Are you tired of staying at home? Kids bored? Ready for some fun, recreation, or just some relaxation in the great outdoors? Look no further than Goose Creek State Park in Washington! Situated on the beautiful Pamlico River, about 10 miles east off of Highway 264, GCSP offers over eight miles of hiking trails. As you meander through the park on one of 8 boardwalks, you will experience nature at its best.
Established in 1974, Goose Creek State Park offers visitors, artists, and writers alike a serene backdrop for inspiration and contemplative introspection.
Ducks, geese, turtles, river otters, rabbits, and white-tailed deer all call the park home. The diversity of wetlands at Goose Creek ranges from freshwater and brackish-water marshes to black gum and cypress swamps. The park is a haven for birds and bird watching. Many different species can be seen throughout, and some birds migrate to the area for winter, including bufflehead, scaup and ruddy duck. The tall grasses of the marsh provide cover and nesting sites for marsh wren, herons, rails and egrets. The marshes around the park contain lush greenery, including loblolly pines, bald cypress and red cedar trees Every type of ecosystem in eastern North Carolina — sandhill, bog and salt marsh — can be found at the park.
Explore a butterfly garden filled with native species. Frolic and play in the water at the swim beach. Put your kayak in at the launch and paddle leisurely, enjoying the river breeze. A boat ramp for motor and sailboats is located at Dinah’s Landing near the park for your convenience as well.
Pride yourself on your angling ability? Or just need to relax with your line in the water? The park has several spots for fishing that include largemouth bass, bluegill, and white and yellow perch. NC fishing licenses are required, but there is no fee for fishing at GCSP. After a refreshing swim or a peaceful glide in your canoe, bring your packed lunch to one of several picnic areas in the park. Commune with nature on a whole new level.
An afternoon or day visit not enough for you? The park has primitive tent, RV, and cabin camping. Gather the kids after dinner for old fashioned s’mores over your campfire. Take an evening hike under the stars and feel those brackish breezes coming off the water.
Whether you need a recreational getaway with the family, a rustic romantic weekend, or just an afternoon of unplugged, serene solitude, Goose Creek State Park has something for everyone.
For more information, call the park at 252-923-2191. Or go to https://www.ncparks.gov/goose-creek-state-park/home.
For information about fishing licenses and regulations, go to https://www.ncwildlife.org/fishing/fishing-in-north-carolina.