Rocky Mount Offers Outdoor Recreation in Abundance

Anyone who seeks fun and relaxation outdoors – from paddling a canoe to participating in basketball and baseball leagues – will find an array of recreational opportunities in the Rocky Mount area.

Tar River Trail
The Tar River Trail is a paved walking/bike path that links four miles of parks from City Lake to Martin Luther King Park. Along this verdant stretch of the Tar River you'll find a miniature train and tennis courts in Sunset Park, the falls of Tar River, the historical homes of Mill Village, and Battle Park, the site of the town's "rocky mound" namesakes.

Tar River Waterways
Following the course of the Tar River and Stony Creek, the gentle Class I canoe and kayak trails wind through downtown Rocky Mount. For an in-depth river experience, or just an afternoon picnic, camping platforms are available along the river trail in the Rocky Mount Reservoir and Battle Park. Information about campsite reservations and canoe rentals can be found at

City Lake
Rocky Mount's City Lake is the ideal place to feed ducks, fish or just lounge in the sun-soaked grass. In the winter months, Christmas lights are doubled in the lake's placid surface. A planned trail will officially join City Lake to the Tar River Trail.

Rocky Mount Sports Complex
With its disc golf course, six youth baseball fields, four dual-use baseball and softball fields, championship regulation baseball field, four soccer/football fields, two basketball courts and walking trail, the sprawling Rocky Mount Sports Complex has diverse offerings. Proposed extensions of the Tar River walking trail will link to the complex. The disc golf course features three different tee lengths that allow players of different abilities to fairly compete against each other. The course also features water hazards and mandos for a complete disc golf experience.

Harrison Family YMCA
Just up the road from the river, Harrison Family YMCA seeks to improve Rocky Mount by providing day camps, after-school care, athletics and a variety of special events to its members. The YMCA organizes recreational activities for adults in swimming, rock climbing, karate, basketball and volleyball groups, while youth activities range from preschool tumbling to flag football and soccer. In addition to athletics, the YMCA also hosts youth clubs like Teens in Philanthropy, child care before and after school, and summer daycare.

Sunset Park

Sunset Park offers a number of unique attractions and activities including a miniature train, historic carousel, a skate park, and a spray park with 10 computer-controlled water spray fountains within a traditional playground structure. The outdoor skate park features ramps and hills for kids of all ages including halfpipe, rails and quarterpipes.

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park
A brief drive to nearby Scotland Neck will bring you to Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, a wetlands sanctuary and highly successful breeding center for rare birds. The park echoes with the calls of over 180 species of waterfowl and tropical birds which can be observed from a wheelchair-accessible tree house observation deck. Apart from the main waterfowl enclosure, the park houses 1,500 birds in its breeding area. Here, rare and endangered species like the Madagascar teal, African pygmy goose, Australian freckled duck, and the fragile white winged wood duck are coaxed back from the edge of extinction by park founders Mike and Ali Lubbock. Park hours and admission can be found at

A comprehensive map of recreational opportunities in the Tar River area is available at: