State Parks Asheville NC

7 State Parks Near Asheville NC: Discover nature in North Carolina

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of North Carolina’s natural landscapes, look no further than the state parks near Asheville. These parks offer a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to exploring nature reserves. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking to enjoy some time outdoors, these state parks have something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • State parks near Asheville, NC offer various outdoor activities.
  • Activities include hiking, camping, and exploring nature reserves.
  • These parks provide opportunities to embrace North Carolina’s natural beauty.
  • State parks near Asheville are perfect for nature enthusiasts.
  • Enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities in Asheville, NC.

Carolina Beach State Park

Carolina Beach State Park, located in New Hanover County about 12 miles south of Wilmington, offers a variety of activities and amenities for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. The park’s unique ecosystems and diverse wildlife make it a must-visit destination.

“The beauty of Carolina Beach State Park lies in the unique combination of its natural attractions and recreational opportunities. Visitors will be captivated by the stunning Sugarloaf Dune, a rare geological formation that provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.”

One of the park’s highlights is the chance to observe the fascinating Venus flytraps, a carnivorous plant that thrives in the sandy soil. Brown pelicans and river otters are among the other wildlife species that can be spotted in the park.

For those looking to get out on the water, Carolina Beach State Park offers a full-service marina and opportunities for boating and fishing along the Intracoastal Waterway and Cape Fear River. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice boater, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Full-Hookup RV Camping and Easy Trails

If you’re planning to stay overnight, the park offers full-hookup RV camping facilities. Set up camp and enjoy the serenity of the park while being surrounded by nature. The easy trails within the park make it accessible for all skill levels, allowing visitors to explore the park at their own pace.

Whether you’re hiking through the maritime forest or taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, the trails at Carolina Beach State Park offer a chance to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Experience the Sugarloaf Dune

The Sugarloaf Dune is undoubtedly one of the highlights of Carolina Beach State Park. Rising 50 feet above sea level, this ancient dune provides visitors with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.

Make sure to bring your camera and capture the stunning vistas from the top of the dune. It’s a perfect spot for a picturesque sunset or sunrise.

Activities Amenities
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Easy Trails
  • Full-Service Marina
  • Full-Hookup RV Camping

Carolina Beach State Park offers a unique outdoor experience that combines natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re exploring the Sugarloaf Dune, observing Venus flytraps, or enjoying boating and fishing along the Intracoastal Waterway, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this coastal gem.

So grab your fishing rod, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on an adventure in the stunning Carolina Beach State Park!

Carolina Beach State Park

Carvers Creek State Park

Carvers Creek State Park, located in Cumberland County just 13 miles northwest of Fayetteville, is a hidden gem that offers a serene escape into nature. The park is known for its majestic longleaf pine trees, which create a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the main attractions of Carvers Creek State Park is the opportunity to spot the endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers, known for their distinctive black-and-white plumage. These rare birds depend on the park’s longleaf pine forests for their habitat, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers.

Another unique species found in the park is the Pine Barrens tree frog. With its distinctive call and vibrant colors, this frog adds a touch of vibrancy to the natural surroundings.

Carvers Creek State Park offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. At the Long Valley Farm Access, you can explore the historic Rockefeller House, a colonial revival-style mansion that offers a fascinating glimpse into the park’s past. Take a leisurely stroll along the serene trails that wind through the park, providing opportunities for relaxation and tranquility.

If fishing is your passion, Carvers Creek State Park has you covered. The park features a beautiful millpond where you can cast your line and try your luck at catching bass, catfish, and sunfish. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

In addition to its natural beauty, Carvers Creek State Park also boasts historic structures that showcase the rich heritage of the area. From the iconic Rockefeller House to the remnants of past mills and farm structures, visitors can take a step back in time and appreciate the history that has shaped the park.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful hike, a fishing excursion, or a glimpse into the past, Carvers Creek State Park has something for everyone. It’s the ideal destination for those looking to connect with nature and experience the beauty of Cumberland County.

Carvers Creek State Park Highlights:

  • Longleaf pine trees
  • Red-cockaded woodpeckers
  • Pine Barrens tree frogs
  • Rockefeller House
  • Serene trails
  • Fishing at the millpond
  • Historic structures

Carvers Creek State Park

Access Point Activities
Long Valley Farm Access
  • Explore the Rockefeller House
  • Enjoy serene trails
  • Go fishing at the millpond
  • Visit historic structures
Sandhills Access
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback riding
  • Fishing at Carvers Creek and ponds

Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park, located about 25 miles southeast of Asheville in Rutherford County, is a breathtaking natural wonder that offers a multitude of outdoor experiences. This expansive park is not only home to stunning scenic views but also a diverse range of flora and fauna. Visitors to Chimney Rock State Park are in for a treat as they discover the remarkable beauty of this North Carolina gem.

Exploring the park’s trails and pathways, nature enthusiasts have the opportunity to spot fascinating wildlife, including majestic peregrine falcons soaring above, the delicate rock gnome lichen clinging to ancient rocks, and the elusive green salamanders scurrying along the forest floor. Keep an eye out for the remarkable lampshade spiders spinning intricate webs and the elegant white irisette blooming in hidden corners of the park. Chimney Rock State Park truly offers a unique chance to connect with nature’s wonders.

One of the highlights of Chimney Rock State Park is the iconic Chimney itself. Rising high above the landscape, this towering rock formation is a sight to behold. Visitors can marvel at the Chimney’s grandeur from various vantage points throughout the park, truly appreciating its imposing presence in the natural surroundings.

