Croatan National Forest Guide

When European colonists appeared on North Carolina coasts, they were greeted by the Native American groups known collectively as the Croatans. These indigenous peoples thrived in the area where the Croatan National Forest sits today. Those who visit this forest may wonder how this setting of swamps, salt estuaries, bogs, and pocosins, which are wetland areas with deep acidic sandy peat soils that act like a sponge, could support a civilization. The answer is found in the depths of the Croatan National Forest, a 159,885-acre coastal wooded region surrounded on three sides by water. Where the early Europeans saw an impassable swamp, Native Americans saw an area filled with wildlife, abundant fishing, an incredible array of vegetables, and easy access to essential herbs. Exploring this forest in-depth begins at the forest's headquarters in faraway Asheville, NC, with support from nearby towns such as Morehead City, NC, and New Bern, NC.

RV Rentals Near Croatan National Forest

Shape Hiking Trails

Croatan National Forest Hiking Trails

Things to Do

Activities in Croatan National Forest

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How to get to Croatan National Forest

Address: 160 Zillicoa Street, Suite A, Asheville, NC 28801

Fee: Entry fee $0

The Croatan National Forest provides some of the most exotic natural features you will find anywhere in the country. Renting an RV to explore the entire forest leads to a vacation your family will remember for a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Croatan National Forest

Is Croatan National Forest open all year round?

Yes, the Croatan National Forest is open year-round. The coastal area provides lots of recreational activities in summer, and cold weather outdoor activities during winter as well.

Is there a fee to get into Croatan National Forest?

No, there is no fee to get into Croatan National Forest. However, there may be fees or permits required to park in certain areas, like day-use areas. There may also be permits required for some recreational activities in the forest like using OHV trails or camping.

Does Croatan National Forest offer free camping sites?

Yes, Croatan National Forest has free camping sites. Dispersed camping is allowed in many areas including the Catfish Lake Boat Launch, Oyster Point Campground, and near the Neusiok Trail.

Can you kayak, canoe, or raft in Croatan National Forest?

Yes, you can kayak, canoe, and raft in Croatan National Forest. Brice's Creek, Catfish Lake, and Dixon Fields are all great spots to launch a canoe or kayak for a day on the water.

What type of wildlife lives in Croatan National Forest?

Wildlife in Croatan National Forest includes deer, black bears, turkeys, alligators, and ospreys. The park is also home to interesting plant species like the Venus fly-trap and the pitcherplant.