Johnston County, NC Parks, Golf Courses and Outdoor Recreation

Clemmons Educational State Forest in Smithfield, NC
Clemmons Educational State Forest in Smithfield, NC

Outdoor adventures range from mild to wild in Johnston County, with a wide variety of recreational areas and activities that contribute to an active lifestyle.

Public Parks and Facilities

If you like your challenges on two wheels, Legend Park in Clayton contains roughly 8 miles of readily accessible trails that also are open to hikers. Clayton's 42-acre Community Park features eight bocce courts.

Selma provides residents a variety of youth and adult athletic programs, and hosts the Johnston County Senior Games for the area's older athletes. A highlight of the town's special events is the annual Selma Railroad Days festival each October.

In Kenly, a center of recreational activity is a 9-acre complex with lighted softball and baseball fields, soccer field, trails, playground and picnic area. Benson's municipal park has something for everyone, with facilities for baseball, softball, horseshoes, shuffleboard and even sand volleyball, plus a large picnic shelter designed for group gatherings.

The focus is on the entire family at Smithfield Recreation & Aquatics Center, a joint venture between Johnston County Schools and the Town of Smithfield. The spacious facility houses a competition-size pool and children's play pool, gym, fitness and strength training rooms, racquetball and even a pottery studio.

Natural Attractions

Its beautiful natural settings also make Johnston County an ideal place for nature-lovers. More than 50 miles of the scenic Neuse River flow through the county, making it perfect for kayaking, fishing, bird-watching or a stroll along a 3-mile river walk.

Clemmons Educational State Forest was the first of its kind in North Carolina. It is an outdoor classroom where children and adults learn about forest ecosystems through ranger-conducted classes and on self-guided trails.

Education also is a key component at Howell Woods near Bentonville. The 2,800-acre park is also a recreational hub, with hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting and fishing.

Great Golf

If golf is your game, an abundance of courses are here to challenge you. Pine Hollow Golf Club and Cardinal Country Club are local favorites. Country Club of Johnston County winds along picturesque Holt Lake. Riverwood Golf & Athletic Club offers 27 holes, while The Neuse carries an impressive 4.5-star rating from Golf Digest, which also recognized Reedy Creek as one of its "places to play."

Find more great outdoor activities in Smithfield, NC.

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