Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
Boating: is a popular pastime at Lake Waccamaw. There is no boat access in the park, but two free public boat launch areas are available nearby. One is maintained by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) while the other is operated by Lake Waccamaw State Park. Powerboats and sailboats may be launched from the boat ramps, but parking is limited. The waters of Lake Waccamaw are park property and all park rules apply.
Camping: The adventuresome camper will find plenty to enjoy at Lake Waccamaw's four primitive group camping areas nestled beneath the trees. Picnic tables, fire circles, and charcoal grills are located in the sites and pit toilets are located nearby. These are hike-in campsites that do not have water or electricity at the site. All supplies, including drinking water, must be packed to the sites. All campers must check in at the visitor center or with a ranger before occupying a campsite and must display a parking pass for overnight parking. Reservations are recommended.
Education and Events: Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Lake Waccamaw State Park. Click here to search our database of park events. To arrange a special exploration of Lake Waccamaw State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.
Educational materials about Lake Waccamaw State Park have been developed for grades 6-8 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Lake Waccamaw program introduces students to the unique ecosystem of this particular Carolina bay, focusing on water chemistry and the lake's diversity of aquatic life. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators. To learn more about environmental education or to search our database of upcoming workshops, please click the Education tab, above.
Fishing: Fifty-two species of game and non-game fish swim in Lake Waccamaw. The WRC stocks the lake with largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker and redbreast sunfish. All regulations of the WRC are enforced.
Lakeshore Trail: The longest trail in the park, Lakeshore Trail begins at the visitor's center and follows the lakeshore to the Waccamaw River. The trail passes through a variety of ecosystems during its four-mile course. Marked by blue blazes, Lakeshore Trail cuts through a pine forest, past one of the oldest stands of cypress trees in the area, under towering hickory trees, alongside grass beds in the lake that provide cover for a variety of fish species and beside sandy beaches perfect for picnicking or pausing to gaze across the lake.
Sand Ridge Nature Trail: The Sand Ridge Nature Trail is a 0.75-mile loop that begins and ends near the picnic area. Trail is marked with orange blazes. From the trail, hikers can view reindeer moss, Spanish moss, reindeer lichen, pond pine, longleaf pine, turkey oak, laurel oak and hickory. Trees are marked to help identify the route.
Pine Woods Trail: A 1.8-mile trail that winds through the park from the picnic area to the visitor's center allows hikers to view the diverse plant life found at Lake Waccamaw State Park. Common plants along this trail include longleaf pines, bay trees and turkey oaks. With a careful eye, hikers can even spot Venus flytraps. Because the flytraps are a rare species, they should not be disturbed.
Loblolly Trail: Marked with red trail blazes, Loblolly Trail is a 0.65 mile loop. Similar to the Pine Woods Trail in content, this loop begins and ends at the visitor's center.
Boardwalks: A gravel path from the picnic area parking lot winds through the picnic ground and leads to a 700-foot boardwalk from which hikers can get a closer look at the various plants of the bay forest bordering the lake. The boardwalk ends at a 375-foot pier perfect for fishing. An additional accessible boardwalk that traverses the bay forest is located near the visitor's center and is complete with two sun shelters.
Picnicking: Picnic tables and grills are conveniently placed beneath tall longleaf pines and turkey oaks draped with Spanish moss. Drinking water and restrooms are nearby. The picnic area and the restrooms, as well as some picnic tables, are accessible for persons with disabilities.
Visitor Center: In addition to the educational programs offered at the park, the park visitor center features environmental education exhibits. Conveniently located near the park entrance, the visitor center and exhibit hall are wheelchair accessible.
The interactive exhibits focus on the singularity of Lake Waccamaw. The exhibit hall offers videos that examine the lake's biological systems and its cultural history, as well as the role of the giant mussel in the lake's ecosystem. Take a walk back in time and recount the days when loggers floated rafts of cypress across the lake. Enjoy photographs that capture the tourism efforts at the lake.