Joyful Journey: Cliff of the Neuse State Park

“Being able to smell the fresh air and disconnect from the news and your phone – there’s nothing like it.” ~ Jason Ward

Within the picturesque landscapes of North Carolina lies a sanctuary of natural beauty and historical intrigue. Located in Wayne County, 15 miles southeast of Goldsboro, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park sits on 90-foot bluffs overlooking the Neuse River. Layers of sand, clay, seashells, shale and gravel create a spectrum of colors on the face of the cliff. This enchanting destination beckons travelers from far and wide to immerse themselves in its captivating landscapes and delve into its storied past. From the towering cliffs that overlook the tranquil waters of the Neuse River to the myriad recreational opportunities that await within its borders, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park provides many chances to enjoy the enduring allure of the great outdoors.

Brief History

The tale of Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is one that spans millions of years, shaped by the forces of nature and the passage of time. The striking cliffs that give the park its name are the result of millennia of erosion, sculpted from limestone and sandstone to form a breathtaking natural vista. However, it was not until the early 20th century that efforts were made to preserve this natural wonder for future generations.

In 1945, Cliffs of the Neuse officially became a state park, thanks to the dedication and foresight of local conservationists. Since then, it has served as a beacon of conservation and outdoor recreation, offering visitors a glimpse into the geological and cultural history of the region.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park offers a wealth of recreational opportunities to suit every taste and preference with seven biking and hiking trails that meander through verdant forests, leading adventurers to panoramic overlooks. The park’s diverse terrain provides ample opportunities for exploration, from leisurely strolls along the riverbank to challenging treks through rugged terrain.

An 11-acre lake and the Neuse River provide opportunities for water recreation. Anglers will find solace in the park’s pristine waters where bass, catfish and sunfish abound. Boaters can navigate the gentle currents of the Neuse River, while swimmers can cool off in the designated swimming area on the lake, complete with a sandy beach perfect for sunbathing and picnicking. The park offers canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and stand-up paddleboards for the lake in season. The cost is $10 per equipment per hour; and they accept cash only.

Unique Features

What sets Cliffs of the Neuse State Park apart is its remarkable blend of natural beauty and cultural significance. The towering cliffs that frame the park’s landscape offer a striking contrast to the gentle flow of the Neuse River below, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures and scenic vistas.

In addition to its geological wonders, the park is home to a rich diversity of plant and animal life, including rare and endangered species. Birdwatchers will delight in the fact that the park is on the NC Birding Trail and offers a chance to spot woodpeckers, warblers and other avian inhabitants as they explore the park’s trails, while nature lovers can marvel at the vibrant display of wildflowers that carpet the forest floor.

The new visitor center at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is LEED certified and hosts museum-quality exhibits that explore the natural history and the unique geological events that shaped the landscape of the park.

At the End of the Day

After a full day at the Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, visitors are invited to gather around crackling campfires and share stories beneath the starlit sky. Whether camping beneath the canopy of trees or retreating to cozy cabins, there’s no better way to end a day of adventure than by immersing oneself in the tranquility of nature.

Cliffs of the Neuse State Park offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, recreational opportunities and rich history that makes it a true gem of North Carolina. Whether you’re seeking solace amidst the wilderness or adrenaline-fueled excitement, this park has something to offer everyone. So go explore, unwind and create memories that will last a lifetime at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.

Cliffs of the Neuse State Park is located at 240 Park Entrance Road, Seven Springs, NC, 28578. To contact the park about hours and information, you can email or call 919.778.6234.


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