Living in North Carolina, you have impressive choices when it comes to outdoor adventure. From the mountains in the west to the Atlantic beaches, it’s easy to find a beautiful place for hiking, camping, fishing, paddling, cycling, boating—or simply relaxing under the stars.
With a whopping 41 state parks—most of which offer free admission—the real difficulty is often in narrowing down all the possibilities. So whether you want to feel the sand between your toes, hike to the top of a mountain, or enjoy some peaceful lake living, there’s a park to fit your personality.
Here are eight of North Carolina’s best state parks that should be on everyone’s bucket list.