Perfect Picnic Spots In NC
North Carolina is one of the easiest places to lay a blanket and basket, with each region offering a variety of landscapes for any appetite.
Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
Located in the far reaches of Graham County, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is one of the last stands of virgin timber in the United States. Four-hundred-year-old trees, standing 100-feet tall and 20-feet around, welcome you to this natural cathedral.
Whether you just sit and watch or actually swoosh down the 60-foot rock waterslide into the fresh mountain water at the bottom, this natural waterslide offers a cool respite from the heat. Crowds of laughing and frolicking people keep this spot jumping all summer long.
The Linville River has carved a gash in the earth more than 2,000 feet deep to create this wild, rugged area with some of the most spectacular panoramic views east of the Rockies. Rich in both plant and animal life, you won’t run out of things to see and enjoy as you hike to your perfect picnic spot.
New River State Park
The slow, peaceful river and abundant wildflowers makes this a perfect place for a quiet picnic. If you’re feeling adventurous, launch a canoe and enjoy your picnic atop placid waters. Flowing on its present course since before the Appalachian Mountains were formed, New River is thought to be one of the oldest rivers in North America.
Stone Mountain State Park
Numerous trailside dining spots along the Stone Mountain Loop Trail offer great views. About 1.25 miles from the top is Stone Mountain Falls, a cascading waterfall tumbling about 200 feet into a pool.
Morrow Mountain State Park
Two picnic grounds, one atop the park’s namesake and the other near the pool, make for great resting spots during a day of hiking, horseback riding or fishing. For the adventurous picnicker, take a canoe for a row across Lake Tillery and up the Uwharrie River. Canoe and boat rental is available.
Hanging Rock State Park
This 6,000-acre park has 18 miles of hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, caves and great views. Not far from Winston-Salem, Hanging Rock contains the highest peaks of the Sauratown Mountains – named for the Saura Indians.
Eno River State Park
The park, a 2,600-acre sanctuary with five access areas, offers a multitude of picnic sites for hikers and boaters alike. Beavers, river otters, whitetail deer and even mink have been seen here. At least 61 species of fish call the river home, as do 12 species of freshwater mussels.
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
Turn-of-the-century visitors flocked here to “take the waters” from local mineral springs. Today, picnickers enjoy spectacular views of the multi-colored cliffs that rise 90 feet above their surroundings and extend for 600 yards along the banks of the Neuse River near Goldsboro.
Lumber River State Park
One hundred and fifteen miles of scenic waters flow through this great dining location. Wildflowers ranging from mountain laurel and wild azalea to spider lily and native wisteria can be seen from the river, while bald cypress, tulip poplar, river birch and water elm form a canopy over the park’s swamps.
Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Located in North Carolina’s storied Outer Banks you’ll find the tallest sand dunes on the East Coast and some of the most gorgeous sunsets anywhere. Spend your day hiking, hang gliding, kite flying and swimming and then enjoy a sunset picnic atop Jockey’s Ridge.
Hammocks Beach State Park
One of the most pristine stretches on the Atlantic coast, Hammocks Beach is located on 3.5-mile-long Bear Island and is accessible only by park ferry or private boat. Herons and egrets greet you as you pass through the Intracoastal Waterway.
Merchants Millpond State Park
An enchanted forest of bald cypress trees and Spanish moss beckon visitors. From the millpond’s shallow waters to the dark swamp where the forest of cypress and tupelo gum thickens, this is a nature lovers dream.
Lake Waccamaw State Park
Sandy shorelines and tree-lined natural areas offer a peaceful picnic spot. You will find species of animals here that are found nowhere else on the planet, as well as rare plants and endangered animals.
added: February 25, 2010
updated: April 21, 2010
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