Click the links below to view frequently asked questions (FAQs). Some parks have additional rules specific to their activities; please visit the individual park's 'Rules & Regs' page for more information.
|Entrance Fee?||Golf Carts?||Reservations?|
|Firearms?||Max People?||Season Passes?
|Fires?||Metal Detecting?||Senior Discounts?|
All alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in state parks.
Only three parks (Falls Lake, Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake) have entrance gate fees. Entrance fees at those parks are charged to supplement operational costs and help maintain and improve the areas for visitors.
Firearms and other weapons are prohibited except that those with a proper permit may possess a concealed handgun in permitted areas and under the requirements of North Carolina G.S. 14-415.11. All firearms and weapons are prohibited in state park visitor centers and park offices. (EXCEPTION: Federal law (36 C.F.R. § 327.13) prohibits loaded firearms or ammunition on those lands and waters at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake and Kerr Lake state recreation areas managed by the state parks system and owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.)
Fires are permitted in designated areas only. Most family and group campsites have either a fire ring or fire pit available for campfires and cooking. Most picnic pads and shelters have grills.
Fireworks, cap pistols, air guns, bows and arrows, slingshots and lethal projectiles or missiles of any kind are prohibited on all properties managed by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
A fishing license is required for all individuals over the age of 15. Anyone 15 years of age or under does not need a fishing license while in a state park. There are some state parks that require a special permit depending on the type of fish you are after. There are also numerous exemptions to these regulations. Check with your local Wildlife Resources Commission Service Agent or the
There is a new N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License, and it is required in order to fish at coastal parks.
No unregistered motor vehicles are allowed in any park area. This includes golf carts, mini-bikes, go carts, 4-wheelers, etc. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with physical disabilities. Electric wheelchairs are permitted but the operator must be the person with the physical disability.
There is a maximum limit of 6 people, 2 tents and 2 vehicles per family campsite. All camping equipment and vehicles (if applicable) must be on the campsite and not spread out in the woods. Group campsites vary depending on the size of the campsite, but typically hold 5-25 individuals.
Metal detectors are not allowed in any park area except to locate lost personal property when authorized by a Special Activity Permit.
The operating hours of most NC State Parks and Recreation Areas is as follows: November-February, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. March and October, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. April, May and September, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. June-August, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. The park gate is closed and locked at closing time. All parks are open on holidays with the exception of Christmas Day. There are a few parks that have a different operating schedule or close areas during the winter months, so please contact the park office for further details.
Pets are permitted so long as they are on a leash no longer than 6 feet and under the constant control of the owner. Overnight, pets must be confined to the owner's tent or vehicle during quiet hours. Pets are strictly prohibited from entering any building, with the exception of service animals and authorized search and rescue dogs. Owners may be asked to remove dangerous or noisy pets from the park.
Pets are not allowed on the ferry at Hammocks Beach State Park.
The state parks system has implemented a full-service Internet- and call center-based reservations system for its 3,000 campsites as well as picnic shelters, cabins, community buildings and other facilities.
Reservations can now be made up to 48 hours in advance, either online through this website or by calling toll-free 1-877-7-CAMP-NC (722-6762).
Advance reservations aren't required for a campsite or picnic shelter at a state park if the facility is available, and at many parks, some campsites will be set aside for walk-in registration. Without an advance reservation, most available campsites and picnic shelters are on a first come, first served basis as in the past.
Season passes are available for those state recreation areas that charge day use entrance fees (Kerr, Jordan, Falls lakes) and for limited permit activities at parks. They are not available for camping or swimming. Where available, you can purchase passes at the parks' offices. Check with your park of interest to determine what season passes are offered.
Season passes are good through December 31st of every year and grant the holder free admission to all parks that charge entrance fees. The passes are transferable between vehicles.
Season passes are available for the ferry at Hammocks Beach State Park. The non-transferrable pass is sold at the visitor center office for $50.00 per individual and is good for the calendar year's ferry season (April - October).
Senior discounts are available for visitors age 62 and older. The discounts are $6 for campsites with electrical hookups and $5 for campsites without electrical hookups. Age verification will be required upon arrival. Discounts do not apply to primitive campsites.