Raven Rock State Park »  History
In further efforts to reduce wildfire hazards and restore some areas of the native species within the park, park staff are planning prescribed burns for the first part of 2014. Prescription burns are very weather dependent and may take place with very short notice. Due to the presence of fire, smoke, or emergency equipment; roads, picnic areas, and trails may be temporarily closed to the public. If you have plans to visit the park as part of an event or with a group, please contact the park a few days in advance.
Updated: 2014-03-08 10:02:03
Some Hiking Trail Closures
Bridle Trails Status - CLOSED due to extreme wet conditions;
Bridle Trails List Serve
Family Wilderness Campground is CLOSED;
... details ±
Due to excessive flooding and the Cape Fear River currently at 13.41 feet and rising, one trail and portions of other trails in Raven Rock State Park are closed.
Creek side of Little Creek Loop Trail closed; creek side of Campbell Creek Loop Trail closed; and Group Camp Trail closed. The upper portions of Campbell Creek Loop Trail and Little Creek Loop Trail are still available for hiking but will no longer be loops and hikers will need to back track to trail head. Canoe Camp remains open by access of upper portion of Little Creek Loop Trail and Group Camp is open but with a reroute.
The Bridle Trails are currently CLOSED. To preserve the bridle trails for future enjoyment, bridle trails are closed following major rainfall events. Riding on wet trails creates hazardous conditions, erodes the trail and will cause for more frequent and longer trail closures due to major trail repairs.
Portions of the West Loop Bridle Trail nearest River Road have been re-routed to complete the loop on the west side of Avent’s Creek using the trailhead opposite the vault toilet. Do not ride on portions of the trail that are marked as closed.
Raven Rock State Park has created a list serve for updates on the East and West Loop Bridle Trails. These updates will only be sent when the trail status changes. If you are interested in receiving emails of bridle trail status changes please call the park office and leave your preferred email address at 910-893-4888 extension 107 or email email@example.com
The Family Wilderness Campground is closed until further notice.
Updated: 2014-03-08 09:15:10
Raven Rock State Park sits along the fall zone, an area where the hard, resistant rocks of the foothills
give way to the softer rocks and sediments of the coastal plain. The underlying rocks of the area were
formed more than 400 million years ago by intense heat and pressure.
Through the ages, flowing waters and swirling winds gradually eroded the land, carving and sculpting Raven
Rock. This immense crystalline structure rises to 150 feet and stretches for more than a mile along the
Cape Fear River. The rock was originally called Patterson's Rock for an early settler who found refuge
there when his canoe capsized nearby. In 1854, its name was changed to Raven Rock, inspired by the sight of
ravens that formerly roosted on rock ledges.
The Siouan and Tuscarora Indians hunted the area until European settlers arrived in the mid-1700s. The
first settlers were primarily hunters and trappers who were searching for high country similar to their
native country, Scotland. Later, stores, mills and quarries were built. Many of the woodlands were farmed,
and as the forests returned, much of the land was harvested for timber.
A road that stretched from Raleigh to Fayetteville crossed the Cape Fear River via the Northington Ferry
and served as the area's major transportation route. Locks and dams were built along the river to
facilitate navigation by boat, and Raven Rock became an important landmark for river pilots. After a
hurricane destroyed the locks and dams in 1859, the structures were not replaced; railroad transportation
eliminated the need for river travel. As new roads were built, the ferry was closed and Raven Rock became a
popular recreation spot. The remnants of the Northington lock and dam can still be seen in the park.
In 1965, interest grew in preserving the area as a state park, and local citizens organized support for the
project. In 1969, a bill establishing the park was passed in the General Assembly. More than 220 acres of
land were purchased and another 170 acres were donated by Burlington Industries. Additional tracts have
since been purchased, bringing the park to its present size of 4,667 acres.