Perfect Picnic Spots

North Carolina Division of Parks and RecreationPerfect Picnic Spots

Spend the day at New River State Park and enjoy a picnic on a canoe or at one of several dedicated areas

North Carolina has lots of perfect picnic spots for you. Here are several great options from around the state:


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. Here you’ll find 400-year-old trees standing 100 feet tall and 20 feet around, and a carpet of wildflowers and moss welcome you to this natural cathedral.

Linville Gorge
The Linville River has carved a gash in the earth more than 2,000 feet deep to create this wild, rugged area, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East. 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 make this a perfect place for a quiet picnic. If you’re feeling adventurous, launch a canoe and enjoy your picnic on placid waters. Flowing on its present course since before the Appalachian Mountains were formed, the 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 of the magnificent 600-foot granite dome. 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. If you’re an adventurous picnicker, take a canoe for a row across Lake Tillery and up the Uwharrie River. Canoe and boat rentals are 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 the bustle of the Triad region, Hanging Rock contains the highest peaks of the Sauratown Mountains – named for the Saura Indians.

Picnic at Hanging Rock State Park

Enjoy a picnic at Hanging Rock State Park, accompanied by the sounds of a waterfall

Eno River State Park
The park, a 3,900-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.

Lumber River State Park
A total of 115 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.


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.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Located on 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 lover’s 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.

North Carolina State Parks offer a variety of fun, leisure and adventurous activities in nature, but this also includes potential hazards. Take care, be safe and enjoy.

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