From Sunshine to Snowflakes: An Afternoon at Goose Creek State Park

IMG_3577-634Among the Live Oaks and Spanish Moss of Goose Creek State Park

On this January Saturday afternoon, we sit at our home in Burlington, North Carolina watching a few movies and recovering from a morning of sledding and making snow cream.

It’s 30 degrees outside, the sky is battleship grey, and the ground is covered in a mix of snow and sleet.

Just a week ago and 150 miles east we were enjoying a beautiful sunny day between the historic North Carolina towns of Bath and Washington on the north side of the Pamlico River – it was a day to forgive all sins.

IMG_3572-634Goose Creek State Park’s sandy shoreline

Just west of the intersection of US Highway 264 and NC Highway 92, taking a left on Camp Leach Road will lead you to the entrance of Goose Creek State Park, a 1600-acre park of swamp and forest that in the summer is a popular spot for the folks of Beaufort County, North Carolina to enjoy the water.

IMG_3562-634One of Goose Creek’s occasional palms

In the winter though, Goose Creek State Park is often deserted, and when a day like last Saturday comes along it’s the perfect place to enjoy Beaufort County.

Goose Creek State Park has 8 miles of trails through the woods and swamps (via a series of boardwalks) along the Pamlico just west of Bath. It’s an area that was once nearly clear cut by lumber companies, but in 1974 became a North Carolina State Park.

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The trails are great, but last Saturday the River was calling, and the sun hanging low in the winter sky heated up the shoreline like it was summer time.

The kids and the dog could hardly contain themselves.

IMG_4617-634January sandcastles along the Pamlico

Turning into the Park, just follow the road final parking lots, and take the short walk South to the River and you’ll find a small beach and a sandy shore lined with Pines and Live Oaks. The twists of the Oaks, the Spanish Moss, and felled pines make for an almost ethereal scene.

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From the main beach area we headed East towards the Park’s edge a half mile or so along the River.

IMG_3779-634Close to that eastern edge

IMG_3767-634A private spot along the River

The felled trees and crooked shoreline create private spots along the River and Jennifer and I regretted not bringing along a few chairs to sit and enjoy the sun.

IMG_4619-634Growing up too fast!

As I’ve said before, our family is fast approaching the days when such simple pleasures like a sunny day at a park will be overcome by the drama of high school, of first dates and final exams, of school plays and little league games, of life at the speed of sound.

Last Saturday, though, time stopped and everyone was happy and the world seemed at peace and things were perfect.

If you could use an afternoon like that watch the weather and consider a visit to Good Creek State Park – admission is completely free and its an easy drive from the Triangle, and much of eastern North Carolina.

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Give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll give you all the details.

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We’ve got snow cream to eat.

Never forget to:

Relax…you CAN get there from here!

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