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North Central Communities
North Central Region
This 15-county region, including the metropolitan areas of Raleigh, Durham, and Cary known as the Triangle in North Carolina, is the state’s innovation center. The region is globally known as the largest research center in North America, offers world-renown healthcare, and serves as the higher education hub for the state with three major universities and numerous smaller colleges and universities. The small towns and cities are exploding in population, and that has resulted in vibrant downtown districts that offer a variety of housing options and job opportunities, plus lots of locally owned shops and businesses, award-winning culinary delights including farm-to-table options and Eastern North Carolina style barbecue, handcrafted cocktails and brews, and a plethora of cultural amenities that include internationally known Whirligigs and folk art, theater, live music, art galleries, and more. Explore the region’s farm and food tours, experience the public art, take in a college football or basketball game, and enjoy the outdoor recreation options in the state parks and regional lakes. A visit to the North Central region may convince you to become a new resident.
NC Main Street Communities
North Central Region
Additional Trails In Our
NC Main to Main Communities
Trail and Outdoor Recreation Links
African American Music Trail
African American Music Trails is an exploration of the long and rich heritage of African American music in Eastern North Carolina. The abundance of this music and its musicians is one of the state’s best kept secrets. Funk, blues, jazz, and gospel in Kinston, Tarboro, Wilson and everywhere in between.
Interviews with more than 90 musicians uncovered an exciting world of music, especially jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, gospel, blues, church music, rap, marching bands and beach music in the counties of Edgecombe, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Nash Pitt, Wayne and Wilson.
Beer, Wine, and Shine Trail
Johnston County has quite the history of producing illegal spirits, a heritage today which lays claim to creating the NASCAR industry. In 2009, our award-winning wineries joined together to create a wine trail and now its expanded to become the JoCo Beer, Wine, and Shine Trail adding three breweries and two distilleries. Visitors can tour local vineyards, find out more about making craft beer, and discover the legacy of five generations of moonshiners. Complete four stops for a FREE gift from the Visitors Bureau and seven stops and get a FREE gift from the partner of your choice.
Buffalo Creek Greenway
The entrance to the Buffalo Creek Greenway is at the back of Smithfield Community Park. The paved trail meanders ~3 miles along the Spring Branch to the Neuse River Walk at Smithfield Town Commons. The path is ten feet wide and is our local part of the Mountains to Sea Trail. It’s perfect for hikers, runners and bikers.
Civil Rights Trail
North Carolina pioneered many firsts for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Raleigh was the birthplace of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee – one of the most significant civil rights activist organizations – and Estey Hall, the first building constructed in the U.S. for the higher education of African-American women. Raleigh also developed the first public park dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. Greensboro is most widely recognized for the four black students from Agricultural & Technical College of North Carolina (now North Carolina A&T State University) who challenged segregationists and set the standard for sit-in movements throughout the state and nation.
East Coast Greenway
On its way through central and eastern North Carolina, the East Coast Greenway showcases the state’s natural features and cultural diversity. From rolling hills of pine, oak, and hickory forests to farmlands, thriving cities, cypress swamps, and coastal beaches, travelers will experience much of the Tar Heel State’s best.
The current spine route passes through the Research Triangle cities of Durham and Raleigh on extensive greenway trails, then touches the Sandhills and enters Fayetteville. It runs across the coastal plain along the Cape Fear River and explores the port city of Wilmington.
In addition to this main route, the Historic Coastal Route extends south from Virginia on the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail and follows the North Carolina coast more closely, linking Greenville and Jacksonville before heading into Wilmington to join the spine route.
Mountains to Sea Trail
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a simple footpath stretching almost 1,200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. More than just a walk in the woods, the trail traces the diversity that is North Carolina. Experience ancient mountains and small Piedmont farms, coastal swamps and colonial towns, changing textile villages and barrier islands. Almost 700 miles of footpath are now completed. With temporary routes on backroads and bicycle paths, hikers can now follow the trail on an adventure across North Carolina.
NC Birding Trail
The North Carolina Birding Trail serves as a driving trail to link birders and nature-based tourists with great birding sites across the state and the local communities in which they are found.
Each of our locations are their own entities. From state parks, to greenways, to arboretums, to game lands, our sites are each their own prime spots for engaging with nature.
NC Scenic Byway
North Carolina's 61 scenic byways allow motorists to experience a bit of the state's history, geography and breathtaking scenery while raising awareness for the protection and preservation of these treasures. Travelers can get to know North Carolina's people and communities and see the diverse beauty the Tar Heel state has to offer – from the high peaks of the Appalachian Mountains to the fertile hills of the Piedmont to the marshes, sounds and beaches of the coast.
Rocky Mount Trails
The Rocky Mount Parks & Recreation Department oversees a system of parks and trails near the center of Rocky Mount. The 7.1 mile City Trail System links several large parks comprising nearly 300 acres of parkland. Starting in Sunset Park and following the Tar River through Battle Park, crossing the river into Stith-Talbert Park, the trails travels into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. Near South Church Street, a connector trail travels north to the Rocky Mount Sports Complex and Athletic Stadium.
Wake Forest Greenways
Greenways are an important part of the Town of Wake Forest's Open Space & Greenways Plan, most recently updated in 2009. Greenways answer the growing public demand for safe and pleasant ways to travel about the town and offer many benefits. Greenway corridors are also prioritized to meet economic and transportation objectives.
The Town's first greenway was constructed in 2003. Today, there are approximately 14 miles of developed greenways within Wake Forest and nearly 40 miles of planned greenways.