Shimel To Lead State Parks’ East District

Joe Shimel is the new east district superintendent of North Carolina state parks, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Shimel succeeds Sarah Kendrick, who served as acting superintendent beginning in 2020. Kendrick will return to her post as superintendent of Hammocks Beach State Park.

A district superintendent is the chief of operations and administration of a park district with wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, planning, law enforcement, and visitor services.

Extensive Renovations, Construction Will Close Campgrounds, Pool, Cabins & Trails at Morrow Mountain State Park

Construction and renovation of campground facilities, trails, picnic facilities and the pool at Morrow Mountain State Park will cause extensive amenity closures beginning June 13.

Closures will include three family campgrounds, family vacation cabins, and picnic shelter A. The park pool will remain closed this season for renovations.

Hikers and equestrians can expect periodic trail closures beginning June 13 for the next 12 months. Over 14 miles of trail re-routes and four miles of trail repairs will be completed during this time.

Third and final phase of acquisitions completed for Bobs Creek State Natural Area in McDowell County by Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation

On March 30, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation closed on the purchase of 2,249 acres in McDowell County to become part of Bobs Creek State Natural Area. This purchase is the last of three acquisitions for the new state natural area and increases its total size to more than 6,000 acres. The first two phases of the project, about 3,700 acres, were purchased in 2019.

North Carolina State Parks Report Record 22.8 Million Visitors in 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina state parks and recreation areas experienced a record number of visitors in 2021. The 41 sites welcomed 22.8 million visitors last year — three million more than any other year on record. The previous record for visitation was set in 2020 when, despite the early pandemic and several weeks of closures at many parks, the parks welcomed 19.8 million visitors. Ten state parks reached one million visitors in 2021, up from 7 parks in 2020. 

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