Exploring River Parks

By Liz Houde

Now that the weather is getting cooler, we hope you’ll get out on trips to explore the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico watersheds. There is so much to see and you can’t use the summertime excuse that it’s too hot to be outdoorsy and adventurous. This issue we are highlighting a state park in both the Neuse and the Tar-Pamlico River watersheds, and encourage you to get out and explore two of the parks contained within Sound Rivers territory.

umstead

Bridge and hiking trail over Sycamore Creek in William B. Umstead State Park

William B. Umstead State Park

Wither your biking, hiking or an equestrian looking for a trail ride, William B. Umstead State Park in Wake County, has a trail for you. This park is piloting a program to encourage early morning use of its trails, and opens it gates at 7 am. With camp sites open march through November, William B Umstead, is a great location for fall camping trips. William B Umstead is also home to the historic Maple Hill Lodge, which can be reserved for overnight group gatherings.

Rangers regularly host educational programs focused on plants and wildlife in the area, as well as classes focused on fishing. The park includes three man-made lakes for fishing and canoeing, and rents canoes and paddle boats through October, so there’s still time to paddle there this season. Fish found in the area include bass, bluegill and crappie.

Goose Creek State Park

dawn2

Sunrise along Flatty Creek, Goose Creek State Park (Photo Credit: H. Deck)

Goose Creek State Park, located just east of Washington  in Beaufort County, borders the Pamlico River and is a great access point for Tar-Pamlico River trips. The boat ramp at Dinah’s Landing, located on the west side of Goose Creek is a great access point for our water trail camping platforms in Washington. Through paddlers launching from here, will have a great view of Washington as they paddle to one of three camping platforms in the area.

Fishing at Goose Creek State Park offers a unique experience, both fresh and saltwater fish dwell in the water near the park. Species spotted here include largemouth bass, bluegill, and white and yellow perch.

Goose Creek state park is a great place to expand your knowledge of the natural world. The park offers a wide array of ranger-led programs and educational exhibits celebrating the wetland ecosystems contained within the park. Goose Creek State Park is home to a discovery room which includes mounts, replicas and animal signs of animals that live in the park.

There are nearly a dozen state parks contained within the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico territory, and we hope you’ll visit some of them soon. These rivers are diverse and wherever you head, there will surely be something to see.