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Goose Creek State Park

Goose Creek State Park is a park along the northern side Pamlico River in Beaufort County near Washington.  The park protects the area where Goose Creek and a number of other creeks flow into Pamlico River near the transition zone where the river becomes a sound.  The brackish waters and wetlands support a variety of wildlife.  The park provides a campground, hiking trails, and water activities for visitors.

Contact Information:

2190 Camp Leach Road
Washington, NC 27889

Phone: (252) 923-2191

GPS: 35.48185, -76.90141


From Washington, head east on US-264 for approximately 10 miles and turn right on Camp Leach Road.  Follow this road for 2.5 miles to the park entrance.



Flatty Creek Trail:

Length: 0.3 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Orange Triangles

Flatty Creek Trail is a short loop trail that leads to its namesake creek.  The trail splits off from Goose Creek Trail near the campground and leads to a split where the trail loops.  At the far end of short loop, the trail leads out to an observation deck on Flatty Creek near where it flows into Pamlico River.

Goose Creek Trail:

Length: 2.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Blue Triangles

Goose Creek Trail is the longest trail in the park.  It starts near the campground where Goose Creek flows into Pamlico River and runs parallel to the latter.  Flatty Creek Trail splits off near the start to the right and Ivey Gut Trail to the right a little further.  Around the middle of the trail, boardwalks leads through a black gum and cypress swamp.  The trail ends at Live Oak Trail near the swim beach.

Huckleberry Trail: 

Length: 0.2 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: White Hexagons

Huckleberry Trail is a short trail that connects Mallard Creek Trail and Live Oak Trail.

Ivey Gut Trail:

Length: 1.8 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Red Triangles

Ivey Gut Trail starts from Goose Creek Trail at the campground and leads through the forest along the southern shore of Goose Creek.  A loop splits off form the main trail to provide views of Goose Creek through the trees.  Past the loop, the trail crosses the main road and ends at the intersection with Palmetto Boardwalk and Tar-Kiln Trails.

Live Oak Trail:

Length: 0.3 miles (loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Red Hexagons

Live Oak Trail is a short loop trail that runs around the picnic area and the Pamlico River.  Although it's a short trail, it's very scenic and takes in a lot of scenery.  As the name suggests, the trail passes many beautiful live oaks draped in Spanish Moss and also runs past a very scenic section of beach along the river.

It also passes a small, historic cemetery.  The cemetery is from the late 19th century, but little else is known about it.  It is believed that during a disease outbreak on the southern shore of Pamlico River, people ferried the bodies of their loved ones across the river to be buried here to prevent further spread of disease.

Mallard Creek Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Blue Hexagons

Mallard Creek Trail runs from a parking lot by the picnic area to an overlook on Mallard Creek.  About half-way through the trail, the Tar-Kiln Trail splits to the left.  Along the way, the trail passes by trees draped in Spanish moss.  The trail leads at an overlook on Mallard Creek, just before the creek flows into Pamlico River.  The trail then loops back around with Live Oak Trail splitting off at the southern end.

Palmetto Boardwalk Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: None

Palmetto Boardwalk Trail is a handicapped-accessible trail that leads from behind the visitor center to the middle of the park, where it terminates at the intersection of Tar-Kiln and Ivey Gut Trails.  The majority of the trail is along a boardwalk that runs over marshy wetlands in the interior of the park.

Tar-Kiln Trail:

Length: 1.3 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Easy
Blaze: Orange Hexagons

The Tar-Kiln Trail is the newest trail in the park.  It starts at the end of the Palmetto Boardwalk Trail and runs east through a mixed forest, terminating at Mallard Creek Trail.  Along the way, the trail passes by the remains of several old tar kilns.  As seen in the picture below, you might not immediately recognize the sites, so the park has installed informational displays describing the importance of the logging industry to the region in the late 19th century and how these tar kilns were operated.


Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is common throughout the park, draped over the branches of other trees.

Turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor).

Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus).

Blog Entries:

01-Dec-2018: Goose Creek Hike

External Links: