There are so many times we will scroll through Instagram or Facebook and see beautiful pictures of the Louisiana bayous and swamps and want to instantly be there. Living in North Carolina we have the luxuries of beaches, but you might not have known that we have some swamps too. One of the best things to do in North Carolina is to explore this natural refuge that has some pretty amazing views. 

The Great Dismal Swamp is at the very tip of North Carolina and goes into Virginia. It is "the largest intact remnant of a vast habitat that once covered more than one million acres of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina," according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. If you are looking for a place to go to take a break from reality, you need to visit this spot ASAP.

You can hike the wooden boardwalks to see the beauty of the swamp, or you can get in a kayak to really get the full experience. Canoe and kayak rentals are available for only $7 per boat per hour, so you're getting a great deal. 

There are so many spots to explore on this 112,000-acre refuge, so you'll probably have to take a few trips back to this destination. 

There are over 80 miles of trails to explore or hike. You can choose how far you want to hike depending on your experience level. There is also an option to bike these trails. 

If these two options don't strike your fancy, you can hop in your car and drive around Lake Drummond at the heart of the area. There are also short boardwalks that go back into the forest where you can walk during your stops.

Most of these trails are unpaved and you're more than likely to get a little dirt and mud on your shoes. If that is not your jam, the Swamp Boardwalk trail is only half of a mile.

You'll be able to see the swamp area without the muddiness. If you're lucky, you might just see an occasional black bear or bobcat in your adventures.

Make sure you start at the welcome center when you arrive. There, you will learn all about this unique area and what makes it so popular. This would be the perfect spring or summer adventure for you and your besties, so start planning!

The Great Dismal Swamp

Price: Free

Address: 2356 N. US Hwy. 17, South Mills, NC

Why You Need To Go: When you step onto this preserve, you'll feel like you've been transported to a Louisiana bayou. 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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