Scenic trails invite you to journey into the park's interior. Raven Rock offers a variety of trails. Travel them on foot or on horseback.
A number of trails in the park traverse a variety of terrains. Raven Rock Loop Trail travels through a hardwood forest on its one-mile trip to the park's centerpiece, Raven Rock. Wooden stairs down the face of the river bluff lead to the base of Raven Rock where the river bank provides a place to examine the area beneath the overhang. A stone balcony along the way overlooks the river and the flood plains beyond. Other trails offer access to fishing holes and idyllic scenery.
Undeveloped woodlands on the north side of the river with areas set aside for parking and picnicking offer seven miles of trails for horseback riding. Land adjoining park bridle trails is posted private property. Respect the rights of landowners; do not trespass. Horses are not permitted on hiking trails.
After periods of heavy rainfall, the trails can become very muddy. To help avoid injury to your horse and damage to park natural resources, please avoid using the trails at these times.
All visitors with horses must be able to provide proof of a negative equine infectious anemia (Coggins) test while visiting North Carolina State Parks.
The Raven Rock State Park TRACK Trail follows an easy 0.5 mile loop along the American Beech Trail. Those seeking a longer hike may wish to continue along the 2.6 mile Raven Rock Loop.
The Mountain Laurel Loop Trail starts at the Moccasin Branch Road access. This trail is a newly constructed, natural surface, beginner level mountain bicycle trail built to accommodate hand cycles.
This very scenic trail with winding turns and gentle slopes traverses through diverse ecosystems with stands of pine and hardwood timber. Mountain laurel occupies much of the understory along the trail as it travels across the contours of the north facing slopes, while the southern exposures provide more open forests for longer range views across the landscape.
The mountain bike trails are a work in progress. Intermediate and advanced loops will be added to the bike trail system soon.
Except for the short connector trail leading to the loop, the bike trails are one track (one-way) paths. Bicyclists must heed and obey all directional and other trail signs. Hikers must walk in the opposite direction of bicycle travel.
The bicycle trails will be closed to all users during periods of wet weather. To check the status of the bike trails, check back here or call the park office at 910-893-4888.
Raven Rock Loop Trails begins beside the picnic shelter in the first parking lot. This tree lined loop trail begins by following Little Creek while continually taking you through mountain laurel, hardwoods and majestic pines. In one mile there are 135 steps leading down to Raven Rock and once at the bottom you can hike under the 150 foot high rocks and climb on huge roots and over downed boulders. Enjoy the sights, sounds and reflections of the Cape Fear River before heading back up the stairs to continue on the trail. Once up the stairs take a right and in a half mile is the Overlook. 350 feet above the Cape Fear River the Overlook gives you a birds eye view of the river, Fish Traps, Northington Ferry and the Avents Creek Access side of the park. Here you will have an opportunity to see bald eagles, osprey, turtles, vultures, beautiful sunsets and a panoramic view of all the changing seasons. It is a .75 mile hike from the overlook back to the parking lot.