Through the ages, flowing waters and swirling winds gradually eroded the land, carving and sculpting Raven Rock. This immense crystalline structure rises to 150 feet and stretches for more than a mile along the Cape Fear River. In 1854, it was officially named Raven Rock, inspired by the sight of ravens that formerly roosted on rock ledges.
The Visitor Center has free park maps, clean restrooms and staff who are happy to help you with any questions you may have. The Center also has a topographical map of the park, items for sale like water, Gatorade, snacks, t-shirts and hands, and souvenirs. There are also conference rooms, exhibits and an interactive area where you can learn more about Raven Rock’s history and wildlife.
The Picnic Shelter, located at the far end of the first parking lot, has 8 tables (two accessible) and two grills (one accessible). It will accommodate up to 50 people and has electricity and water nearby. When not in use hikers rest and have a snack. The Shelter is available for rental year-round by reservation – free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis, if not reserved.
There are more than 12 miles of hiking trails out at the park for hikers of all fitness levels; from the easy Longleaf Loop (0.2 mile) and American Beech (0.5 mile) Trails to the moderate Campbell Creek Trail (4.9 miles).
Trek down the 136 stairs to Raven Rock with the Cape Fear River at its base and then hike up to Overlook on the Raven Rock Loop Trail (2.6 miles).
There is something for every hiker at Raven Rock State Park.
Raven Rock State Park has 8 miles of beautiful bridle trails. Access is by Hwy. 401 to Christian Light Road to River Road. The trails are comprised of two loops on the north side of the park, with Avent Creek running through the West Loop Bridle Trail.
All visitors with horses must be able to provide proof of a negative equine infectious anemia (Coggins) test.
Recently a vault toilet and new picnic benches have been added to the trails, and the parking lot was enlarged to help accommodate more trailers.
The wait is over! A bike trail, Mountain Laurel Loop Trail, is now a part of Raven Rock State Park. This trail will be open to both bikers and hikers.
Trail construction was initiated in December 2016 and concluded in May 2017. The trail was designed with a greater width to accommodate hand cycles along with using sustainable alignment to avoid erosion. It consists of 6.6 miles of natural surface trails through a hardwood/pine forest.
The Mountain Laurel Loop Trail is blazed with white squares. In the case of inclement weather, the trails will be closed to all users to prevent trail damage. You can visit the Park’s website at https://www.ncparks.gov/raven-rock-state-park/trails, or call the park at 910-893-4888 in advance of your visit.
The Cape Fear River runs through the middle of the park and can be accessed only by hiking trails. There is no boat launch in the park.
Negotiate the rapids of Lanier Falls and the Fish Traps on a portion of the Cape Fear Canoe Trail. The entire trail travels for 56 miles along the Cape Fear River from an access point at the U.S. 1 Bridge over Deep River.
There are a number of camp sites available at Raven Rock; canoe-in, hike-in and group sites are all available. All of the Park’s sites are primitive camping sites; all supplies, including water, must be packed in to the sites.
The best places for fishing in the Cape Fear River are in our Park. Game fish include largemouth bass, warmouth, bluegill, catfish and more. Fishing is permitted during posted park hours only. Anglers must have a state fishing license. Regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission are enforced.
Hike quietly and you may see some of Raven Rock’s native wildlife. Listen to the birdsong and feel at peace with nature. Come to the park, take pictures and leave only footprints behind.
Park led hikes and other fun events are held often at the park. Follow one of the Park staff as they introduce you to the flora and fauna that makes up Raven Rock State Park, and pick up little bit on its great history too.
Adults and children alike benefit from the many educational programs at the park. Learn about birds, plants, park maintenance and more from knowledgeably staff and volunteers. Most programs are free of charge. For upcoming events, keep an eye out on the Park’s calendar.
Junior Ranger Program
Junior Rangers help park rangers take care of the parks’s natural resources. Raven Rock State Park participates in training Junior Rangers so that they can teach their families and friends about the rules of the Park and how to take care of it.
Raven Rock offers a variety of volunteer positions, from working with park grounds to assisting with events. Contact a the park at 910-893-4888 to discuss volunteer opportunities here. (Volunteers must be 18+ years of age or accompanied by a parent/guardian).