2019: NC State Parks

There are 41 state parks (including natural areas and recreation areas) in North Carolina, and our goal is to visit all of them in 2019!


  1. Exploring North Carolina!
  2. Seeing how our tax dollars were spent!
  3. Free admission! (almost all of them)
  4. Educational – perfect for homeschooling!
  5. Lots of family time!
  6. Plenty of exercise and fresh air!


  1. Extra expenses (gas, meals, activities, admission)
  2. Limited time on Sundays for chores & social events
  3. HOURS in the car with four small children

Obviously the pros outweighed the cons for us! It’s an ambitious goal, since there are 41 parks and only 52 weeks in a year. We don’t have the free time to hike every weekend, so we’re planning to double up a few parks which are close to each other. I have had so much fun making a spreadsheet listing each park trip and our tentative schedule, weather permitting.

I should also mention that NC has a fantastic park website! It’s super informative, and there are fact sheets and maps for every park. They even have a cool “passport” to collect stamps from each park, with prizes! It’s really well done!

  1. carolina beach state park
  2. carver’s creek state park
  3. chimney rock state park
  4. cliffs of the neuse state park
  5. crowder’s mountain state park
  6. dismal swamp state park
  7. elk knob state park
  8. eno river state park
  9. falls lake state recreation area
  10. fort fisher state recreation area
  11. fort macon state park
  12. goose creek state park
  13. gorges state park
  14. grandfather mountain state park
  15. hammocks beach state park
  16. hanging rock state park
  17. haw river state park
  18. jockey’s ridge state park
  19. jones lake state park
  20. jordan lake state recreation area
  21. kerr lake state recreation area
  22. lake james state park
  23. lake norman state park
  24. lake waccamaw state park
  25. lumber river state park
  26. mayo river state park
  27. medoc mountain state park
  28. merchants millpond state park
  29. morrow mountain state park
  30. mount jefferson state natural area
  31. mount mitchell state park
  32. new river state park
  33. occoneechee mountain state natural area
  34. pettigrew state park
  35. pilot mountain state park
  36. raven rock state park
  37. singletary lake state park
  38. south mountains state park
  39. stone mountain state park
  40. weymouth woods sandhills nature preserve
  41. william b. umstead state park