National Parks / Natural World

Dismal Swamp State Park South Mills

Where is it at?

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Dismal Swamp State Park
2294 US 17 North
South Mills
Tel: 252-771-6593


Can be found just 3 miles south of the NC/VA border on US Hwy 17.

Where are we going today?

Who knew North Carolina had a swamp! The Dismal Swamp State Park is a great family day out for those nature and adventure loving families! 

The historic Dismal Swamp Canal is an amazing experience for the family, complete with a 2000 foot boardwalk which allows you to take in the environment and views, without actually taking to the water!

The kids will love experiencing a swamp first hand, where they can get up close to amazing sights and a large variety of wildlife.

For those adventure loving family members, there are over 20 amazing miles of mountain biking trails and hiking trail.  Perhaps you would rather spend time on the water in a canoe or kayak. 

You can rent the bikes from the park! There are helmets available, and all kinds of bikes for all family members. You can also rent the canoes or kayaks - they have thought of everything! 

Want to hear a very cool fact? George Washington actually called the Dismal Swamp State Park a "glorious paradise", so it must be pretty special! If you want to know why, you'll have to visit because it's at the swamp itself that you can really find out all the answers!

You can also learn about the ecological importance of the wetlands, as well as why the swamp was important to the Underground Railroad - so head to the Visitors Center when you first arrive to begin your educational experience!

The rangers of the swamp regularly hold scheduled interpretive and educational programs where you can become more immersed in the swamp. There is so much to do!


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How much does it cost?

  • AdultsFree! Activity rental extra
  • ChildrenFree! Activity rental extra

When can we go?

8am - 6pm March to Oct. 5pm close rest of year.

All year round, but closed Christmas Day.

Teachers corner

They have a range of educational opportunities and programs for kids! Give them a call to see how they can help you! .

I'm Hungry!

Why not take a picnic and enjoy it in the middle of this amazing part of nature!.

Healthy Eating!

Take bottled water, you'll need to stay hydrated! .

Any Top Tips?

The trails close 30 minutes before the park closing times - so plan accordingly. .

Doing our bit

The park look after all who call the park home - including wildlife. Make sure you help them out by cleaning up after yourself, and following any regulations they have .

Need a little extra help?

If you need wheelchair access, give them a call before you head out there and see what there is .

More information

The Visitor Center has slightly different opening times to what is listed. 9am - 4:30pm weekdays. 9:30am - 4:30pm weekends. .

What people are saying?

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    The name implies exactly what it is. Lame. Lots of bugs too.

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