Discover Water and Land
Outdoors in Halifax County
Striped Bass Season Begins!
Opening day is the day for which many fishermen have been waiting – March 1, the opening of Striped Bass Season on the Roanoke River Striped Bass Management Area. The Area includes Roanoke, Cashie, Middle, and Eastmost rivers including their tributaries. It also includes downstream from the Roanoke Dam to the mouth of the river at Albemarle Sound. Be aware there are size limits as well; no fish under 18” can be taken and no fish between 22” and 27” maybe be taken. Also, the daily creel limit is two fish, one of which can be greater than 27”. For your convenience, licenses and boat registrations may be completed online at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission found here. The bass is a great sports fish that will give you some action at the end of your line and give you a run for your money. Make sure you stop by the Roanoke River Striped Bass Management Area!
Your Urban Refuge
At Medoc Mountain, the urban refuge, find tranquility and a chance to embrace the outdoors and explore nature. Trails beckon as sunlight filters through branches overhead and falls on paths that hold the promise of new frontiers. The peacefulness gives visitors the opportunity to relax and refresh. The silence of the forest is broken only by bird songs and the occasional drumming of the pileated woodpecker. With a helpful staff ready to guide and educate you about the area and wildlife and the beautiful trails, this is truly the perfect place for a scenic stroll. Or pack up your gear and stay overnight at one of the campsites, and you will make unforgettable memories in Halifax, N.C. So grab your hiking boots, don’t forget your camera, spend some time at Medoc Mountain State Park and let Mother Nature renew your spirit.
Whether you live in Roanoke Rapids, are visiting or just passing through, there is an attraction, event or restaurant just waiting for you. With the river running through town and the surrounding scenic area there are plenty of outdoors, nature-related activities. There is the Medoc Mountain State Park and many city parks to enjoy; nature trails for hiking and biking, fishing, canoeing, camping, and hunting. If it is more culture that interests you, there are museums, crafts, arts, and music gatherings, concerts, and events. There are restaurants, diners, and coffee shops that will serve up tasty cuisine to meet your palate. Steer away from the chain restaurants and try one of our unique, fresh eateries such as Second Street Lunch where they serve homemade hamburgers and hotdogs – this isn’t just fast food, it is great food! Stop by the historic district for a visit to the old-fashioned homes and buildings restored to its former glory. No matter what, Roanoke Rapids has that for which you are looking. Stop by, sit a spell and enjoy some of our southern hospitality.
In the Know: Roanoke Rapids
Rockfish and White-tails and Turkeys, Oh My!
The hunting and fishing in North Carolina are some of the best in the country, which is why so many people travel to Halifax County in search of the next best catch. In fact, they often rank number one for both white-tailed deer and wild turkey. But there are plenty of other animals running around as well, such as raccoon, opossum, fox, squirrel, rabbit, pheasant, duck, and beaver, to name a few. There are many guide services, hotels and lodges to make your hunting experience easy to navigate. And with Lake Gaston, Roanoke Rapids Lake and the Roanoke River, in addition to all of the creeks and ponds in the area, the same goes for fishing. You can catch shad, largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish and rockfish. Some people even call the town of Weldon “The Rockfish Capital of the World”. So whether you’re looking for game or to cast a line, Halifax County is where it’s at.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park: Waterfowl Man
Sylvan Heights Bird Park is set up for the preservation and conservation of waterfowl and the wetlands in which they live. Founded by Mike & Ali Lubbock, they relocated to the States from England bringing with them a lifetime of waterfowl knowledge and experience. They established the Sylvan Heights Water Fowl in 1981. By 1989, they opened the Avian Breeding Center which is now the largest collection of rare, exotic and endangered birds. The collection has over 3,000 birds from 140 different species. In 2006, the Sylvan Heights Bird Park opened to the public. The park showcases birds from almost every continent. There are beautiful gardens and walkthrough aviaries. Mike Lubbock has earned the title Waterfowl Man and has written a book about his journey to save water birds. He has received numerous awards for breeding birds and is well known as the foremost aviculturist in the world. Come and visit Sylvan Heights Bird Park and then read The Waterfowl Man to get the inside story.
Clear Blue Waters
Lake Gaston is a beautiful body of water, stretching 34 miles long with 350 miles of unique shoreline. Fully surrounded by forests, fields and hills, the striking blue waters of Lake Gaston stand out amongst the abundance of trees, plants and Carolina flora. The peaceful setting makes this lake one of the best on the east coast, as some say. The clear waters make boating here especially dreamy. There are many marinas that provide boat rentals for you to rent pontoons, paddleboards, kayaks and jet skis. Some of these spots include The Tillery Lake Gaston Outfitters Paddle Board & Kayak Rentals , Lake Gaston Water Sports at Poplar Pointe Morningstar Marina, and the Stonehouse Timber Lodge. Stonehouse Timber Lodge is also a great place to stay right on the lake, as they offer cabins and all of the lake services you could ask for. The area offers plenty of guided fishing services so you can get the ins and outs of where your finned friends are hiding, too. Come check it out!
