RALEIGH, N.C. -- This year marks the 100th anniversary of the N.C. State Parks in more ways than one:
100 Years In The Making
The parks system began when a group of citizens sought to protect the summit of Mount Mitchell. On March 3, 1915, on the urging of Governor Locke Craig, the General Assembly authorized Mount Mitchell as the first North Carolina State Park. A year later, the property was acquired and one of the first state parks in the nation was established.
Throughout 2016 we celebrate this historic occasion with Mount Mitchell and the additional 40+ properties that are now state parks and state recreations areas.
Today, the parks system encompasses more than 228,000 acres and attracts more than 17 million visitors each year.
100 Years of Memories
Many state parks were initiated by local citizens with a strong preservation ethic. This tradition of grassroots conservation in North Carolina is reflected in the state's mandate that these precious natural resources be readily available to all citizens.Fees are kept to a minimum for all to enjoy and to become a place of creating long-lasting memories for generations Our parks are a perfect setting for reconnecting with yourself, your friends, your families and nature.
100 Years of Chasing Adventure or Hitting Reset
North Carolina State Parks offer a variety of activities, including:
Standup Paddle boarding
100 Years of Unique Experiences
North Carolina State Parks is the destination for some very unique experiences, such as exploring the bogs that are home to the Venus flytrap, native to the wetlands in North and South Carolina (Carolina Beach State Park) or hiking by the oldest known long-leaf pine tree (Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve). At Jockey's Ridge State Park, visitors can fly a kite or hang glide on the tallest living sand dune along the U.S. Atlantic coast. Gorges State Park, the western most park, offers hikers the opportunity to experience a temperate rain forest supporting a collection of waterfalls rising 2,000 feet in only four miles. Fort Macon and Fort Fisher State Parks provide a glimpse into the Confederate and Civil War conflicts along the eastern coast. Picnic on the lawn of a Rockefeller family members' southern retreat at Carver's Creek State Park.
100 Years and Celebrating
All the state parks will celebrate the centennial by hosting events commemorating their heritage and recognizing their significant role in the state parks system. Events will include bluegrass, folk and beach music concerts, 5K to triathlons racing events, fishing tournaments, military appreciation events, sunset ceremonies, and flag rising. Four parks will host Signature Events.
|Fort Macon State Park Battle Observation
||Fri.-Sun., April 22-24
|Mount Mitchell State Park Heritage Days
||Fri.-Sun., August 26-25
|Mayo River State Park Reunion
||Sat., October 8
|Crowders Mountain State Park Earth's Last Stand March
||Sun., October 30
100 Years of Shaping Individuals
North Carolina is a source of inspiration and frequent subject of photographers, songwriters, poets, painters and dancers. Even among the park staff, we have an award-winning quilter and silk painter as well as professional songwriters and musicians. Dave Cook, retiring north district superintendent, harnessed this creativity by recently completing a 2-year video project showcasing the parks using footage entirely shot by the park rangers and staff. The rangers also contributed the highly attended I-Spy Exhibit featuring still photography of unique images of the each state park.
About the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation
The Division of Parks and Recreation manages more than 228,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina's state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 15 million visitors annually and celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to
experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov
N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
109 E. Jones Street | Raleigh, N.C. | 27601