We are lucky to live in a state with 41 state parks and recreation areas to visit! You are never far from stargazing, fishing, camping, horseback riding, rock climbing and so much more. So, whether you’re looking for an all-day adventure or an evening under the stars, North Carolina parks deliver. Most of the state’s parks and recreation areas don’t charge admission; and fees for camping, renting a canoe or stabling a horse are reasonable. What better time than now to take advantage of all the natural beauty our state has to offer?! Here is a little bit about some of our favorites.

We are partial to Merchants Millpond State Park in Gatesville, not only because it is a short 30 minute drive from Albemarle Plantation, but also because it brings together the coastal pond and Southern swamp forest, creating an enchanted forest type of ambiance. Rent canoes or bring your own and glide gently across the dark surface of the millpond. Game fishing is also allowed, and we know how much our residents love to fish! Choose from backpack or family campsites, or canoe to your site for a unique adventure.

Want the beauty of the beach and a bit of a history lesson all wrapped up into one day trip?! Then we recommend Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head. Sitting at over 100 feet, it is the tallest living sand dune on the East Coast. Take a hang gliding lessons from a private instructor or rent equipment and go out on your own if you’re feeling adventurous! Kite flying, sail-boarding and windsurfing are additional activities that make Jockey’s Ridge a unique experience. If flying is your thing, visit the nearby Wright Brothers National Memorial to see the site of Orville and Wilbur’s famed first flight!

After being cooped up for months, we are all in need of some family fun right? There is nowhere better than Kerr Lake to meet everyone in the family’s needs for entertainment. With more than 850 miles of shoreline covering 50,000 acres, Kerr Lake is one of the largest lakes and most scenic in the Southeast. From wooded shores to secluded coves to tranquil picnic areas, Kerr Lake offers something for water enthusiasts and land lovers alike. Fishing, camping, boating, water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, nature hikes, bird watching and picnicking are all great ways to take advantage of this park’s bounty.

There is so much more to see and explore in our beautiful state, don’t miss the chance to take in all on NC natural beauty!