Lake Rim Park

2214 Tar Kiln Drive, (910) 433-1018
Park Hours: March-Oct. 7 am-9 pm; Nov.-Feb. 7 am-5 pm
Office Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 am-5 pm


parks and rec photos-26Whether you want to take a stroll on the one-mile border trail through the wetlands to Bones Creek, play a game of soccer with friends, or have a family picnic, Lake Rim Park offers something for everyone. An assortment of outdoor amenities, including picnic areas, horseshoe pits, walking trails, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, athletic fields, natural areas, and children’s playgrounds are here for you to enjoy. All facilities are open to the public on a first come, first serve basis unless they are reserved. To find out how you can reserve a picnic shelter or athletic field for your special event contact the park office. Well-behaved, furry family members are welcome to enjoy a walk around the park too, but they must be on a leash and under your control at all times. THANK YOU FOR CLEANING UP AFTER YOUR PETS!!


Educational Group Field Trips

Are you looking for an interesting field trip for your school, church, civic or scout group? A variety of ranger-guided environmental and local history programs can be taught at Lake Rim Park. Popular subjects include: animal adaptations, beaver ecology, plants, tree identification, rocks and minerals, fossils, insects, the naval stores industry, and Native American cultures or choose from the programs offered below. Nature hikes and custom programs are available and programs can be correlated to DOD and North Carolina’s Essential Standards for Science. Picnic shelters can be reserved for lunch. Programs are offered by appointment only, call to schedule. Group size limited to 80 participants. Free

Outreach Programs

A ranger can come to your location and lead a nature program for your class on a variety of topics. Reservation in advance required, please call for more information. $25/program in county; fee waived for Cumberland County Public Schools, Fort Bragg Schools and affiliates; $50/program out of county within 25 miles



All programs will meet at the Gillis Information Center unless otherwise noted. You must pre-register for all programs. Register early; space is limited in most classes. If enrollment is low the class will be cancelled. Please contact the park office if you would like to receive a copy of our monthly newsletter with updated program information or follow us on Facebook at

Fishing Tackle Loaner Program

Try your hand at fishing without buying the equipment. This program allows you to borrow a rod and reel for 24 hours and provides a great opportunity for the whole family to get outside. A driver’s license or ID is required to register. Participants must follow state fishing license requirements.
All ages; Mon.-Fri.; 8 am-5 pm; Free

Lake Rim Park Scavenger Hunt

Pick up a self-guided scavenger hunt worksheet from the office to take along with you as you explore the park. They are free and fun for families, groups, or individuals.
All ages; Mon.-Fri.; 8 am-5 pm; Free 

Nature Sprouts

Preschoolers will have a chance to discover nature while making new friends. A new topic will be explored each session through stories, crafts, and activities. Call by the Mon. before the program to register, space is limited.
3-6 yrs w/adult; 10-11 am; Free
Wed.; Oct. 17: Alligators; Nov. 14: Bears; Dec. 19: Deer

Creating with Nature

Nature provides a bounty of materials that can be used for artistic purposes. Different materials and methods will be used each month to create your own masterpiece. 
All ages; Thurs.; 4-5 pm; Free 
Nov. 15: Fun with Leaves; Dec. 20: Gourd Snowman; Jan. 17: Mosaic Nature Craft; Feb. 21: Painted Rocks

Playdates with Nature

Adults, think back to your childhood. Many of us have fond memories of playing outdoors digging holes, catching frogs, or making forts. Bring your kids out to the park so they too can experience nature-based play. Different tools, toys, and props will be available to help facilitate play. In addition to having fun your child will benefit both emotionally and physically. Call to register.
6-under yrs; 1-2:30 pm
5+; 3-4:30 pm
Wed.; Nov. 7, Dec. 5, Jan. 9, Feb. 13, and March 13; Free

Alphabet Hike

For a fun way to explore the park, go on an Alphabet Hike with your little ones. Children will enjoy the fun of a scavenger hunt as they search for the letters of the alphabet on this guided hike. Each letter is a clue to something that is found in the park. Groups can set-up an appointment for a private hike. Call to register, space is limited.
3-5 yrs w/adult; Wed., Oct. 24; 2-3 pm; Free

Fall Leaf Hike

Take a walk around the park to enjoy the wide variety of fall colors while discussing why leaves change colors and learning identification tips. 
All ages; Tues., Oct. 30; 4-5 pm; Free

