Exploring North Carolina's Natural Areas

Parks, Nature Preserves, and Hiking Trails

Edited by Dirk Frankenberg

Exploring North Carolina's Natural Areas

432 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 74 illus., 42 maps, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4851-7
    Published: May 2000

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Awards & distinctions

2000 Conservation Communicator of the Year Award, North Carolina Wildlife Federation

North Carolina boasts a natural environment of exceptional richness and diversity. From the mountains to the coast, the state is home to an extraordinary variety of publicly accessible sites that showcase aspects of its ecology, geology, biology, and natural history. This book leads the reader on thirty-eight field trips to some of the most interesting and instructive of these natural landscapes.

Written by leading naturalists from across the state, this collection of "eco-tours" includes excursions to each of its four major regions: the coast, the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, and the mountains. Each trip traces a thirty- to seventy-mile driving route that connects preserved areas, hiking trails, scenic overlooks, nature trails, and other sites of interest. All entries provide a map of the route, describe what can be seen and learned along the way, and discuss especially noteworthy features.

An essential resource for anyone who treasures North Carolina's natural heritage, this book will inspire and inform travelers throughout the Tar Heel state.

About the Author

Dirk Frankenberg was professor of marine sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Nature of the Outer Banks and The Nature of North Carolina's Southern Coast.

For more information about Dirk Frankenberg, visit the Author Page.


"Frankenberg . . . gives newcomers like me (and old-timers, for that matter) a fresh way to look at the state’s geography--and tells you exactly how to get out there and find it."--MetroMagazine

"Without question this guide is an essential resource for anyone who treasures North Carolina’s natural heritage and wishes to see it preserved."--Winston-Salem Journal

"There is much of use and value to be found in this book. . . . Clear . . . detailed. . . . With a good index and suggestions for further reading."--Durham Herald-Sun

"This book will be a greatly helpful and educational guide for all North Carolinians and Americans interested in exploring the marvelous natural heritage of our state. A great many of our natural treasures are accessible by road, and this book will help its readers chart their travel routes for maximum enjoyment and appreciation of North Carolina's environmental legacies and beauty. Put the book in your car and take to the road! Then park your car and enjoy some of the best natural diversity in all of America!"--Charles "Chuck" Roe, Conservation Trust for North Carolina