The eight miles of trails at Goose Creek State Park lead visitors through a broad range of coastal experiences—live oaks draped in Spanish moss, wetlands along the Pamlico Sound and a cypress swamp viewed from an extensive boardwalk. A visitor and environmental education center explains it all with detailed exhibits. Getting into or onto the waters of the sound is easy at a sandy swim beach, a boat ramp or a separate paddling launch. A small tent-oriented campground offers solitude, even though the park is just a short drive from the historic towns of Bath and Washington, N.C.
A primitive family campground is located between Goose and Flatty creeks. Fourteen well-spaced tent sites amid towering pines include vehicle parking, tables and fire pits. Toilet facilities and water spigots are available along the campground road. Occupancy is limited to no more than six people per site.
Two primitive group tent sites that includes tables, grills and vehicle parking are located near the end of the main park road. Flush toilets and water are located nearby. The sites, each capable of accommodating up to 30 people, are open from mid-March through late November. Reservations (with a fee) are required.
The park is a great place for a hike!
The boat ramp at Dinah's Landing on the west side of Goose Creek is conveniently located near the Pamlico River. Motorboating and sailing are popular activities. Boating regulations of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission apply.
Fish in the creeks or the river; there are plenty of fresh and saltwater fish, especially in warmer weather. Species include largemouth bass, bluegill, and white and yellow perch. State fishing licenses are required and the rules of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Marine Fisheries apply. There is no fee for fishing at Goose Creek State Park.
Tall, overhanging trees lining the creek banks and graceful water birds create a peacefulness best experienced by canoe or kayak. Day users can access Goose Creek from Dinah's Landing while overnight campers can put in at the end of the campground road. For special needs access, please contact the park office. Paddlers must make arrangements to bring vessels with them, as there are none for rent in the park. Be alert to storms and always wear a life vest.
Follow a short path from the last two parking lots, through the main picnic area, to the designated swimming area. A sandy beach offers access to the shallow waters of the Pamlico River. The swimming area is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, free of charge. Please be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty. Water shoes are recommended.
Main Picnic Area: Located near the riverfront, this is a pleasant spot for lunch or dinner after a leisurely hike or a refreshing swim. In the midst of a mixed forest, the area is spacious enough to accommodate several families. A picnic shelter houses four tables, one of which is handicap accessible, with two adjacent grills. Eight open-air tables and three additional grills are placed throughout. Four additional tables are located nearby at the swim beach.
Flicker Field Picnic Area: Conveniently located across from the visitor center, the shelter here contains eight tables with two adjacent grills. One grill, as well as one of the tables, is handicap accessible. Four additional tables sit under trees at the edge of the open field, providing a perfect space for family activities such as kite flying or a game of tag.
Dinah's Landing: Before launching or at the end of a day of boating, rest and enjoy a snack at one of five tables near the boat ramp. One of the tables is handicap accessible, and three grills make it an inviting place to fix a hot dog or hamburger lunch.
Picnic shelters may be used on a first-come basis or, to ensure availability, reserved for a fee.