7 Best Outdoor Activities to do With Kids in North Carolina

Exploring outside with your kids creates life-long memories. If you are planning on visiting North Carolina, there is no shortage of ideas for family fun. There are many outdoor activities to please everyone. State parks can provide enjoyable experiences for each adult and child in your family. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, swimming, and boating. Here are seven places with numerous activities to do with kids in North Carolina:

1. Grandfather Mountain State Park

Your family can have bragging rights after hiking across America’s highest suspension bridge. The real reward is the view from the top. Homemade sweets are available for weary hikers. A butterfly garden will also create a magical experience the kids will adore. Grandfather Mountain State Park has many local attractions for your family to enjoy. 

2. William B. Umfred State Park

Have a hankering for some water activity? Spending time on a boat or canoe creates an ideal atmosphere for family bonding. Rent a rowboat or canoe for an inexpensive family adventure. There are three large manmade lakes. Fishing is permitted at the lakes and their tributaries. There are shady picnic areas with fireplaces available for use. They can also be reserved ahead of time. Tenting lots and cabins can both be rented by the day for camping enthusiasts. 

3. Gorges State Park

Want to hunt for rainbows? The beautiful waterfalls at Gorges State Park produce vivid rainbows. The slide trails are a unique feature of the gorge. The park also has hiking trails, camping, trout fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. There is something to enjoy for everyone in your family. The camping area is relatively new in this park. Amenities can vary from one campsite to another. To check on availability, access the campsite’s reservation page for detailed information and photos.

4. Fort Macon State Park

Why not explore a little history while exploring nature? Fort Macon State Park is located at the eastern tip of Bogue Bay. This historical park has an educational center and a fort straight out of the Civil War era. Enjoy the thrill of cannon and musket demonstrations. The pristine shoreline is perfect for swimming, beachcombing, and fishing. 

5. Jones Lake State Park

If you are looking for an idyllic getaway for your family, Jones Lake State Park is the perfect destination. Your family can enjoy time on the water. Canoes, kayaks, and motorized watercraft of under ten horsepower are welcome. If you don’t own a boat, you can rent a paddleboat or canoe in the summer months. After swimming in the lake’s shallows, enjoy a picnic in the shade of the tall pines. 

6. Stone Mountain State Park

Hiking is a beneficial family activity. Kids build their muscles, and parents build relationships with their children. Hiking as a family can present some challenges due to varying ages and abilities. Stone Mountain State Park has several beautiful trails to choose from. There are waterfalls, rustic homesteads, and breath-taking overlooks. The trails vary from moderate to strenuous. There are also five miles of equestrian trails to enjoy. 

7. Medoc Mountain State Park

If fishing is your family’s go-to outdoor activity, Medoc Mountain State Park has much to offer. Little Fishing Creek is touted as one of the cleanest in the state. A wide variety of species are available, including redbreast sunfish, bluegill, largemouth bass, warmouth, and pickerel. If the kids get restless other activities such as hiking, horseback riding, paddling, and mountain biking are available. Not only does the park have shady picnic areas, but also a picnic shelter with tables, fireplace, grill, and a water fountain. 

Getting outdoors with your kids doesn’t have to be complicated. Finding inexpensive and engaging activities creates interest and fun. North Carolina has numerous state parks to help find adventure with your family.