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Goose Creek State Park offers a variety of activities and landscapes to explore along the Pamlico River. The park has more than eight miles of hiking trails, including the wheelchair-accessible Palmetto Boardwalk, the Goose Creek Trail and the Live Oak Trail, all of which are short and easy. Other amenities include a swim beach, tent camping, boat docks, picnic areas and a nature center.
The River Access picnic grounds are set in a mixed forest on the way to the swimming beach. In addition to four tables under the shelter and two adjacent grills, there are eight more tables and three more grills.
There are four more tables at the beach (below).
The Flicker Field picnic area, which is near the park entrance and the visitor center, has the same setup on a large field suitable for open play.
Here's something you don't see often in a place you might not expect to see it: a pay phone in the woods near the beach, there for emergencies.
The 0.4-mile Live Oak Trail is a loop along a stretch of the shoreline and into the woods. Click through the slideshow below for a virtual hike. (The forward controls don't work in some browsers; you may need to use the back controls to scroll through.)
|Tour the Live Oak Trail.|
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Goose Creek offers 12 primitive campsites, below, for tents on the western end of the peninsula between Goose Creek and Flatty Creek. They are widely spaced among tall pines. Many trees were knocked down in the campground by Hurricane Irene on August 26, 2011.
There are two vault toilets along the road and several water spigots dispersed along the road. A small boat launch and the trailhead for the 1.9-mile Goose Creek Trail are at the end of the gravel road that runs the length of the campground to Goose Creek. (A full-size boat ramp, Dinah's Landing, is across the creek.)
We saw several pileated woodpeckers among the trees, each of which was too fast for our camera.
Below, the group campsite, a short walk in from the park's main road, accommodates up to 30 people in tents. A parking lot, toilets and water are across the street.
The group site is open March 15 to November 15 and requires reservations.
The Flatty Creek Trail, a 1-mile loop off of the campground road, drew our attention. The trail goes through an upland forest and over the brackish marsh to an observation platform on the creek.
From the platform, we look left then right, below.
Back at the visitor center, the Discovery Room has more than 50 examples of the wildlife that can be found in the park, along with examples of animal track and signs, and other exhibits about the area's flora, fauna and environment.
Goose Creek State Park is about 10 miles east of Washington off of U.S. 264 in Beaufort County. Click on the map for a larger image.