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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

Join a park ranger and learn about the geological mysteries of the Carolina Bays. Formation theories and the natural communities associated with Carolina Bays will be discussed. Participants should meet at the Jones Lake State Park Visitor Center at 3:00pm.  Call the Park office at 910-588-4550 for more information. This event is free of charge and open to the general public.

Date of Event:
Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 3:00pm
Start Location:
Visitor Center

Lake James is a wintering spot for dozens of common loons coming from their northern nesting territories. On quiet, still mornings you can often hear their iconic cries echoing across the water. Join Ranger Clay Veasey aboard the park's patrol boat in search of these graceful waterbirds and others that call Lake James home during the winter. Registration is required and only the first eight... more

Date of Event:
Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 3:00pm
Start Location:
Paddy's Creek Area - East Shelter

An Environmental Educator will share several of nature’s marvels in a display table.  We will talk about how critters at the park cope with the cold season.
 

Date of Event:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 11:00am to 11:45am
Start Location:
Discovery Table

Join a Ranger for an enjoyable hike along the Alder Trail. The hike will start at the Visitor Center. The Alder Trail is about .8 miles in length, home to many trees that will be identified. The hike is open to all ages, please register (max 10 people). Bring comfortable walking shoes and plenty of water. Hike is weather permitting.

Date of Event:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Start Location:
Visitor Center

Join a park ranger for an exciting hike through the woods. You will get an opportunity to explore the park’s new property, discovering sights and sounds while taking in the fresh air. You never know what types of wildlife you may get a glimpse at. Bring binoculars if you have them.
 

Date of Event:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 1:00pm
Start Location:
Visitor Center

Its cold, the leaves have left, now its time to get out on the water and canoe the pond.  Come join a Park Ranger as we canoe the millpond in December and we will try to find 12 ducks a flying, 11 geese a honking, 10  canoers shivering, 9 buoys floating, 8 squirrels a playing, 7 trees with color, 6 logs a crossing, 5 birds a chirping, 4 beavers swimming, 3 owls a hooting, 2 turtles basking,... more

Date of Event:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Start Location:
Merchants Millpond State Park Visitor Center

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Hemlock Nature Trail, and learn about some of the many plant species that stay green all year long. 
 

Date of Event:
Repeats every week every Sunday until Sun Dec 17 2017.
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 2:00pm
Start Location:
Jacob Fork Parking Area

December 3rd is “Make a Gift Day”, so come out to Weymouth Woods and make a natural wreath for a loved one! Conserving the Longleaf ecosystem regularly requires the removal of certain trees and shrubs, so we’ll provide ecologically harvested limbs and vines for you to turn into a work of art for the holiday season!

Date of Event:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 3:00pm
Start Location:
Visitor Center Auditorium

Appropriate for ages 10 and up (Children 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult). Please leave pets at home.

Celebrate State Parks “Year Of The Spider” by Joining Ranger Sicard for a PowerPoint presentation focused on the Spiders that can be found in North Carolina. This program will discuss... more

Date of Event:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Start Location:
Park Office - 9872 Hwy 105 S, Suite 6, Banner Elk (Google Map: https://goo.gl/Uq0vrX)

Join volunteers from Lake Gaston Outfitters for a full moon hike.  This is a great opportunity to meet new friends and hike the trails by moonlight.  Hikes are offered every full moon and are weather dependent.  For more information please visit: https://www.lakegastonoutfitters.com/events/

Date of Event:
Sunday, December 3, 2017 - 7:00pm
Start Location:
Picnic Shelter
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