August 9th, 2018 by

Take a break from the hectic world of everyday life and spend some time relaxing in nature. Whether you prefer hiking, fishing, or boating, the area around Roanoke Rapids offers plenty of opportunities to reacquaint yourself with the natural world. The next time you have a bit free time, head to one of these parks to enjoy the last days of summer.


About a half hour away from downtown Roanoke Rapids is Medoc Mountain State Park. Take advantage of the elevated terrain by hitting one of the seven different trails that run through the park. In all, the trails cover 10 miles, providing more than enough options for a day in the woods. If that’s not enough, there are also 10 miles of bridle trails and 9 miles of mountain biking trails.

Because Little Fishing Creek runs through the park, you’ll also have great opportunities for water sports. Bring your canoe, kayak, or small fishing boat to float down the 2.5-mile segment of the creek that flows on park grounds. The way is mostly clear of obstacles, meaning it’s an easy float for beginners. Put your boat in at the bridge on SR 1322, and travel about 1.5 to two hours downstream until you reach the take out point at the bridge on SR 1002.

Fishing is also a key attraction here, and you might catch bluegill, redbreast sunfish, largemouth bass, and more.


Also about a 30-minute drive from Roanoke Rapids is Lake Gaston. This 20,000-acre lake offers numerous amenities, including a boat ramp, public swimming area, and fishing pier. Cast your line into the stocked lake to try your hand at catching sunfish, crappie, largemouth bass, rock fish, or catfish. Just make sure you have either a Virginia or North Carolina fishing permit.

To access Lake Gaston, head to the Lake Gaston Day Use Area, which is located at 2369 Jack Brown Road.


Located in downtown Roanoke Rapids, Chockoyotte Park is smaller than the other parks on this list. However, its proximity to the city makes it a great option for a quick afternoon respite. In addition to three ball fields and playground equipment, the small park has a walking trail. Roam around the green space that’s located between 4th Avenue and Cypress Drive.


Just 15 minutes down the road in Weldon is the River Falls Park. Here, you’ll have unprecedented views of the Roanoke River as the water flows through rocky terrain. A short walking trail takes you along the water for breathtaking sights, while the numerous pavilions and shelters make it a great place to have a mid-day picnic. Bring along your fishing rod and see what you can catch in the turbulent waters.

Roanoke Rapids is extremely lucky to have such a wealth of natural areas that allow for hiking, fishing, boating, and more. Regardless of what outdoor activities you love, you’ll be sure to find them at one of these parks. Take advantage of these green spaces by planning your day in the wilderness today.