Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

I have such a passion for the state of North Carolina and all the gems hidden within it. I was thinking about this today as I was trying to find something fun for Harrison and I to do this weekend. I thought, "If I love NC this much, why don't I write about it much?" Combine that with reading the latest issue of Our State magazine and I decided that my little space on the internet is going to see a whole lot more of my NC adventures from here on out!

I have a lot of great photos from the past year or so from around the Old North State, so while I'm waiting for my next opportunity to photography this home of mine, I'll post some retro reviews!

Harrison, Sailor, and I took a day trip to Cliffs of the Neuse State Park in Seven Springs, about halfway between Goldsboro and Kinston. Cliffs rising 90 feet above the Neuse River, and extending 600-yards down the south bank, are the distinguishing feature of this park - a true oddity in eastern NC! The cliffs were formed due to erosion from the river.

The area that the park is on was once a ceremonial ground and a gathering place for hunting expeditions for the Tuscarora and Saponi tribes. The river was used for travel.

The community of Seven Springs was once a resort-town called Whitehall that drew people from all across the country seeking cure from a variety of ailments during the 20th century. The mineral water from the seven different springs (hence, Seven Springs) was said to cure many a disease. Whitehall was also home to the construction of the CSS Neuse, an ironclad built by the Confederate Navy as an attempt to retake the lower Neuse River and New Bern. The ship ran aground and was destroyed to prevent capture.

Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is wooded with nice walking trails. We took an interesting loop because a deluge of rain flooded part of the trail! Our detour took us by the 11-acre lake, open Memorial Day through Labor Day for boating and swimming. There is also a large picnic area that would be perfect for family gatherings or as a nice stopping point mid-hike. The trails themselves are pretty moderate, the longest of which being two miles one-way. There is a lot to see if you keep your eyes open, including former naval store trees, rare Galax, eastern fox squirrels, whitetail deer, and even river otters!

There are 35 camping spaces for tents or trailers as well as a pretty new visitor center that is full of fun information about the area, history, and wildlife!

For a quick trip from Raleigh, it was a nice trip that we all really enjoyed!

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