North Carolina recently entered the Phase 1 plan to begin reopening the economy, while remaining socially distant. The new orders included encouragement for State Parks and trails to start opening to the public. With the State Parks closed, it's put a hold on anyone trying to complete the Amazing Adventure Challenge. This challenge awards prizes for visiting the 41 State Parks in North Carolina within a year.
I took advantage of the parks reopening, and decided to mark a couple more off of my list for the year. Keep in mind, I've now lost about 2 months' worth of time to complete this challenge. But, it wouldn't be a challenge if they made it easy. This is just a minor block to overcome for many.
Expectations were a little uncertain as I pulled into a rather full parking lot at the Carver's Creek State Park in Spring Lake. This was roughly a 2 hour drive for me, and I forgot to bring toilet paper just in case the restrooms were out. Luck would have it, it was open, just not well stocked. With my partner in tow and dog Juno, we started walking the main trail to get some much needed exercise and fresh air. We passed a few people and their dogs, exchanged hello's, but kept a safe distance.
With about an hour spent at this park, our park stamp (sticker) added to our passport book, we hit the road again for the next park closest to Carver's Creek. This led us to the Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve in Southern Pines. This was a little over 30 minutes away from Carver's Creek. We found this State Park didn't have the stickers available for our passports. We decided to walk one of the smaller trails, and then hit the road home after spending about 30 minutes in this location.
Here is a little advice if you plan to visit the state parks at this time, during the COVID-19 restrictions. Most of the restrooms appear to be open, but the visitor centers are still closed. If you are trying to get a stamp for passports, and there aren't any stickers outside to collect, e-mail the link found at firstname.lastname@example.org. They'll send you one in the mail. Based on the return reply I received, stamps are on hold right now, but they still plan to fulfill requests.
It was very refreshing to have the privilege to once again visit these lovely parks in North Carolina. If you get a chance, as the summer approaches, check out any state park around in North Carolina. Happy trails!
- Passport Program | NC State Parks ›
- The North Carolina State Parks Amazing Adventure Challenge ... ›
- Amazing Adventure Challenge – Passport | NC State Parks ›
- Carvers Creek State Park | NC State Park ›
- Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve | NC State Parks ›
- Trails | NC State Parks ›
- Alerts and Closures | NC State Parks ›