All of North Carolina’s State parks are free to get into except for Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, and Kerr Lake State Recreation Area! You can save yourself a lot of money at these locations and on activities at other parks in the state by taking advantage of valuable discounts.
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Keep reading to learn how you can save money on fun things at all of North Carolina’s state parks!
Get Free Stuff Just for Visiting NC State Parks!
North Carolina offers a state park passport program. Every time you go to a state park, you can have your passport stamped. If you get 10 stamps, you can get a small reward like a wristband. The more times you visit, the more prizes you get. You can even be rewarded with free gift cards to outdoor stores. The free items aren’t a bad deal especially since you don’t even have to pay to get into most NC State Parks!
If you hike 100 miles or more in North Carolina state parks, you can earn free prizes. The prizes can be anything from hiking bandanas to first aid kits and even backpacks. You have one year to hike the full 100 miles. Guided hikes count toward your total mileage. The program is free to sign up for.
North Carolina participates in the TRACK trails program. They work with Kids in Parks to award kids for doing hikes in various state parks. You can join the program for free through the Kids in Parks website. Each time a child visits a trail and tracks it, they get a special prize from Kids in Parks.
Get camping discounts!
The biggest discounts people visiting state parks will be able to receive are on the camping fees. Those who are in the military or who are over 62 years will be able to receive $6 off all of the campsites in NC state parks except for primitive sites.
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Fun Activities at NC State Parks
While getting into the park is free, many NC state parks require you to pay for things like swimming and using the boats they have for rent. If you purchase an annual family pass, these fees will sometimes be included. An annual pass will also get you into the three state parks that actually charge admission. The cost for a pass is $100 per year.
Most of the state parks in North Carolina have learning opportunities at their visitor’s centers. Visitors of all ages can learn more about each park and North Carolina. The centers also have special events they hold on a regular basis to help you learn more about different things in the parks.
In addition to state park passports and educational opportunities, North Carolina state parks offer Junior Ranger clubs. These clubs are free for children from ages 6-12. They can learn more about the parks and what it is like to be a park ranger. Each state park has a junior ranger patch they award.
If you’re looking for other ways to get free things in North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. Check out all these other free things you can get and do!