Local News

New Park Opens in Harnett County

Posted April 26, 2008 2:12 p.m. EDT
Updated April 26, 2008 2:53 p.m. EDT

— River Park, along the Cape Fear River in Erwin, opened to the public Saturday.

The park is by the Highway 217 bridge and offers walking trails, river overlooks, restrooms and a space for outdoor education.

There is also canoe and kayak access, which is part of the over 100-mile-long Cape Fear Paddle Trail that ends in Wilmington.

“This really is exciting news,” said Brad Lamberton, owner of Lillington’s Cape Fear RV & Canoe Center, which rents kayaks and canoes. “That park has just about everything one would want on a river trail. Unlike other rivers in the area that sometimes dry up, the Cape Fear rumbles almost all year long. It’s a beautiful trip along this stretch.”

The park site is already a favored landing spot for paddlers, Lamberton said, as they travel downriver from Lillington, Raven Rock State Park.

“Now, when they finish their paddle trips, they’ll have a great last impression because of this park,” Lamberton added. “This will bring them back again.”

In 2006, the Harnett Forward Together Committee donated 16 acres of river frontage for the park. Their gift helped secure a $493,000 matching grant for construction from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.