An extraordinary feature of Chimney Rock State Park is the elevator inside a mountain, which allows visitors to reach the spectacular Hickory Nut Falls with ease. This stunning 404-foot waterfall is one of the tallest east of the Mississippi River and is a sight that should not be missed. As the water cascades down the rugged cliffs, it creates a mesmerizing display of nature’s power and beauty.

For those seeking adventure, Chimney Rock State Park offers opportunities for rock climbing, allowing thrill-seekers to test their skills on the park’s challenging cliffs. The park provides designated climbing areas where experienced climbers can enjoy the exhilaration of scaling the rocks and experiencing breathtaking views along their ascent.

To further enhance your visit, here is a comprehensive table highlighting some of the key features and activities available at Chimney Rock State Park:

Key Features Activities
Peregrine falcons Spotting and bird-watching
Rock gnome lichen Nature observation and photography
Green salamanders Hiking and exploring trails
Lampshade spiders Enjoying the park’s wildlife
White irisette Discovering rare and beautiful flora
The Chimney Admiring the iconic landmark
Elevator inside a mountain Visiting Hickory Nut Falls
Hickory Nut Falls Experiencing the majestic waterfall
Scenic views Enjoying the natural beauty of the park
Rock climbing Challenging yourself on the cliffs

With its stunning scenery, diverse wildlife, and thrilling activities, Chimney Rock State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you want to explore the park’s trails, admire the breathtaking views, or embark on an adrenaline-pumping rock climbing adventure, Chimney Rock State Park offers an unforgettable experience for all who venture into its natural wonders.

Chimney Rock State Park

Visit Chimney Rock State Park

There are multiple access points to Chimney Rock State Park, each offering its own unique experience:

  1. Chimney Rock Access: This is the main entrance to the park and provides access to the iconic Chimney, Hickory Nut Falls, and panoramic views along the strenuous trails.
  2. Eagle Rock Access: Located on the eastern side of the park, this entrance offers hiking and biking trails through rugged mountain terrain, rock climbing opportunities, and limited free parking.
  3. Rumbling Bald Access: Situated on the western side of the park, this access point features hiking through large boulder fields, bouldering, rock climbing, and free access to Rumbling Bald Mountain.

Whichever access point you choose, Chimney Rock State Park guarantees an unforgettable experience surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

Located in Wayne County, approximately 15 miles southeast of Goldsboro, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park provides visitors with a picturesque and diverse outdoor experience. The park is renowned for its magnificent 90-foot bluffs that rise above the Neuse River, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

One of the park’s notable attractions is its population of eastern fox squirrels, adding a touch of wildlife charm to your visit. As you explore the park, you’ll have the opportunity to hike through the longleaf restoration areas, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. The park is also intertwined with creeks, creating peaceful and serene spaces that are perfect for relaxation.

For those seeking summer fun, a dip in the park’s swimming lake is a must. The swimming lake also offers boat rentals, allowing visitors to explore the scenic Neuse River from a different perspective. Whether you prefer a leisurely paddle or an exciting kayaking adventure, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park has it all.

If you’re planning to stay overnight, the park offers full hook-up RV camping facilities for a comfortable and convenient experience. Wake up to the sounds of nature and embrace the tranquility of the park’s surroundings.

Activities at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

Activities Description
Hiking Explore the park’s longleaf restoration areas and scenic trails.
Swimming Take a refreshing swim in the park’s designated swimming lake.
Boat Rentals Rent a boat and enjoy a peaceful paddle along the Neuse River.
RV Camping Experience full hook-up RV camping facilities for a comfortable stay.
Paddling Embark on a paddling adventure on the Neuse River.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Cliffs of the Neuse State Park and create unforgettable memories as you explore its stunning landscapes and engage in a variety of outdoor activities.

Crowders Mountain State Park

Crowders Mountain State Park is a stunning natural oasis located west of Charlotte in Cleveland County and Gaston County. This expansive park offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

One of the highlights of Crowders Mountain State Park is the diverse bird species that call this area home. From vibrant small songbirds to majestic red-tailed hawks and soaring turkey vultures, birdwatchers will find plenty to see and admire.

If you’re up for a challenge, head to the Boulders Access where you can embark on long hikes through rugged terrain and even try your hand at bouldering. For breathtaking panoramic views, make your way to the Linwood Access’s Crowders Mountain overlook. Here, you can tackle steep and challenging hikes that reward you with stunning scenic vistas. Rock climbing enthusiasts will also find ample opportunities to test their skills in this park.

The Sparrow Springs Access is home to the Pinnacle overlook, which offers a range of hiking options suitable for all skill levels. Whether you prefer an easy stroll or a strenuous trek, you’ll find the perfect trail here. Additionally, the park features a serene lake, a visitor center with informative exhibits, and even backpack camping for those looking to immerse themselves in nature.


What are the best state parks near Asheville, NC?

Some of the best state parks near Asheville, NC include Carolina Beach State Park, Carvers Creek State Park, Chimney Rock State Park, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, and Crowders Mountain State Park.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy at these state parks?

You can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at these state parks, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing, rock climbing, and birdwatching.

Are there any easy hiking trails in these state parks?

Yes, many of these state parks offer easy and scenic hiking trails that are perfect for beginners and families.

Can I go camping at these state parks?

Yes, most of these state parks offer camping facilities, including RV camping and backpack camping options.

Are there any nature reserves or unique ecosystems to explore?

Yes, you can explore unique ecosystems such as the Sugarloaf Dune at Carolina Beach State Park, the longleaf pine forests at Carvers Creek State Park, and the diverse wildlife at Chimney Rock State Park.

Are these state parks suitable for families with kids?

Yes, these state parks offer a range of family-friendly activities and amenities, including easy hiking trails, swimming lakes, and educational programs.

Source Links

Scroll to Top