A Family-Friendly Weekend in Halifax, North Carolina
Every year, our family road trips from Maryland to Florida for our annual vacation. This year, we decided to make a pit stop in Halifax County, North Carolina. Whether you’re driving on I-95 toward another destination or looking for the perfect weekend getaway, there is something for everyone in Halifax County! It’s North Carolina’s “cradle of history” and is the birthplace of the Halifax Resolves, which are the foundations of the Declaration of Independence. Also, Halifax County is an outdoorsman’s paradise because it’s home to Lake Gaston, Medoc Mountain State Park, Sylvan Heights Bird Park, and the Roanoke Canal Museum & Trail. History and nature…what’s not to love?
The RV Park at Carolina Crossroads
We parked our RV at the RV Park at Carolina Crossroads for the weekend. Guests can pull their RVs all the way through their designated space, and each site is equipped with full hookups. Campground amenities include hot tubs, pool tables, a mini-golf course, a playground, picnic areas, fire pits, and a club room. Cable, Wi-Fi, and 24-hour security are added perks.
If you aren’t in your RV, there’s plenty of lodging options in Halifax County… everything from full-service national hotel and motel chains to quaint bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals on Lake Gaston. For a list of your Halifax County lodging options.
Where to Stay and Eat
There are several restaurants within a few miles of the RV Park, so it’s safe to say that we didn’t starve while staying at the campground. Halifax County is known for its agricultural production, and the local chefs and farmers dependably support one another. Our favorite eatery was The Hen & The Hog. They offer a modern take on Southern cuisine with unique products that are sourced within North Carolina itself. The restaurant was originally a hardware store, which was restored with a rustic-chic flare in mind. Whether you’re hankering for traditional Southern cuisine, North Carolina barbecue, or tried-and-true fast food, Halifax County has it all.
What to Do
Historic Halifax State Historic Site
We stepped back in time and experienced the lives of early revolutionaries at the Historic Halifax State Historic Site. We learned that the date on North Carolina’s flag (April 12, 1776) signifies the state’s adoption of the Halifax Resolves. Historically, this was the first official action for independence by any colony. We watched an audiovisual presentation and toured various historic structures, including the Sally Billy House, Burgess House, Owens House, Tap Room, Eagle Tavern Museum, Halifax County Jail, and Clerk’s Office.
Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail
Next on our list was the Roanoke Canal Museum, which is known as North Carolina’s “longest” museum. A series of exhibits explain how the original canal was built and how it turned the Roanoke River into a trade route during the 19th century. Later on, the canal was transformed from a highway of commerce to a hydroelectric power resource. We were impressed by how well the original construction of the canal was preserved. Afterward, we took advantage of the free bike rentals at the Roanoke Canal Museum to explore the Roanoke Canal Trail. We enjoyed a scenic ride with other cyclists, walkers, and joggers.
Our family loved fishing and swimming at the Lake Gaston Day Use Area, located on 2369 Jack Brown Road. Lake Gaston is a 20,000-acre body of water that borders North Carolina and Virginia and is bound by the Kerr Dam and Gaston Dam. The lake was well stocked with bass, crappie, and catfish. Amenities include a fishing pier, boat ramp, and swimming area. Recreational, vacation-rental lodging, cultural, and educational opportunities are available.
Medoc Mountain State Park
We connected with nature by spending quality time together at Medoc Mountain State Park. Ten miles of hiking trails flank the creek that runs through the park; some trails lead to Medoc Mountain. We saw equestrians on bridle trails, mountain bikers on terrain trails, and anglers and paddlers in the creek. Grab your camera and boots and take advantage of the interpretive programs and guided hikes that the rangers offer. The 34-site campground at Medoc Mountain State Park has RV-friendly spaces, a bathhouse, and picnic tables.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park
Lastly, we explored the world’s largest collection of rare and endangered waterfowl at Sylvan Heights Bird Park. We got up close and personal with over 2,500 ducks, geese, swans, parrots, pheasants, cranes, owls, toucans, and flamingos. We walked through continentally-themed aviaries (South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia) and were amazed by the range of colors we saw and sounds we heard. I highly recommend feeding the parakeets and flamingos, checking out the tree house that overlooks the wetlands, and observing wildlife at the Beaver Pond Blind. Although self-guided tours are available year-round, docent-guided tours require reservations.
Lasting memories were made on our road trip through Halifax County, North Carolina. We took a chance by staying in a new area, challenging our taste buds, expanding our historical knowledge, and embracing new experiences and activities. We’ve grown stronger as a family because we stepped outside of our comfort zones. Our next vacation won’t be the same without a visit to Halifax County!