North Carolina is an outdoor paradise. From the mountains to the sea, this state really does have it all! Despite not initially loving our orders to Fort Bragg, we have enjoyed all the outdoor activities North Carolina has to offer. Luckily, there are plenty of state parks near Fort Bragg, which makes enjoying the outdoors much easier for a family!
One thing we enjoy doing together is hiking. We went on our first family hike at Raven Rock State Park just a month after moving to North Carolina and we have been hooked ever since.
We recently picked up two North Carolina State Parks ‘passports’. These little booklets are free and they challenge you to visit as many North Carolina State Parks as you can. Each time you visit a park, stop by the Visitor’s Center to get your passport stamped. For every 10 parks you visit you earn prizes, such as stickers, hiking socks, bug spray, bandanas, and t-shirts. If you receive all 42 stamps in one year, you win a free annual pass and a special prize package!
Visiting 42 parks spread across the state seems nearly impossible to do in one year. However, the challenge is made significantly easier by our duty station’s central location. More than half of the parks in the Amazing Adventure Challenge are located within a 2.5 hour drive from Fort Bragg.
There are 23 North Carolina State Parks that would make an easy day trip for families stationed here. This challenge seems a lot more do-able when you think about it in those terms. Below, I have listed state parks within 2.5 hours driving time from Fort Bragg (according to Google Maps).
North Carolina State Parks Near Fort Bragg
Less Than a 1 Hour Drive
1) Carvers Creek State Park (16 minutes)
2) Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve (33 minutes)
3) Raven Rock State Park (42 minutes)
4) Jones Lake State Park (59 minutes)
1 Hour Drive
5) Jordan Lake State Recreation Area (1 hour 4 minutes)
6) Singletary Lake State Park (1 hour 12 minutes)
7) Lumber River State Park (1 hour 13 minutes)
8) William B. Umstead State Park (1 hour 21 minutes)
9) Cliffs of the Neuse State Park (1 hour 23 minutes)
10) Falls Lake State Recreation Area (1 hour 29 minutes)
1.5 Hour Drive
11) Eno River State Park (1 hour 36 minutes)
12) Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area (1 hour 38 minutes)
13) Morrow Mountain State Park (1 hour 44 minutes)
14) Lake Waccamaw (1 hour 47 minutes)
15) Haw River State Park (1 hour 50 minutes)
2 Hour Drive
16) Mayo River State Park (2 hours 6 minutes)
17) Kerr Lake State Recreation Area (2 hours 10 minutes)
18) Medoc Mountain State Park (2 hours 14 minutes)
19) Pilot Mountain State Park (2 hours 15 minutes)
20) Fort Fisher State Recreation Area (2 hours 19 minutes)
21) Carolina Beach State Park (2 hours 20 minutes)
22) Hammocks Beach State Park (2 hours 29 minutes)
23) Hanging Rock State Park (2 hours 31 minutes)
Our family began the Amazing Adventure Challenge last month (July 2018) and I can’t wait to see how far we get! I’m not sure if we’ll make it to both the mountains and the outer banks in the same year, but I definitely plan on visiting these 23 State Parks near Fort Bragg.