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Events and Programs

Children enjoying an activity at Hammocks Beach State Park
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There's something for everyone

From fishing lessons to astronomy programs, from tree identification hikes to kite workshops, our parks offer a variety of learning opportunities for all ages. Most of the events are free, though some require pre-registration.

Browse through the event listing below.  (Selection will show all events for AND/OR after selected date)

Event List

Take a ride aboard the open-air Dismal Swamp Express and enjoy the scenery along Canal Road along with the spring weather! With stops at the liquor still and lighter boat replicas, you'll learn about the Swamp's colorful past and how it came to be a park. Wildlife sightings are also possible!
The ride covers just over two miles and usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour. First come, first... more

Date of Event:
Repeats every week every Sunday until Sun May 27 2018.
Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 11:00am
Start Location:
Visitor Center

Celebrate Spring by taking  a hike with a park ranger and learn about the natural and cultural histroy of Mt. Mitchell State Park.
Be prepared for a short hike on the Balsam Nature Trail 3/4 loop

Date of Event:
Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 1:00pm
Start Location:
Balsam Nature Trail (Upper Summit Parking Lot)

Come join a park ranger for a Mother's Day hike at the edge of the world! This is a little-known vista affords views of Hickory Nut Gorge and the piedmont of North Carolina all the way to South Carolina on a clear day. Participants will learn about the history of the area, its flora and fauna, and get a little exercise in!

The hike includes moderate difficulty, a distance of 1.5 miles,... more

Date of Event:
Sunday, May 13, 2018 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Start Location:
Contact the state park office at 828-625-1823 for more information.

Meet at the Visitor Center and take a leisurely hike to identify birds native to the area.

Date of Event:
Repeats every month on January, February, March, April, May on the second Monday until Mon May 14 2018.
Monday, May 14, 2018 - 9:00am
Start Location:
Visitor Center

Join a park ranger to learn the basics of kayaking and enjoy learning some park natural and cultural history while paddling in the Roanoke Sound.  We will be using sit-on-top tandem kayaks or you can bring your own.  Pre-registration is required.  Please leave contact phone number in case of cancellation due to bad weather.  Limit of 12 people.  Be prepared to get wet.  Please wear closed toed... more

Date of Event:
Repeats every week every Wednesday 6 times.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 10:00am
Start Location:
Soundside Road Access - W. Soundside Road

The Friends of Gorges State Park is pleased to announce its first spring art show May 18 – 20. 2018 hosted by Gorges State Park. Located in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina our fine art show will focus exclusively on the landscape and wildlife of this area. Acceptable media will include painting, fiber and photography. There will be no cost to the artists and all works may be... more

Date of Event:
Friday, May 18, 2018 - 12:30pm to Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 12:30pm
Start Location:
Gorges State Park - Visitor Center

Saturday, May 19, 2018
Free guided trip open to the first 11 people to sign up at the park office.
Call 336-427-2530 to sign up or for more information and directions.
 
Have you ever wanted to paddle down the scenic Mayo River? Come out and take a river trip with a park ranger. This canoe trip will start at the public boat access at Old Anglin Mill Loop Road and end at... more

Date of Event:
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 10:00am to 2:30pm
Start Location:
Public boat access at Old Anglin Mill Loop Road

With living in or visiting the Grandfather Mountain State Park area one thing is obvious...there are a lot of great hiking trails in the area to explore. If you are new to hiking or have never hiked before this is the program you’ll want to attend. Join a Ranger for this “easy” one mile round trip hike to learn how to become a more confident hiker for many different types of terrain and... more

Date of Event:
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 10:30am to 12:30pm
Start Location:
NEW Profile Parking Lot (4198 Hwy 105) - across from Pedalin' Pig Restaurant in Banner Elk

Join a Park Ranger at the Jacob Fork Parking Area at 11:00 am for a streamside hike along the Jacob Fork River.
 
 

Date of Event:
Repeats every week every Saturday until Sat May 26 2018.
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 11:00am
Start Location:
Jacob Fork Parking Area

Come walk with a ranger along the Beech Tree Trail to see all things blooming.  Learn the names of the flowers and something about their nature.  Meet at the trailhead parking lot.
 

Date of Event:
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 1:00pm
Start Location:
Trailhead Parking Lot
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