Moving back to North Carolina after a year and a half abroad was somewhat difficult for Marvin and myself. It was hard for us to go from a location with easy transportation access with everything at our fingertips to a more rural area we called home. We did not have to move back home but with family around to get to know our daughter and a mom with dementia, it was important for us to be here for now. With that said we decided we would still take the opportunity to explore and travel locally as much as we could!
My sister-in-law enlightened me recently on the 41 state parks in North Carolina. I was excited to hear this was a thing and even promotes kids to collect their “passports” to get stamped at each park. Growing up, I’ve been to some of the parks without realizing it was a community of places to visit and a goal to complete them! So on a random Wednesday, we took the opportunity to start a visit to Goose Creek State Park.
Historically this area was inhabited by the Native Americans of the Tuscarora tribe. After European settlement this area was dominated by royal governors and even the famous Blackbeard!
Goose Creek is located in Washington, NC. (There are a million Washingtons in America, but people from this one call it “the Original Washington.” To us other locals we refer to it as “Little Washington” haha.) This park is in Eastern NC in Beaufort County and gives you a good idea of the type of land and plants that are from this area. The park is home to wildlife such as many types of birds, ducks, frogs, turtles, snakes, river otters, squirrels, raccoons, and white-tailed deer to name a few. The marsh and swamp land is located near the Pamlico River.
As you arrive, there is a visitor center where you can pick up a trail map to pick your route. Bring a picnic lunch if you plan to stay for the day! Picnic tables are available and even grills in two different areas.
Activities at the park besides walking the trails can include motorboating, sailing, canoeing or kayaking, fishing, swimming in a sandy beach area, and camping.
There are 8 trails to choose from and they are all easy terrain to walk on. We did part of the Goose Creek Trail.
We spotted white-tailed deer as we were driving to the visitor center, tons of turtles propped up on logs sticking out of the water, and a few birds. The walk to the sandy area was peaceful terrain with calm waters and native plants. The Spanish moss and cypress trees are always fascinating to admire.
Whether you spend a few minutes or a whole weekend here, it’s a calming environment to visit and enjoy. I can’t believe we had never been before. It was February when we visited, but ironically it was a warmish day to enjoy a walk, especially with the baby who took in the sights like a pro, until she fell asleep that is. We pretty much had the park to ourselves.
Some Tips to be Mindful of
- Do not try to touch or feed the wildlife. Rabies is a thing we have all heard of.
- Be alert for snakes, poison ivy, and ticks during certain seasons. North Carolina is known for some venomous snakes.
- For ticks, tuck your pants into socks, and shirts into pants. Wear light colored clothes to spot for ticks more easily.
- Keep the place tidy by not littering. (This one I shouldn’t even have to say)
For more information on hours, directions and whatnot, check out the official park website here.
Have you been to Goose Creek State Park? How did you find it?