Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Your Favorite State Park

Posted July 31, 2007

What is your favorite state park? 

I tossed out this quesiton today in the WRAL newsroom.  Elizabeth Gardner and I both came up with the same answer:  Stone Mountain State Park in Wilkes and Alleghany counties near Elkin.  We both love this park for the outstanding trails, stunning and varied views and excellent campgroud facilities.

Valonda Calloway really likes Hammocks Beach State Park.  I hear it is a perfect example of coastal North Carolina before all the bulldozers came.

Another favorite of mine is Lake James near Morganton.  Call me sentimental but you'll cherish the vistas of Table Rock.

Pettigrew State Park near Plymouth is awesome in the winter with the snow geese and tundra swans.

Merchants Millpond in Gates County is one of the most unusual and interesting parks especially if you like to travel by canoe of kayak.

Plus, it's hard to beat Raven Rock near Lillington and Eno River.

What about you?  What are your favorites and why?


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Silver loves Rebel Red puppies Jul 31, 2007

    I wish funding for state parks wasn't so hard to come by. There is so much natural beauty in NC that ought to be preserved, and everywhere, really. I'm very glad that Weymouth Woods came to be. The Longleaf Pine is an indigenous tree, and it's range used to be enormous. When I was a child, they reminded me of plush stuffed toys because the needles all together on a branch look so puffy.

  • jchalmersnc Jul 31, 2007

    Julian Price State Park
    Blowing Rock, NC

  • angora Jul 31, 2007

    In the 1970s I worked for the NC State Parks system in the planning department. Being from Virginia, I knew nothing of NC's parks, but I learned pretty quickly. It was at that time many state parks were established (Jockeys Ridge being the one I remember most). It was a fight from A to Z for funding. I'm sure it still is. These parks are natural resources that we must preserve and enhance along the way. They are for EVERYONE.

  • tennispro Jul 31, 2007

    Grand Teton National Park is my favorite with all the waterfalls!!

  • Silver loves Rebel Red puppies Jul 31, 2007

    I love Raven Rock, I used to make a lot of trips there. I used to love to play in the river on the Fish Traps Trail, because it's shallow flowing over the expanse of granite there. These days, my company does a lot of work for State Parks. Fort Macon is going to have the most beautiful educational bldg. in a year or so, so that is absolutely on my list. That's my exposed timber truss in the ceiling! I made the drawings for it. Weymouth Woods is soooooo beautiful, like an enchanted forest of Longleaf Pines. I just love my sandhills, I was born and raised there. The Summit at Haw River seems downhome, so close by, but I believe it would be a really great place to visit, great facilities, and I intend to visit it. Rooms are only $70 a night, cabins $55. That's pretty hard to beat.

  • joneal350 Jul 31, 2007

    Cliffs of the Neuse State Park in Seven Springs (Wayne County) is often an overlooked park and it is my favorite. Beautiful setting, great trails and a cliff in eastern NC-how cool is that!

  • GWALLY Jul 31, 2007

    (1) Hammocks Beach...can't get their except by boat. (fantastic)
    (2) Fort Macon...easy to get to, great beaches and fishing.
    (3) State Park on Ocracoke...great beach and fishing.
    (Can you tell I love the Crystal Coast !!!)

  • silverflash Jul 31, 2007

    To all you park lovers,

    If you want a cool plate, for 30$, just sign up for one of these special state park plates. Very cool and good looking and will show your pride for our beautiful state parks. My personal favorite park? Probably Stone Mountain though it was Hanging Rock before..... Love the trails and the views..

  • mrtwinturbo Jul 31, 2007

    Sorry but I have always been partial to Mackinac Island State Park, Michigan originally established as a national park in 1875, Mackinac Island later became Michigan's first state park. Eighty percent of the island is still park land, punctuated by distinctive stone formations like Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf and shadowed by canopies of cedars and birches. Dozens of footpaths crisscross its 1,800 acres and Michigan's shortest highway--M-185--circles the island with a solid surface for walkers, bicyclists, and horse-drawn vehicles (autos not allowed on the island)

  • john283594 Jul 31, 2007

    Morrow Mountain State Park is very nice, if you like long strenous hiking in a subtropical rain forest. I went in June. lol...

    It is nice! I also hear that Gorges State Park, which is the newest state park is great if you want to really get far away.




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie