The Cape Fear River is the frequent hiking destination for visitors entering Raven Rock State Park, whether it’s Lanier Falls, the Fish Traps rapids or the massive Raven Rock, an ageless landmark for river travelers. Along the way, hikers will experience steep terrain, mountain laurel and rhododendron thickets and tumbling creeks. The park offers primitive backcountry camping areas for families and paddlers; all supplies must be carried in, but the solitude is worth the effort. A separate equestrian area on the river’s north bank offers extensive trails and a large parking area. Frequent interpretive programs complement museum-quality exhibits in the visitor center exploring the Cape Fear region’s cultural and natural history.
All supplies, including water, must be packed to the sites. No site is accessible by vehicle. Before camping, please check in and register your vehicle at the park office.
Each camp has a vault toilet, and all sites include a fire ring with grill.
Family Wilderness Camp
There are five campsites just off of the Campbell Creek Loop Trail, approximately 2.5 miles from the parking lot and 0.5 mile from the river.
The maximum number of campers for each site is six.
There are six campsites along the Cape Fear River Canoe Trail and can accommodate up to six campers.
The campground is located beside the river off of the Little Creek Loop Trail, in a low-lying area. The camping area is 1.7 miles from the park office.
The Canoe Camp can accommodate paddle-in camping for canoers and kayakers.
Please make a reservation prior to starting any paddling trip to assure that there is camping available.
Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding
The park is a great place for a hike!
Negotiate the rapids of Lanier Falls and the Fish Traps on a portion of the Cape Fear Canoe Trail that runs through the park. The entire trail travels for 56 miles along the Cape Fear River from an access point at the US 1 bridge over Deep River. A buoy signals the location of the canoe camp in the park. Contact park staff for information about the nearest access points; there is no access area in the park. Canoeists should exercise caution and wear life vests at all times. Periodic floods make the river dangerous for canoeing. Check with the park office for the current water level before launching your canoe. Portage dams, dangerous rapids.
The best places for fishing in the Cape Fear River are the Fish Traps and the mouth of Campbell Creek. Game fish in these waters include largemouth bass, warmouth, bluegill, catfish, redear and green sunfish. Other interesting species are longnose gar, American eel, chub, shiners, darters and pirate perch. Fishing is permitted during posted park hours only. Anglers must have a state fishing license. Regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission are enforced.
A wide trail leads to the picnic ground from the parking lot on the south side of the river. Towering oak and hickory trees provide shade for 27 tables and eight grills. Drinking water, restrooms and a refreshment stand with a drink machine are located nearby. Some picnic facilities are accessible for persons with disabilities. The picnic shelter can be reserved or used on a first-come, first-served basis if not reserved. Call the park office for more information.