Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
|Education and Events||Swimming|
Boating: The boat ramp at Dinah's Landing on the west side of Goose Creek is conveniently located near the Pamlico River. Motorboating and sailing are popular activities. Boating regulations of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission apply.
Family Tent-Camping: A primitive family campground is located between Goose and Flatty creeks. Fourteen well-spaced tent sites amid towering pines include vehicle parking, tables and fire pits. Toilet facilities and water spigots are available along the campground road. Occupancy is limited to no more than six people per site.
Group Tent-Camping: Two primitive group tent sites that include tables, grills and vehicle parking are located near the end of the main park road. Flush toilets and water are located nearby. The sites, each capable of accommodating up to 30 people, are open by reservation only from mid-March through late November for a fee.
Education and Events: The opportunities for learning at Goose Creek State Park are abundant. There is a wide array of ranger-led programs available to families and organized groups. The park's Environmental Education and visitor center houses educational exhibits, a wet lab with microscopes and video projection equipment, and a multipurpose auditorium. A short walk from the center, a screened-in outdoor classroom sits among the towering trees of a mixed forest. Two interpretive trails lay in close proximity. Park rangers attend workshops and receive other training to earn the professional accreditation of Certified Environmental Educators. Drawing on their vast experience, the rangers present programs and activities that suit the unique needs of each audience. Groups should contact the park at least two weeks in advance to schedule a program. All programs are free of charge.
Goose Creek State Park's Environmental Education Learning Experience materials have been developed for grades 4 - 6 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Goose Creek program introduces students to wetland processes and functions and discusses how wetlands affect humans and the area's natural environment. The program also focuses on water quality, resource management, adaptations and stewardship. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.
Exhibits: The environmental education and visitor center has the right tools to open your eyes to the natural world of wetlands! Visitors are greeted with the sights and sounds of a wetland as soon as they enter the lobby. Mounts of birds in flight along the corridor overhead and interactive exhibits with sounds of wetland animals add to the feeling of being right in a marsh or hardwood swamp. In addition, a five-minute film is available to introduce visitors to the park and its creatures.
Visitors can learn more about animals that live in the wetlands in the Discovery Room. Mounts, replicas and animal signs allow close-up study and encourage hands-on learning. The Discovery Room also has a bird observation station, a table with an excellent view of the bird feeders outside. Sit down and take a moment to see which birds stop by.
Fishing: Fish in the creeks or the river; there are plenty of fresh and saltwater fish, especially in warmer weather. Species include largemouth bass, bluegill, and white and yellow perch. State fishing licenses are required and the rules of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Marine Fisheries apply. There is no fee for fishing at Goose Creek State Park.
Hiking: Eight miles of hiking trails meander through the estuarine areas of Goose Creek State Park. The diversity of wetlands ranges from freshwater and brackish-water marshes to black gum and cypress swamps. Large stands of pine and mixed forest provide cover for a variety of birds and land animals.
Flatty Creek Trail (0.3 miles) loops through an upland forest and incorporates short stretches of boardwalk across wetlands. The trail features an elevated observation deck affording views of both Goose Creek and the Pamlico River.
Goose Creek Trail (2.0 miles) runs from the campground at the mouth of Goose Creek to the Pamlico riverfront. Boardwalks pass through black gum and cypress swamps.
Ivey Gut Trail (1.8 miles) winds through the forest and provides peeks of Upper Goose Creek through trees along the way.
Live Oak Trail (0.3 miles) features a canopy of live oaks draped with Spanish moss. This loop-trail follows the shoreline of the Pamlico River for a short distance and then turns inland and passes a historic cemetery dating from the 1880s.
Palmetto Boardwalk Trail (0.5 miles) is handicap accessible and features a rambling boardwalk across a freshwater marsh. A junction with Tar Kiln Trail head can be found at the base of the boardwalk.
Mallard Creek Trail (0.5 miles) takes visitors to a small overlook on Mallard Creek, where red-winged blackbirds, herons and egrets have been spotted. Tar Kiln Trail originates along this trail at about the half-way mark.
Huckleberry Trail (0.2 miles) winds its way through patches of huckleberries and acts as a connecter-trail between Live Oak and Mallard Creek trails.
Tar Kiln Trail (1.3 miles) is the newest in the park's trail system. Located between Mallard Creek and Palmetto trails, remnants of the long leaf pine logging industry of the 1800s and early 1900s are still evident here. Several tar kilns have been marked along the trail.
Paddling: Tall, overhanging trees lining the creek banks and graceful water birds create a peacefulness best experienced by canoe or kayak. Day users can access Goose Creek from Dinah's Landing while overnight campers can put in at the end of the campground road. For special needs access, please contact the park office. Paddlers must make arrangements to bring vessels with them, as there are none for rent in the park. Be alert to storms and always wear a life vest.
Main Picnic Area: Located near the riverfront, this is a pleasant spot for lunch or dinner after a leisurely hike or a refreshing swim. In the midst of a mixed forest, the area is spacious enough to accommodate several families. A picnic shelter houses four tables, one of which is handicap accessible, with two adjacent grills. Eight open-air tables and three additional grills are placed throughout. Four additional tables are located nearby at the swim beach.
Flicker Field Picnic Area: Conveniently located across from the visitor center, the shelter here contains eight tables with two adjacent grills. One grill, as well as one of the tables, is handicap accessible. Four additional tables sit under trees at the edge of the open field, providing a perfect space for family activities such as kite flying or a game of tag.
Dinah's Landing: Before launching or at the end of a day of boating, rest and enjoy a snack at one of five tables near the boat ramp. One of the tables is handicap accessible, and three grills make it an inviting place to fix a hot dog or hamburger lunch.
Picnic shelters may be used on a first-come basis or, to ensure availability, reserved for a fee.
Swimming: Follow a short path from the last two parking lots, through the main picnic area, to the designated swimming area. A sandy beach offers access to the shallow waters of the Pamlico River. The swimming area is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, free of charge. Please be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty. Water shoes are recommended.