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Goose Creek State Park
2190 Camp Leach Road
Washington, NC 27889
(252) 966-9099
Park Description
Giant, old oaks draped in Spanish moss welcome you to this special world where broad, lazy Goose Creek joins the Pamlico River. A primitive camping area, picnic sites, swim beach and hiking and canoeing trails offer a variety of ways to savor the tranquil surroundings at Goose Creek State Park. And historic Bath, North Carolina's oldest incorporated town, is just six miles away.

Visit Goose Creek State Park. Unwind and soak up the peacefulness; a hectic pace is not permitted.

Boating The boat ramp at Dinah's Landing on the west side of Goose Creek is conveniently located near the river. Motorboating, sailing and windsurfing are popular activities. Boating regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission apply.

Canoeing: Tall, overhanging trees lining the creek banks and graceful water birds create a peacefulness best experienced by canoe. Access is available at Dinah's Landing and at the end of the campground. Canoeists must bring their own vessels as there are none for rent in the area. Be alert to storms and always wear a life vest.

Camping A primitive family campground is located between Goose and Flatty creeks. Twelve well-spaced tent sites amid large pines draped in Spanish moss include tables and grills. Toilet facilities and water are available nearby. Sites are available on a first-come basis for a fee.

Education and events Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Goose Creek State Park.

To arrange a special exploration of Goose Creek State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.

Educational materials about Goose Creek State Park have been developed for grades 4-6 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Goose Creek program introduces students to wetland processes and functions and discusses how wetlands affect humans and the area's natural environment. The program also focuses on water quality, resource management, adaptations and stewardship. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators.

Exhibits and educational facilities Goose Creek State Park has the right tools to open your eyes to world of wetland nature! Explore the natural side of Goose Creek at the park's Environmental Education and Visitor Center. Visitors are greeted with animal mounts and interactive wetland exhibits as soon as they enter the lobby. In addition, a five-minute film is available to introduce visitors to the park and its creatures.

Explore the center further, and enter the Discovery Room where visitors can learn even more about animals that live in the wetlands. Aquariums are set up to simulate a hardwood swamp and brackish marsh. Mounts, replicas and animal signs, both on tabletops and in pullout drawers, allow close-up study and encourage hands-on learning. The Discovery Room also has a bird observation station, a table with an excellent view of the bird feeder outside. Sit down and wait to see which birds stop by. Or, pause by the outside butterfly garden to view another winged creature of the park.

Educational facilities available for groups include a resource room with computers and a variety of field guides and other materials that unlock the door to environmental education. A wet lab with microscopes and video projection equipment allows visitors to study water samples collected from the park. Enjoy a screened outdoor classroom, a short walk from the center, that offers classroom comfort among the towering trees of a mixed hardwood forest. Or, watch one of the park's nature films in the auditorium. The opportunities for learning at Goose Creek State Park are abundant.

Fishing Fish in the creek or the river; both have plenty of fresh and saltwater fish, especially in warmer weather. Species include largemouth bass, bluegill, and white and yellow perch. A state fishing license is required; the rules of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission apply.

Hiking Flatty Creek Trail  Enter this one-mile loop from the parking area at the campground entrance. Boardwalks across freshwater and brackish-water wetlands lead to an elevated observation deck.

Goose Creek Trail  This 1.9-mile, one-way trail from the picnic area to the camping area exhibits the beauty of the cypress swamp.

Ivey Gut Trail  Travel the length of this two-mile, one-way trail from the main park road to the campground. Or, enter the shorter Ivey Gut Loop Trail from the camping area. Both provide views of Upper Goose Creek.

Live Oak Trail, Cemetery Loop  This .4-mile loop follows the shoreline of the Pamlico River from the swim beach and then turns and passes a cemetery dating from the 1880s.

Palmetto Boardwalk Trail  The Environmental Education Center and the Ivey Gut parking area are connected by this .7-mile, one-way trail, which is handicapped accessible. Enjoy the beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities of a hardwood swamp.

Mallard Creek Trail  This 1.26-mile loop originates at the last parking lot at the end of the park road. A creek overlook provides a close-up view of a freshwater marsh. And, for a beautiful view of brackish marsh, take time to visit the Pamlico River overlook.

Picnicking Picnic tables make the area a pleasant spot for lunch or dinner after a refreshing swim. In the midst of a pine/oak forest, picnic tables, grills and running water supply all the necessities for outdoor dining. Two shelters offer five tables each, and additional picnic tables are available at the swim beach.

Swimming Follow a short path from the parking lot to the designated swimming area. A sandy beach offers access to the cool waters of the Pamlico River.

Hours of Operation: Park hours November-February, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. March and October, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. April, May, September, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. June-August, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed Christmas Day

Park office hours 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily Closed state holidays

Fees: Fee structure not known
Metro Region: Washington NC
Park Management: State

Restrooms   BBQ Grill   Benches   Biking-Mountain   Boardwalk   Boat Rental Canoe/Kayak   Camping: RVs   Camping: Tents   Fishing   Historical Structure   Nature Reserve   Parking   Trails, Paved   Picnic Tables   Pond/Stream/Lake   Shelter/Pavillion   Showers / Locker Room   Swimming-Nature   Water Fountain   Wildlife Viewing