NC State Parks Map

beloitdavisja

James
Corporate Member
Back in 2019, I took my son Rowan (6 at the time) for his first camping trip to Hanging Rock State Park. When we were at the visitor center, the park ranger told us about the NC Parks Passport, a booklet where you can get a stamp from each park you visit, and there are rewards for hitting milestones (10, 20, 30, 40). We did 5 parks in 2019, all within a short driving distance from home, plus a few that were a short drive from a summer beach vacation. In 2020 we really stepped up our game. Rowan came to the conclusion that long road trips are pretty easy, and he started really wanting to do a lot of parks. We visited added 13 parks and got 1 stamp for the Mountains-to-Sea trail in 2020, bringing our total to 19. He just turned 8, and we have an ambitious plan to get to rest of the parks this year (41 total), including a road trip for his spring break to do 9 parks in 5 days on the eastern side of the state.

So this project was really to keep him excited about finishing our goal. Using Inkscape, I laid out all the parks on a state map with county lines, and added park labels, and engraved it using my laser. After engraving, I made a simple frame out of cherry to put it in, and finished it with some danish oil. With the frame, it's about 11"x22"

The version pictured here is not the version I made my son. For his I used the official NC Parks logo, which is copyrighted (I emailed them to see if they had a crafters license or something similar- they don't) so I won't share the pictures here. This is one of a few more I'm making to put up on etsy once the finish cures just to gauge any interest. They were fun to build, although frames are always a bit of a pain!

IMG_4157.jpegIMG_4158.jpeg
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, Vice President
Richard
Corporate Member
That’s a cool story for the both of you and a great goal. Love the project and good luck on y’all’s adventure.
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
Nicely done James! It's great that you and your son are doing this together
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
That is REALLY neat!
Are the stars all the parks, or just the ones you have visited?
PM on the way...
 

spartyon8

Peter
User
That is wonderful. As a teacher in the elementary grades, we need to see more of this at home. These moments are exactly what we can’t do in a classroom and have more of a lasting impact on their development. These moments allow us educators to tack on other things because of their prior knowledge outside of school. When I teach about the state (NC curriculum), I am seeing more and more students who know nothing about where they live. This is absolutely wonderful!

On a side note, would you be willing to make another one for me to use in my classroom? Message me if it would be a possibility.
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
Great story, even better are the memories you and your son will share for life!

Outstanding idea; great work, James.
 

jfynyson

Jeremy
User
Great project ! We too have our kids trying to hit all of the parks. We've hit 18 thus far. Does your ma have the new Pisgah Mtn park ? I think so since you said 41... NC has some wonderful parks and people managing them. I'd like to send you some baltic birch ply to have one made if you're interested in doing this for others (paid of course). You may be able to make some good money from the state if you offer these to them to sell from their website or from their visitor centers....just a thought.
 

Barry W

Co-Director of Outreach
Barry
Corporate Member
Great project, James. Living near the most visited state park, Hanging Rock, I realize the economis impact that a state park can have on a community. Your recognition of the North Carolina park system is certainly commendable.
 
Last edited:

beloitdavisja

James
Corporate Member
Nicely done James! It's great that you and your son are doing this together
If you remember, we used our stop at your shop as an excuse to go to Pilot Mountain State Park, our ninth. :)

Are the stars all the parks, or just the ones you have visited?
They are all the parks. I keep up a custom google map to track our total progress , in addition to the physical passport.

That is wonderful. As a teacher in the elementary grades, we need to see more of this at home. These moments are exactly what we can’t do in a classroom and have more of a lasting impact on their development. These moments allow us educators to tack on other things because of their prior knowledge outside of school. When I teach about the state (NC curriculum), I am seeing more and more students who know nothing about where they live. This is absolutely wonderful!
I'll admit, we started going out of my own desire. :D It took some convincing the first few outings, but he's really enthusiastic about it now, which is wonderful to see. I think he's realized that there are such unique and beautiful sites to be seen, and the only way to see and experience them is to do the hike.

We also have gone to a few State Historic Sites as well. We live close to Reed Gold Mine, and that has been his FAVORITE place to go to since he was 3. We've also been to Town Creek Indian Mound, Fort Dobbs, NC Transportation Museum, Fort Fisher (also a State Park), and Battleship North Carolina.

I try and get some t-shirts at every park we go to (I call it Dad Swag). Helps keep me fashionable, and it helps support the park.

Does your map have the new Pisgah Mtn park ?
It does not. I actually had not heard of it, and it's not on the NC Parks page yet. Looks like from the latest news I could find that they are still closing on the land purchases and the state won't start developing it for a few more years, and construction funding will still need to be approved. I'll have to keep an eye out and update it accordingly! Once it opens you can be sure we'll go.
Not counting the future Pisgah View State Park, there are 41 parks. There are 42 stamps in the passport booklet, with the 42nd being the Mountains-to-Sea trail.
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Awesome !!! Great memories for you and your son. One of the enduring and strongest memories are the mountain trips with my dad
 

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top