According to NC State University, parks provide more than a leisurely getaway. Benefits like improved mood, enhanced psychological well-being, and relief from mental fatigue are just some of the advantages. These improvements are helpful for our work and personal relationships. 

So this month, Great Outdoors Month, we are encouraging you to find a park, path, or trail and enjoy a brisk walk in nature. If you are more of a skating, running, or biking trails person, there are options for you, too. Here are four great trails that offer something for everyone right in our eastern North Carolina backyard.

Richard Ray All America Park in Jacksonville, NC 

In addition to the mix of restaurants and retail that fill the Jacksonville city landscape, there are also 17 miles of trails and green ways to explore. The Richard Ray All America Park is one of the parks in the city that provides an opportunity to enjoy a stroll and picnic areas. It is a 7 acre site that offers horticultural features from seven regions of the U.S. It is lined with educational resources throughout the path. There is also a fully equipped playground area for the little ones. If you are an explorer, Jacksonville offers a bike map, complete with bike routes and points of interest.

Lawson Creek Park in Newbern, NC

Finding fun at Lawson Creek Park is easy with over 140-acres of options. There are two areas to drop your boat along with wheelchair accessible piers if you enjoy fishing. Picnic pavilions, restaurant facilities, and a short walking trail (0.8 mi) are available for family and friends to get together and make memories. 

Neusiok Trail in Havelock, NC

Beginning in the Pine Cliffs area, this 21 mile hiking path is not for the faint-hearted. Trails cover a diverse landscape including coastal swamps and forest. Enjoy cypress, palmetto, and pine views in the forest. Areas within the path include several camping areas that can break up the long hiking path into shorter distances for families or beginner hikers. 

Emerald Path (Emerald Isle)

Emerald Path starts in Indian Beach traveling 11 miles down all the way to Bogue Inlet on the western end of Emerald Isle. Enjoy shady woodland areas, grassy areas and even the heart of downtown as you explore this path. This path cruises right down the “spine” of the narrow island and offers centralized access to the island. If you want to cool off and take a swim there are plenty of beach access points one to two blocks along the path. Emerald Path is part of the East Coast Greenway.

Ready for an outdoor excursion? Before you get started, prep yourself and loved ones against the bugs of summer. Download our Seasonal Pest Control Guideto get started. Winding through Old Wilmington and Forest Hills neighborhoods, there are 15 miles of routes that link other parks to this trail.