Posted on March 7, 2017

Explore North Carolina State and National Parks

Saturdays shouldn’t have a spin cycle.  Explore North Carolina state and national parks any day of the week. See the gorgeous rush of our incredible waterfalls over gigantic mountain rocks. Experience that and so much more.  

Did you know that in 2016, the North Carolina state parks system celebrated its 100th anniversary?  In fact, it has grown to over 225, 000 acres and hosts more than 15.6 million visitors each year.  

It started with The General Assembly authorizing the purchase of land for a state park at Mount Mitchell on March 3, 1915, and 795 acres on the summit were acquired by the end of 1916, thus firmly establishing the first state park in the southeastern United States.  

Our state parks not only protect North Carolina’s natural heritage and educate citizens to be responsible environmental caretakers, they also offer a variety of fun recreational activities, including:

  • Boating and paddling
  • Camping
  • Cultural and historical significance
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Museums
  • Park facilities
  • Rock climbing
  • Swimming
  • Trails

The North Carolina Trails Program helps volunteers, nonprofit groups, and government agencies plan, manage, and develop greenways, routes for hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as water trails, and off-road vehicle trails.

The North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns association is very excited that the trails program is also planning, promoting, and developing a system of statewide trails that will connect Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park.  

This will be called North Carolina’s Mountains to Sea State Trail and, when it is completed, will cover a distance of some 1,000 miles!  Today, over 600 miles of it is open for use.  The following is a partial list of state parks available to the public:

Chimney Rock State Park

Mountains of North Carolina:

  • Chimney Rock
  • Crowders Mountain
  • Elk Knob
  • Gorges
  • Grandfather Mountain
  • Hanging Rock
  • Lake James
  • Lake Norman
  • Mount Jefferson
  • Mount Mitchell
  • Morrow Mountain
  • New River
  • Pilot Mountain
  • South Mountains
  • Stone Mountain

Central North Carolina:

Jordan Lake in North Carolina

  • Carvers Creek
  • Eno River
  • Falls Lake
  • Haw River
  • Jordan Lake
  • Kerr Lake
  • Lumber River
  • Mayo River
  • Occoneechee Mountain
  • Raven Rock
  • Weymouth Woods
  • William B. Umstead

Eastern North Carolina:

  • Cliffs of the Neuse
  • Dismal Swamp
  • Goose Creek
  • Jones Lake
  • Lake Waccamaw
  • Medoc Mountain
  • Merchants Millpond
  • Pettigrew
  • Singletary Lake


Coastal North Carolina:

  • Carolina Beach
  • Fort Fisher
  • Fort Macon
  • Hammocks Beach
  • Jockey’s Ridge

North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns are conveniently located throughout the state.  Our guests can take comfort that our regularly inspected inns will exceed their expectations. From our luxurious accommodations to our modern amenities and our gourmet breakfasts, we welcome you to stay with us during your exploration of our North Carolina State and National Parks.