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Ask a Ranger: Winter Wonderland

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Bike trails:


13304 Creedmoor Road
Wake Forest, NC 27587



Map of North Carolina

GPS: 35.735554, -79.016569


  • November to February:
    8:00am to 6:00pm
  • March to April:
    8:00am to 8:00pm
  • May to August:
    8:00am to 9:00pm
  • September to October:
    8:00am to 8:00pm

Closed Christmas Day


All campgrounds at Falls Lake State Recreation Area offer 24-hour access when the campground is operating.

Campgrounds closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

*PLEASE NOTE: Day-use hours and 24-hour campground access are dependent on the operating season schedule.



8:00am to 5:00pm daily**

**Between Labor Day and Easter, office is closed on weekends and state holidays.

Sunrise at Falls Lake State Recreation Area

Ask a Ranger: Winter Wonderland

Click the player above to listen to the episode. Read the article below to learn more about the animals interviewed in the podcast.


Winter Wonderland

Kerr Lake in the winter

J. Williams, Kerr Lake State Recreation Area


Here in North Carolina, there are many ways for the animals that live around here to survive and thrive through chilly times. In this episode of Ask a Ranger Podcast, we interview four of our animal friends and ask them: “How do you survive a Carolina winter?"

Four main ways we encountered were: moving or migrating to a warmer climate, eating the food sources available, stashing food in caches to access them throughout the winter, and sleeping through most of the winter.

To add to this episode, we thought we would give you a short and fun biography of each of our North Carolina fauna guests from this episode.


Bruce the Goose

Canada goose

Canada goose
D. Mumford, Falls Lake State Recreation Area

Canada goose – Branta canadensis

Favorite food: We are exclusively grazers of grass, grain and berries

Favorite hangout: Any watering hole, really

Favorite song: "Free Bird," of course. I'm a classic rock kind of goose.

Favorite hobbies: Grazing in fields, dabbling for aquatic grub and gabbing with other "snowbirds" that hang out here in North Carolina for the winter

Favorite movie: "Fly Away Home"


Tallula the Turkey

Eastern wild turkey

Wild turkey
J. Phillips, William B. Umstead State Park

Wild turkey – Meleagris gallopavo

Favorite food: Acorns, berries, snakes and crickets

Favoirte hangout: Oh, we move between Forest Edge Cafe, Grassland Park and Mature Forest Disco (so we can shake our tail feathers)

Favorite movie: "The One That Got Away: Thanksgiving Special"

Favorite song: "Let's Turkey Trot"

Describe yourself in three words: famulous, phenomenal and friendly, of course!


Gilda the Gray Squirrel

Eastern gray squirrel

Eastern gray squirrel
J. Brown, Eno River State Park

Eastern gray squirrel – Sciurus carolinensis

Favorite food: Acorns, hazelnuts, flowers and berries

Favorite hangout: Tree Top Tea Room

Favorite book: "What Squirrels Do When No One's Looking" (by our very own Ranger Nick)

Favorite hobbies: Scampering... no, no... jumping from limb to limb... no, no... chasing my friends. Wait, what was the question?

Who is your hero?: Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel, from "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" TV show, of course!


Terrance the Turtle

Eastern box turtle

Eastern box turtle
J. Phillips, Falls Lake State Recreation Area

Eastern box turtle – Terrapene carolina carolina

Favorite food: Mushrooms, worms, flowers, beetles

Favorite hangout: Oh, the bottomland forest seems to suit me just fine

Favorite quote: "It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine." – Eeyore

Favorite movie: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

What is your best feature?: The way I close myself up entirely into my shell when some park ranger comes to bother me


Lastly, at the end of the pocdcast, we answered a question from one of our audience members, Autumn: What is the coolest wildlife you've ever seen?

Ranger Jess's was the daring jumping spider:

Daring jumping spider

Daring jumping spider
J. Phillips, William B. Umstead State Park


And Ranger Crystal's favorite wildlife was the fox squirrel:

Eastern fox squirrel

Eastern fox squirrel
A.S. Hartley, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve


About the Ask a Ranger Podcast

Ranger Crystal and Ranger Jess host the North Carolina State Parks Ask a Ranger Podcast series.

Email them at

For a full list of episodes, visit our BuzzSprout page.

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