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Weekend Wandering in NC – Bath & Washington

Take a step back in time and check out NC’s oldest town, Bath. Take a short drive from there, and check out one of NC’s best state parks.

Located in Beaufort County are two fantastic places to spend a day or an entire weekend. Bath is NC’s first town with quite a history that includes political rivalries, Indian wars, a yellow fever epidemic, and piracy. The infamous Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard took up residence there for a time. Goose Creek State Park is 1,672 acres of natural beauty for those who love the outdoors.

We visited Bath and Goose Creek State Park on two separate occasions recently. Together, the two places make for a great day trip! We have been to both sites in years past, but it is certainly worth visiting again if you are close. Everytime I go, I learn something new or see something different. We went with a co-op in the spring, and my daughter and I visited the state park a few weeks ago.

Bath, NC

At Historic Bath, you can visit three historic homes, the Exhibit Center, a 1-mile walking tour, and a 15-minute orientation film in the visitor’s center. The oldest church building in NC, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, is also open to the public. Our group participated in a guided tour of two historic homes. At the Palmer-Marsh House, we heard stories of the residents and saw how they lived long ago.

Our group enjoyed colonial games on the lawn. The littles as well as the teens had fun playing hoops! It is interesting that the kids today are really not much different than the kids of yesterday when it comes to having fun. We also made ropes, and it sure took a lot of cranking! The church and the surrounding grounds are steeped in rich history, and although not part of the tour, it’s definitely worth a visit.

As I stated earlier, I learn something new with each visit. This time I learned why the porch ceilings are painted “haint blue”, why there are no tombstones older than the 1820’s at the church graveyard, and that cage in the above picture is to keep a carrier pigeon.

Plan your visit

Guided tours are available for a small fee. You can check out that information as well as the days/times they are open here. Several events are scheduled that you may want to plan your trip around. All these years later, Bath still remains a quiet village where life moves at a slower pace.

Goose Creek State Park in Washington

Just a short drive from Bath, Goose Creek State Park is a paradise for those who love the outdoors. There are eight miles of trails at Goose Creek State Park, ranging from a 0.3 miles to 2.5 miles. During our recent visit, some trails remained closed due to damages from Hurricane Florence. The trails are well-maintained, and most have boardwalks through the wetlands. You will see the beautiful live oaks draped in Spanish moss, wetlands, a cypress swamp, the Pamlico River, and several creeks. I’ve seen squirrels, turtles, ticks, snakes, herons, and even a deer on the trails.

The park also has a primitive camping area, a place to launch your kayak or canoe, and a designated swimming area. I was really impressed that they offered a life jacket loaner program for visitors. The Visitor Center is a fantastic place to get close and personal with replicas of some of the animals that you may see in the park. I’m glad I only was able to take silly selfies with the bears inside! You can find much more information on their website, as well as guided tours and events.

One more thing – if you are in the area and didn’t pack lunch to enjoy in the park, head downtown to Bill’s Hot Dog Stand and carry it to the beautiful picnic area on the Washington waterfront. I do not usually eat hot dogs, but I make an exception for Bill’s. Get it the all the way – mustard, onions, and special chili sauce.

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