Shop Reservations Newsroom



GPS sending you through the Green Swamp.   

It seems that some GPS systems do not give actuate directions to our park. If the directions that the GPS give you advise you to drive though the Green Swamp then there is a possiblity that you will get stuck in the mud. If you are following the GPS directions and it has you turn off on to a dirt road. Stop! Do Not continue. The best directions will keep you on paved roads.

From Wilmington:
Turn onto Cape Fear Historic Bywy (US-76/US-421)
Continue on US-76 (Andrew Jackson Hwy)
Continue on US-74 W/US-76 W (Andrew Jackson Hwy) toward Lumberton/Whiteville
Turn slightly left onto Sam Potts Hwy (NC-214)
Turn left onto Jefferson Rd.
Jefferson Rd becomes Bartram Lane.
Turn left onto Bella Coola Rd
Turn left onto State Park Dr
Arrive at State Park Dr.
From Whiteville:
Merge onto US-76 E/US-74 E toward Wilmington.
Turn right onto Fire Tower Road
Turn left onto Sam Potts Highway (NC 214)
Turn right onto Jefferson Road
Jefferson Rd becomes Bartram Lane.
Turn left onto Bella Coola Rd
Turn left onto State Park Dr
Arrive at State Park Dr.


 Posted on: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 1:15pm
Construction at the Dam   

This is to let you know that there is construction being done at the Dam. The Dam is still open and accessable, but please be cautious around that area. They are in the process of putting a walking bridge over the Dam.

 Posted on: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 10:21am
A portion of Lake Shore Trail is now open!   

Good news! We have been working diligently to open up the Lakeshore Trail. Lakeshore Trail from the Visitor's Center to Campsite 4 is once again open. The park staff are still working on the trail from campsite 4 to the Dam. The trail from campsite 4 to the Dam is a work in progress. Please be patient. Construction has begun on the new boardwalk that was washed away by Hurricane Matthew last year. We are hoping to have the entire Lake Shore Trail open before Spring 2018.

 Posted on: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 8:50am

John Bartram, the nation's first renowned botanist, gives discussions of the area in his Diary of a Journey Through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida from July 1, 1765, to April 10, 1766. Lake Waccamaw is specifically mentioned in "A New Voyage to Georgia by a Young Gentleman" in 1737. The gentleman states, "I think it is the pleasantest place that ever I saw in my life." But he was not the first to find this paradise.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of civilization at Lake Waccamaw dating back thousands of years, in addition to artifacts from the Waccamaw-Siouan tribes. In 1797, the state deeded 170,120 acres of the Green Swamp to Stephen Williams, Benjamin Rowell and William Collins for little more than $7,000. A portion of the land was drained for agricultural use, but in 1904 the property was purchased for timbering.

Lumber companies produced cypress shingles and shipped them by boat across Lake Waccamaw for transport by mule to the nearby train station. Logging and shingle transportation eventually became rail-based, and a line was laid along the west side of the lake. Remnants of the railway bridge crossing can still be seen today.

State government interest in the bay lakes emerged in the early 1800s when legislation blocked further private claims on land covered by lake waters. Later, the General Assembly declared that any lake of 500 acres or more in Bladen, Columbus or Cumberland counties shall remain the property of the state.

In October of 1964, the Board of Conservation and Development tried to obtain land on the lakeshore to establish a state park. But it wasn't until May of 1976 that a state park was formed on the lake when a 273-acre tract of land was purchased by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Additional land purchases for the park in the mid-1980s, including acreage formerly belonging to the Federal Paper Company and Georgia-Pacific Corporation, helped bring the park to its present size of 2,176 acres.


Lake Waccamaw State Park

1866 State Park Drive
Lake WaccamawNC 28450
After hours 910-640-0140
Latitude: 34.278985
Longitude: -78.465480

Park Hours:

December, January, and February: 7am - 7pm
March, April, and October: 7am - 9pm
May, June, July, August., and September: 7am - 10pm
November: 7am - 8pm
Closed Christmas Day

Park Office
8am - 5pm daily