North Carolina is home to a number of national parks that are full of breathtaking natural beauty and history. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit these incredible places.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cape Hatteras National Seashore are all great options. The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is also a must see.
The Fort Raleigh National Historic Site is a fascinating spot on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. It’s the location of Sir Walter Raleigh’s first attempts at colonising the New World, which resulted in the disappearance of 116 men, women and children (including two who were born in America).
In addition to this strange and eerie story, Fort Raleigh played a major role in other significant events throughout history. This includes being the home of the prestigious Freedmen’s Colony and also serving as a key location during the Civil War time period.
There are many different things to see and do when visiting this historic park. From the relics of England’s first attempts at colonizing the New World to a historic outdoor drama, there is something for everyone.
With the tallest sand dune on the East Coast and stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Roanoke Sound, Jockey’s Ridge State Park is a must-see during your Outer Banks vacation. It’s also home to a wide-open soundfront beach, ideal for kiteboarding and windsurfing.
The park is home to three distinct ecosystems: the dune system, the maritime forest, and the Roanoke Sound. These unique environments provide a rich habitat for plants and animals, allowing visitors to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and experience the natural wonders of a desert or estuarine environment.
There are several interpretive programs offered at the park throughout the year. These programs give visitors of all ages the chance to learn more about North Carolina state parks and what makes them so special. They include an exploration of animal tracks in the sand (Tracks in the Sand), a sunset on the ridge program, and a crabby clinic.
Moores Creek National Battlefield in Pender County preserves the site of the first significant Patriot victory in the American Revolution. The battle on February 27, 1776 squelched British hopes of regaining control of North Carolina and paved the way for the independence of the state.
The tidally influenced “black water” creek here flows through a mix of pine forests and cypress swamps. The 88-acre park features a history trail with wayside exhibits; a visitor center with interpretive films; a Colonial forest trail and a picnic area.
The battlefield also hosts a variety of living history demonstrations, reenactments and tours to further the visitor’s understanding and appreciation for the events that led to the establishment of the nation. Several monuments commemorate such heroes as Pvt. John Grady, a member of the American Revolutionary War Corps who was the only patriot killed at Moores Creek; a Loyalist Monument; a monument to Stage Road; and a Women’s Monument, which honors eighteenth-century women in the Cape Fear region who served as Revolutionary War soldiers.
In 1780, a rag-tag group of backcountry patriot militiamen from the fertile river valleys and rough-hewn wilds of Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina set out across the Appalachian Mountains to fight a British force. The campaign was ultimately a victory for the Patriots, and it changed the course of American history.
Today, the 330-mile Overmountain Victory Trail traces the path that the patriots followed as they tracked down and defeated a British force during the Revolutionary War. It includes state and federally run parks and historic sites that celebrate the endurance of the backcountry pioneers.
The OVTA is a Congressionally designated historic trail that spans four states. Currently, about 87 miles of the route is open to walkers.