October 10th Update: Bird and Galax are still closed due to remaining safety hazards. They will be opened as staff are able to repair and clear them. *NOTE: All of the standing water has the mosquitos out in droves — we recommend bug spray!Posted on: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The family campground is closed for reservations due to construction. The bath house is slated to be renovated this fall; after completion the bath house will be ADA compliant and feature separate family, men's and women's facilities.Posted on: Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Follow the cliffs' edge for lovely views of the river below. A path bordered by a rail fence leads along the riverbank. Oaks, dogwoods and other trees line the path, often cloaking views of the river with a veil of Spanish moss. Though the cliffs formed over millions of years, irresponsible actions on the part of man could destroy them in no time. To preserve this beautiful formation, climbing on the cliffs is not permitted.
Follow park trails to creeks that were once used to make moonshine and cornmeal. Mill Creek was the home of a gristmill that processed grain while federally-operated whiskey stills were located along Still Creek. Today, the area where these creeks empty into the Neuse River serves as a place to fish and enjoy nature.
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park now offers a canoe/kayak/paddle craft launch that is located two highway miles north of the park's visitor center. The launch is located adjacent to the intersection of River Road and Mince Hill Road just below Broadhurst Bridge (35*15'19.75N; 77*54'24.25"W). The launch was obtained in 2015 by gift of the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and thanks in part to efforts by former County Planning Director Connie Price. The launch now offers those who desire to paddle a beautiful section of the Neuse an 8-mile trip that leads them through the park and onto the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's Seven Springs public boat ramp that serves as a take-out. The 8-mile trip is suggested only for experienced paddlers and the park advises that paddlers check-in at the park for the latest river conditions and to advise a ranger of their float plan. Common sights along the river are bald eagles, river otter, various waterfowl, and abundant fishing opportunities. The park offers a one-page paddle trail map at the Visitor Center also and ranger-led paddle trips for the public are scheduled regularly. On standard flow conditions, the trip typically takes about 3 hours.
The park's Sand Path is a generations old farm path that leads to the park's four (4) semi-primitive group sites. The Sand Path features a 1.8 mile round trip for joggers or hikers and forms a large section of the loop formed by hiking the Longleaf and Spanish Moss trails together. This path travels into a mixed pine and hardwood forest and borders an intensively managed section of the park being worked on by division staff to restore longleaf pine habitat. This trail may be traveled by vehicles at low speeds by campers so hikers must be aware of the dual use. This trail begins adjacent to the park's multi-use field off Park Road and offers a great round-trip hike opportunity for groups. This trail offers great viewing opportunities for birders due to the variety of habitats encountered and the secluded environment. Probably the park's best trail on which to view eastern wild turkeys or eastern fox squirrels.
The park's Spanish Moss Trail is one of the original trails established following the park's inception in 1945. A series of steps lead from the cliff overlook down to the low grounds of the Neuse River where hikers will be able to view bottomland tree species including bald cypress and sycamore in addition to one the largest trees on the park; a towering sweetgum that measures more than 36" at its base. A trail spur on the river bottom leads to a sandbar where park visitors can may also fish in the Neuse River. The trail ends up at the park's group camping sites and hikers may return on the trail or continue on to compete a two-mile loop on the Sand Path and then onto the Longleaf Trail. Spanish Moss, the namesake for this trail, is still present in many trees along the trail, but it is not as prolific as it once was for reasons unknown.