North Carolina's National Parks
The state of North Carolina has plenty of beautiful and fascinating national parks to explore. Each of these sites preserves something of importance, from beautiful natural splendors to historic sites. Here is some information on North Carolina's national parks.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Located on North Carolina's Outer Banks, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is an amazing destination for recreating, relaxing and much more. The seashore has many beautiful beaches for visitors to explore and enjoy. Visitors can enjoy looking for shells, birding, kayaking, hiking and more. The Outer Banks are also an excellent spot to go windsurfing, especially on Hatteras Island. Cape Hatteras National Seashore also has three historic lighthouses, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is open for visitors.
Cape Lookout National Seashore
Located off the coast of North Carolina, visitors have to arrange to take the ferry to the seashore. The seashore offers all sorts of recreational opportunities. You can hike, bird watch, swim, boat, and fish during the appropriate seasons. Certain areas of the Cape Lookout National Seashore are open to primitive camping. Some of the most unique activities you can try while visiting the seashore are collecting shells and watching the wild horses. The seashore has all sorts of seashells, and you are even allowed to take some shells home with you. You will also find that the seashore is home to over one hundred wild horses, which you can observe from a safe distance.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg was an important American poet and songwriter. Today his home is a National Historic Site, which preserves his legacy and teaches about his role in American history. Visitors to the Carl Sandburg Home can start with a tour of the home. On the tour visitors can see many artifacts, which detail the life of Sandburg and teaches about his history. Another wonderful attraction at this historic site is the Connemara Farms Goat Dairy. Visitors can learn about Mrs. Sandburg's interest in goats and also enjoy the goat-herd at the farm. The National Historic Site also has many trails, which are wonderful for enjoying the outdoors.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
This National Historic Site preserves some of the known pieces of the first English settlements in the New World. In addition to preserving the English history, visitors can also learn about the cultural heritage of the Native Americans and many other people who lived on Roanoke Island. Visitors can start in the Visitor Center to enjoy a short video and many exhibits which tell the story of the site. The Earthen Fort is another destination for visitors to explore. This site is associated with England's colonization and has examples of activities that historically took place on the site. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site also offers visitors a nature trail as well as a wonderful hiking trail to enjoy the outdoors of the site.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains are known for their stunning diversity. As visitors enjoy the over 800 miles of trails they can also check out the wide array of flora and fauna. The park is home to many bears, and you may catch a glimpse of one of these bears while hiking. During the spring and summer the mountains host a beautiful range of wildflowers, well worth the visit to the park. The hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains ranges from short day hikes to challenging backcountry backpacking. For non-hikers there are also biking, fishing, camping and more options.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park preserves the site of one of the most contested battles of the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. The battle fought at Guilford Courthouse was won by the British Army, who had a much smaller army, but still won the battle. Visitors should start at the Visitor Center, where there is information on the battle that took place at the site, as well as interesting museum exhibits and more. The battlefield can be explore on foot, or by bicycle or even by car. There are stops along the tour road for cars to stop, and there are also accommodations for bicyclists. In addition there are 2.5 miles of walking trails that give visitors the chance to explore the historic site.
Moores Creek National Battlefield
This battlefield preserves the site of the patriot victory, which ended British rule in the colony and led North Carolina to vote for independence. Visitors to this preserved battlefield can walk along the short trail, which has remnants of the 1776 road. In addition there are exhibits along the way, and the historic bridge site is also along the trail. Visitors can learn more about this important victory at the Visitor Center and enjoy even more trails.
Wright Brothers National Memorial
This National Monument is located on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Visitors to the Wright Brothers National Monument can learn all about the history of the Wright Brothers accomplishments. At the monument, there are full scale reproductions of the Wright Brothers 1902 and 1903 Glider and Flyer. Visitors will also find the reconstructed Living Quarters and Hangars, and can see the Flight Line, which is a large granite boulder that marks the take-off point of the first successful powered, controlled flight, and smaller markers note the line of the flight.