|View of the Neuse River from the top of the cliff|
When I heard about this park as a 90 foot high cliff over the Neuse River I imagined something as dramatic as Great Falls Park in Virginia. It's not quite that dramatic but it is worth seeing. The land the park sits on was once used by the Tuscarora and Saponi Indian tribes as a ceremonial ground, but like all great places that Native Americans found first, it was taken over by the English settlers and renamed.
If you want to make the trip, you should Mapquest the park or use your GPS. The signage along the roads is limited. You should also bring plenty of drinking water because you'll need it if you plan to hike the trails. There is a water fountain at the trail head but you will have to be able to stomach the taste of galvanized steel if you plan to use this water. There are basic bathrooms at the trail head as well. Bringing a stroller with your young kids is not a good idea. I used my in-line double stroller and it was really hard to navigate the trails with it.
- "350 Yard Trail" (white blaze) is very doable with a stroller.
- The "Bird Trail" (red blaze) is OK with a stroller but you will have to carry it up some steps a couple of times.
- The "Galax Trail" (blue blaze) - don't even bother with a stroller there are too many obstacles.
- I also wouldn't recommend you try the "Spanish Moss Trail" with a stroller.
The view along the trails is nice. My preschooler said: "It's like we're driving in a jungle." A creek runs beside the "350 Yard Trail" with some small waterfalls. My toddler even listened for once when I told him not to go too close to the creek. My preschooler was the trail leader for the whole hike, a job she took very seriously, as she commented: "It's hard work bein' trail leader."
The park is designed to facilitate camping and it would definitely be a great place to camp. There are bathhouses, picnic tables, boat rental, and even a swimming lake with pool house. The day we were there we were also able to see several fighter jets doing flyovers because of the park's proximity to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
|The pool house|
|The swimming lake|