Not Your Average Hike
The Roanoke Canal Trail is not just any average hiking trail. The path follows the bed and towpath of the old Roanoke Navigation Canal, making it a nature trail, and a history trail, too. Along the way, you’ll walk along two canals: one is the Navigation Canal, the other the Roanoke Power Canal. These canals powered the area with electricity before the Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam was built in 1955. Today, you can still see structures that remain like stone culverts, the Power Canal bulkhead, a stone aqueduct and the first power station that is now the Roanoke Canal Museum. You’ll even see buildings that were powered by the canal like the cotton mill and gristmill, both of which are used for different purposes today. The path is also a part of the North Carolina Birding Trail, so you can be on the lookout for winged creatures while you walk. Thus, the trail offers an intimate look into the beauty and history of Eastern North Carolina.
Get Your Game Face On
The woods of North Carolina are filled with all sorts of game, and no, we’re not talking about monopoly. Outdoors enthusiasts flock to Eastern North Carolina just like the birds do, to take advantage of some of the best hunting and fishing in the country. Aside from the abundance of great locations to do this at, the scenery of the area is unlike any other – you’ll have trouble keeping your eye on the bird. If you’re looking to go deer hunting, head to Beech Swamp Outfitters in Halifax County. With over 1100 acres of farm, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for. Or try getting your feet wet with Roanoke River Waterfowl. They are a complete waterfowl guide service and specialize in hunting mallards, as well as offer instructional fly-fishing. Or, you can make a whole trip out of it and stay in a hunting lodge with your mates at Stillwater Outfitters and Hunting Lodge or Choanoke Outfitters. Let the game begin!
Come Camp With Us in Halifax County
Halifax County offers several campsites for your outdoor pleasures. From high-end RV parks to car camping State Parks, you can choose the way you want to go. Medoc Mountain State Park offers tent and trailer camping at one of 34 sites, 12 of which have electric hookups. Each site can accommodate six people and have a table, grill and tent pad. There is a washhouse with hot showers and toilets. Medoc Mountain has plenty of hiking and biking trails, fishing and other activities to add to your adventure. Enfield / Rocky Mount KOA in Enfield offers several amenities such as a swimming pool, mini-golf, TV lounge, full hookups, store, Wi-Fi, and more. You can pull in with your RV or set up a tent. There are also cabins for rent that offer a bit more shelter. If you are looking for more of an upscale experience with your RV, try out the Ponderosa Campground in Weldon or the RV Resort at Carolina Crossroads. Both parks offer great amenities. Plan to get your reservations in for your next outdoor adventure.
Medoc Mountain State Park: Mountain Bike Trail
One of the many attractions of Medoc Mountain State Park is the mountain bike trails. The Bear Swamp Trail is only ¾ of a mile, great for beginners. It is a connecting trail that runs between the Visitor’s Center and the Dam Site Loop Trail. The Saponi Trail is about 3½ miles long is of moderate difficulty. For a difficult trail try the Pyrite Loop Trail. It is 5½ miles long with three water crossings. So, you can see there are trails for every level. The park also features hiking trails of varying lengths and 10 miles of equestrian trails as well. There is a campground so you can spend a few days and explore, or just stop by for the day. The stream provides fishing and canoeing opportunities. This full-service state park has everything you could ever want for a state park.
It’s not just for the Birds!
Many visitors know that Sylvan Heights Bird Park is the largest collection of birds in the world, and home to over 2,500 birds of 170 species. Founder Mike Lubbock, who settled the area in 1985, is a preeminent aviculturist, and award-winning preservationist. Winning multiple international awards for nurturing threatened species. That’s great and all, but what can tourists do there? The Landing Zone is an example of an experience not to be missed. With up to 18 interactive species, adults, and kids, can get up close, and personal. Perhaps hold a seed stick out as our feathered friends come to rest on your arm to feed? For the bigger birds like the American Flamingo or the Maroon-purple Horn Billed Swainson’s Toucan, you may have to negotiate. But the star of the show is certainly the Budgerigars Parakeet. Common to Australia this sweet little-multicolored bird is not shy, as long as there are plenty of seeds to share. They flit right to guest’s hands or shoulders, chirping joyfully in your ear. And don't forget to experience the much-lauded "Wings of the Tropics" exhibit! This large walk-through aviary features 25 species, including hummingbirds, jays, finches, quail, toucans, terns, eagles, and much more!