North Carolina Educational State Forest
North Carolina Educational State Forests consist of seven state forests; each has its own educational centers, trained rangers, and trails. Clemmons, located in Johnston County, is the first of North Carolina’s Educational State Forest when it opened in 1977. It is situated between Piedmont and Coastal Plain, featuring outdoor workshops, picnic facilities, classes, and three guided trails: Forest Geology Trail, Talking Tree Trail, and Forest Demonstration Trail. Holmes is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Henderson County. Visitors will experience a beautiful mixture of flora, consisting of hardwoods and wildflowers. Group camping is one of the most sought activities in the area. It is also home to the butternut study site, which aims to protect the butternut, species of hardwood that has been diminishing in number because of fungal infection. This is one of the newest members of the Educational State Forest system in Jordan Lake located at Chatham County.
Tranquility is one of the best things that the forest can offer to visitors, with the magnificent sound winds rustling on trees and the sight of deer, birds, squirrels, and beavers. The area includes a shelter to accommodate large groups. One of the featured projects in the area is the construction of the Lowlands Trail that will soon give visitors a more up-close look at the ecosystem. Mountain Island shares territories from Lincoln and Gaston counties and takes on water quality in the forest as its point of concentration. The forest is the source of water to one out of every twelve residents of North Carolina. Some of its forest partners are the Clean Water Management Trust Fund of North Carolina, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Duke Power Company.
The area is currently under construction but will open soon to cater to visitors once again. The Rendezvous Mountain in Wikes County is located along the Blue Ridge Mountains. It shares the same features as that of the earlier State Forest, although it features a natural amphitheater where visitors can organize events and special sessions and a logging history demonstration trail. One of its focus projects is the restoration of Purlear Creak Stream. Popular for the mystery land formations in the area, the Turnbull Creek in Bladen County is located in the coastal plain region of the state. Some of its additional exhibits include Naval Stores Exhibit and Fire Control Exhibit. Its current project is the restoration of the Longleaf pine which drastically declined in the past two centuries because of continuous logging and wildfire. Last in the list of Educational State Forests is Tuttle Forest located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It features a variety of pine and other trees, as well as clear streams. Aside from guided trails and ranger conducted classes, visitors can surely enjoy the mountain view while relaxing at the Gazebo.