Raven Rock State Park

Raven Rock State Park

A Hidden Gem Along the Cape Fear River Valley

Facts & Figures

Address: 3009 Raven Rock Road, Lillington, NC 27546

County: Harnett

Size: 4,810 acres

Hours: Open daily from 7:00am to 7:00pm

Phone: (910) 893-4888

Website: https://www.ncparks.gov/raven-rock-state-park/home

Management: North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Division of Parks & Recreation

Activities/Amenities:

  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Paddling
  • Picnicking

Photos

Overview

Located along the Cape Fear River Valley in Lillington, NC in Harnett County, Raven Rock State Park offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities including camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, paddling, and picnicking. Less than an hour drive from Raleigh, Fayetteville, and Pinehurst, it is a popular place for family hiking. It is especially beautiful in the fall season when the leaves begin to change color. Hiking terrain varies from easy to difficult, with a variety of loops and trails for all ages. The Cape Fear River is also a popular spot for paddling. Although there is no river access to launch or land boats, the park does offer a canoe camping spot along the river. Check with the State Park Office for information. Nearby Cape Fear River Adventures offers tubing and paddling trips.

Our Experience

Raven Rock State Park is our family’s favorite place for family hikes! We normally make it out to the park at least once in the late winter/early spring and once in the fall season. It is a 45-minute drive from our home near Raleigh, so it makes for a quick half-day hiking adventure. Our favorite family hike is the 2.6-mile Raven Rock Loop Trail, which includes the scenic overlook of the Cape Fear River Valley down below. Halfway through the loop, you can continue down several flights of stairs to see the river up close and to explore Raven Rock, the rock formation for which the park get its name. For a treat after hiking, check out the Visitor Center to learn more about the area.

Bonus: to keep our kids excited about family hikes and to reward them for completing a hike at each park we visit, we started purchasing hiking medallions to add to their hiking staffs. Every state park we have visited in North Carolina sells hiking medallions in their visitor centers, including Raven Rock State Park. I will share more about tips for outdoor recreation for families with small children in an upcoming blog post.

Hiking medallions on our hiking staffs from North Carolina State Parks

Published by Dave Herpy

I am a father of four, a camp and outdoor recreation professional, and a freelance writer. I have over twenty years of experience in the outdoor industry and over a decade of experience as a freelance writer. I enjoy camping, cycling, golfing, hiking, kayaking, running, swimming, and triathlons, as well as traveling, volunteering, and writing. I live in Clayton, North Carolina.

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