Medoc Mountain in Roanoke Rapids, NC

By Paul Hughes on April 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm EST

In Hollister, 21 miles southwest of Roanoke Rapids and 325 feet straight up, is a hunk of granite the locals call Medoc Mountain.

“Everyone comes out and says, ‘Where’s the mountain?’” says Nicole Crider, park ranger.

Visitors won’t find a mountain here. The 3,700-acre state park gets part of its name from the elevated remains of ancient peaks worn away by millions of years of erosion. The ‘Medoc’ aspect comes from a wine region in France. One-time owner of the property, Sidney Weller, was a winemaker.

Today, Medoc Mountain State Park is a popular spot for outdoor fun. Its attraction is a quiet beauty that invites visitors to explore.

A key attraction in the park is Little Fishing Creek, a gently flowing waterway that is perfect for beginning canoeists. Little Fishing Creek is considered to be one of the cleanest streams in the state and teems with redbreast sunfish, bluegill, Roanoke bass, largemouth bass and chain pickerel.

There are also plenty of learning opportunities at the park.

“We have a public program every month, in addition to materials for schools,” Crider says. Subjects include stream ecology, nature hikes and programs about snakes. All programs are free.

“The only thing you pay for here is camping,” she says.

Overall the park sees more than 50,000 visitors a year, she says.

The park offers 34 campsites including 12 with electrical service. There’s also a full bathhouse and four semi-primitive group campsites.

Hiking is a highlight of an outing at Medoc Mountain. The park features seven hiking trails totaling 12 miles.

“One of the biggest things we’re known for is hiking trails,” says Crider. “People come to hike and exercise and enjoy the view.”

For those who prefer to ride, the park is planning horseback riding trails.

Find more great parks in Roanoke Rapids, NC.

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