It’s nearly impossible to find an area of land that continues to grow in a natural manner. These days, everything is commercialized. When too much land is used, everything is built upward. But what if there was a place where the land continued to spread width-wise? And what if that land was protected? To make things even more interesting, what if the ecological system on that land was primarily supported by a butterfly that has been around since the ice age? And to take it one step further, what if all this could be found in Raleigh, which is more known as a city than anything else? Believe it or not, this place is a reality, and it’s called Occoneechee State Park.
This park is located at 6101 Cole Mill Road, Raleigh, NC 27705-9275. The phone number is 919-383-1686. It’s also possible to contact someone from the park via e-mail. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. That e-mail address should stand out, as the peaceful Eno River runs right through the park.
This North Carolina state park offers several activities, but it’s best known and suited for hiking and fishing. Hiking is an excellent choice, especially since this is the highest peak from central North Carolina all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. This peak might only be several hundred feet, but that doesn’t mean the views are poor. Actually, they’re incredible. Anyone who lives in or around the Raleigh-Durham area should strongly consider taking a trip to Occoneechee State Park for the views alone. And you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to enjoy these views. There are only three miles of trails, which pretty much anyone can handle. To make matters even simpler, there is a loop trail. Everyone enjoys a loop trail. They keep hikers from getting lost. That said, there are several trails that branch off from this loop. So, the question is: are these additional trails worth exploring? If you want to the best views in the park, as well as anywhere within 50 miles, then the answer is yes. Take advantage of every overlook trail, as well as the Brown Elfin Knob and the summit road. From these trails, you will be able to enjoy views of the city, farmlands, and the Eno River. You will also be in a mature oak forest, which is difficult to find anywhere in the world.
Fishing is another popular activity at Occoneechee State Park. However, if you enjoy fishing, you will be forced to make a difficult decision between the two ponds and the river. The two small ponds are loaded with bass and bream. And the river is filled with largemouth bass, chubs, and bullheads. Regardless of which you choose, you should end up coming home with a catch – or several catches.
Many people enjoy picnicking at Occoneechee State Park. The picnic tables are available under large oak trees, which provide a lot of shade. These picnic tables are also close to the parking lot, which allows for easy transport of food and drinks. There are toilets near the picnic area.
You can find some interesting wildlife at Occoneechee. Don’t be surprised if you spot deer, wild turkey, or even a groundhog. But the most interesting creature of all is the brown elfin butterfly. As stated earlier, they have been around since the ice age. There is a high population of them on Occoneechee Mountain. The nearest elfin butterfly not found on Occoneechee Mountain is over 100 miles away. The elfin butterfly has made this mountain their home. This makes them easy to find while hiking. If you would like to receive more information on the elfin butterfly or on anything else about the park, take advantage of one of the many interpretive programs that are offered by the park’s rangers. These are free programs. You can also reserve an interpretive program for a large group. Fees will be based on the size of the group. You must contact the park for more information.
Occoneechee State Park is open every day of the year other than Christmas Day. The park office is usually open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., but these hours are extended to as late as 8 p.m. during the summer. The park is easily accessible from I-85.