Best hiking trails in Occoneechee State Park
The popularity of the water sports in the park mean that hiking trails are often forgotten. That's a shame, as Occoneechee has a lot to offer the casual and more dedicated hiker. There is a range of trails around the lake shore or into the countryside. Pick up a trail map at the Park's office to see exactly what's on offer.
1. Panhandle Mulituse Trail
One of the Park's most popular trails is the 7.5 mile long Panhandle Trail, which is also suitable for use by mountain bikers and horse riders. Park near the visitor center, then follow the marked white posts along the lake to the Occoneechee State Park cabins at the end of the trail.
2. Tutelo Birding Trail
As the name suggests, this is the trail in the park where the greatest variety of bird life is found. The Tutelo trail forms a loop off Occoneechee Park Road, marked with red blazes on posts. This 1,1 mile trail joins the Big Oak Nature trail if you are looking for a longer walk.
3. Beaver Pond Trail
This 5 mile trail offers a moderate walking challenge, heading into the park landscapes from the parking lot at the Equestrian Center. This trail is in the eastern and quieter section of the park, so is perfect for anyone wanting to hike in solitude.
Great Places to Stay Near Occoneechee State Park
Best family activities in Occoneechee State Park
Family fun in Occoneechee State Park centers on the water, with swimming, fishing and camping. The huge area of lake, combined with 2,700 acres of park, means there's lots to explore, so many visitors book hotels near Occoneechee State Park to experience it all.
1. Splash Spray Ground
Perfect for younger kids who aren't confident enough to take on the challenge of swimming in the lake, the splash area provides the opportunity to cool off in safety.
Buggs Island Lake is famous for the number and variety of fish and visitors can rent boats to get out on the water and try their luck. Why not also rent a barbecue site and see if you can catch dinner?
3. Canoeing and Kayaking
One of the best ways to explore the shoreline is in a kayak. Hire boats from the State Park Marina and, after a short lesson, set out to see what you can discover.