October 4th, 2018 by

Roanoke Rapids is surrounded by countless beautiful parks and trails, many of which include views of the area’s most stunning waterfalls. If you’re in the Piedmont region and looking to enjoy the great outdoors, be sure to check out these three hiking trails.


Although it’s a bit of a drive from Roanoke Rapids, South Mountains State Park is the largest state park in North Carolina and well worth the time it takes to get there. This park has roughly 40 miles of trails with many beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout. There are multiple trail options; however, the most popular trail loop is the one that takes you past High Shoals Falls. With a beautiful foliage and flowing falls, this loop is nothing short of breathtaking.

To see the cascading 60-foot waterfall, you can either hike the 1 mile there and 1 mile back, or take the full 3-mile loop. As one of the most scenic trails in the state, this loop takes you along the flowing Jacob Fork River and across a breathtaking boardwalk above the cascading water. Relax on the observation deck as long as you like while you enjoy the peaceful sounds and sights of nature. The trail back from the falls, Hemlock Nature Trail, offers more river scenery and educational info along the path.


Another beautiful park in the Piedmont area is Raven Rock State Park. Its main trail is just under 3 miles and leads to the park’s biggest attraction, a 150-foot bluff overlooking the powerful Cape Fear River. For a less crowded trail, meander along the 5-mile Campbell Creek Loop Trail. With less visitors, you can enjoy the colorful forest, small streams, and a magnificent view of Lanier Falls. Although Lanier Falls is only a 2-foot drop, its wide spread stretches the width of the river, creating a 200-foot stretch of falling water.

This trail is rated as at a moderate level, making it a great one for families. You’ll hike closely along Campbell Creek’s crystal water and pebbled shores making it a fun attraction for kids.


Medoc Mountain State Park is tucked away just 30 minutes from Roanoke Rapids. A lost beauty, this park offers a peaceful, scenic outdoor getaway, especially in the fall. It’s filled with colorful river birch, alder, and ironwood in the lower areas and hardwoods in the elevated sections.

You’ll overlook the quiet Little Fishing Creek as you cross the bluffs and observe the mighty white oak tree that sits high on Medoc Mountain. The three best loops are the Summit Loop, Discovery Loop, and Stream Loop. Each offers 5 miles of trails with access to the most beautiful sights of Medoc Mountain State Park.

If you’re an adventurer at heart and a lover of the outdoors, these parks near Roanoke Rapids are must-see attractions. Whether you spend a weekend hiking the many trails or simply an afternoon relaxing along the falls, you’re guaranteed to leave feeling refreshed and in awe of our earth’s beauty.