fishing and camping opportunities.
As you enter the western region, the scenery explodes with the ancient hardwood forests and the rise of the Appalachian mountain range. The Black Mountains are the highest in the Eastern United States where the pinnacle at Mount Mitchell reaches 6,684 feet. The Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Balsam Mountains each feature their own unique history and environment to complete the spectacular parade of natural wonders found only in the North Carolina State Park and Recreational area organization.
A healthy forest is a forest that possesses the ability to sustain the distinctive species, composition and processes that exist within it. There are many types of forests found in North Carolina, each representing a irreplaceable forest community with a unique set of species, interactions, and processes. The health of our forests must be preserved to ensure the survival of plant and animal species that make the forest their home, and to protect those processes that maintain a healthy environment.
Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities from hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing, along with a flavor of Appalachian music and traditions in the Blue Ridge and Smokey mountains. Kite-surfing, fishing, sun, and sand await visitors to the state's coastal region- with secluded barrier islands in the Outer Banks and the bustling beach-side city of Wilmington. For those seeking the city life; increasingly diverse and fast-growing cities dot the Piedmont- from Charlotte's skyscrapers, Raleigh's museums and historic neighborhoods, and Chapel Hill's college nightlife.
North Carolina offers much to all, so while visiting our state parks you'll have a chance to see more of what North Carolina has in store for you.
The western North Carolina Mountains are home to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the mountain towns of Asheville and Boone.
The North Carolina Piedmont with fast-growing and diverse cities to rolling farmland, this region includes Charlotte, the largest metro area in the state, the Research Triangle of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, a hub of high-tech research and both quaint (and not-so-quaint) college towns, and the Piedmont Triad of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.
The North Carolina Coastal Plain includes endless stretches of secluded beaches that await visitors to the Outer Banks and the Crystal Coast, aviation history and the birthplace of flight in Kitty Hawk, the vibrant coastal city of Wilmington, the beautiful and historical New Bern as well as the military bases of the interior coast, including Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.
At NC Travel Guide, we invite you to join us in supporting and enjoying these beautiful and exceptional resources throughout our state. Visit the North Carolina State Parks Directory section of our North Carolina Tourist Information Directory for more information and links to our North Carolina State Parks.