Cooking with Fire 

A campfire building demonstration will be followed by hands-on instruction cooking meals that can be prepared while camping using a fire or grill. Ingredients will be provided. Register by Oct. 30, space is limited.  
8+; Thurs., Nov. 1; 5-6:30 pm; $5/person

Meteor Shower Viewing

Learn about asteroids, meteorites and comets then head outside to view the Geminids, one of the most impressive meteor showers of the year. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and dress for the weather. This program occurs after park operating hours, please arrive promptly at 8 pm so staff can let you in the gate. Call to register.
All ages; Thurs., Dec. 13; 8-10 pm; Free

The Man in the Moon

Learn the origin, history and legends of our satellite, the Moon. We will observe the surface of the moon with binoculars and telescopes. Feel free to bring your own equipment if you have it. This program occurs after park operating hours, please arrive promptly at 6 pm so staff can let you in the gate. Dress for the weather. Call to register.  
All ages; Mon., Jan. 21; 6-8 pm; Free

Stars and Constellations

Winter nights are the premier time to view the night sky. Learn about our constellations and other celestial objects and the folklore behind them. Bring telescopes and binoculars if you have them. This program occurs after park operating hours, please arrive promptly at 6 pm so staff can let you in the gate. Dress for the weather. Call to register. 
All ages; Fri., Feb. 22; 6-8 pm; Free

Bird Walk

Take a walk around Lake Rim Park to see which of our feathered friends are flitting about as we count birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Bring binoculars if you have them. Meet at the park office. Call to register.
Adults and kids ages 8+; Fri., Feb. 15; 4-5 pm; Free


Ghostly Kayak

Paddle along a remote lake after the sun goes down for a spooky night on the water. Become lost in the eerie essence of being on the water in total darkness and catch a fright from stories told on the water. Children 15 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult.
10+; Fri., Oct. 19; 6:30-9:30 pm; $20/person

Youth Archery Clinic

This is an introductory class for younger archers. The basic safety rules, proper use of a bow and arrow, and correct shooting techniques will be taught. Target practice and archery games make the class fun as they develop their skills. Parent or guardian must stay and supervise. Register early, space is limited.
5-7 yrs; Sat., Oct. 20; 10 am-noon; $5

Archery Clinic and Pumpkin Shoot

This is an introductory class with a Halloween spin. After learning safety, proper stance and follow through students will get to practice their skills on targets and pumpkins! Adults welcome too. Register early, space is limited.
8+; Mon., Oct. 22; 1-4 pm; $5 

Archery Clinic

The archery class is designed to introduce the sport of archery to beginners. Participants will use compound bows as they learn the basics of archery. Safety, proper stance and follow through will be taught. You will be hitting the bull’s eye in no time! Adults welcome too.  Register early, space is limited. 
8+; Sat., Nov. 3; 9 am-noon; $5

State Park Hiking Challenge Day Trips

Our mission is to hike all the state parks in North Carolina. New destinations will be planned each month. Expect at least 4 miles hiking ranging from moderate to strenuous. Transportation is provided. Locations are subject to change. Call to register, space is limited. Children 15 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult.
8+; Sat.; 8 am-6 pm; $5
Oct. 27: Morrow Mountain; Dec. 8: Weymouth Woods; Jan. 12: Raven Rock; Feb. 9: Falls Lake and Umstead; March 16: Medoc Mountain

State Park Hiking Challenge Overnight Trip: Northeastern Wetlands

Hike around the 2nd largest natural lake in NC at Pettigrew State Park; meander around towering bald cypress by foot or boat at Merchant’s Millpond State Park; and visit historic Dismal Swamp State Park, which preserves part of the largest remaining swamp in the eastern US. Participants are responsible for the cost of lodging and meals. Register by Oct. 20 to receive the special hotel rate. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult.
8+; Sat., Nov. 10-Sun., Nov. 11; $25/person

Whitewater Rafting Trip 2019

Travel to West Virginia to raft “The Grand Canyon of the East”, the Lower New River. Explore outdoor attractions and do some hiking on Saturday before tackling the mostly class III-IV rapids of the Lower New River on Sunday. Price covers transportation, rafting, bunkhouse style lodging and 2 meals on Sunday. For an additional fee, 2 safari tents are available for those seeking more privacy. Registration deadline is May 10, space is limited.
12+; Sat., June 15-Sun., June 16; $150/person


Christmas Scavenger Hunt

Use a map and compass to traverse through the park in search of the lost Christmas presents. Once you have completed the course, celebrate the holiday by making your own wreath or ornament. Call to register. 
All Ages; Fri., Dec. 21; 2-5 pm; Free

Snowball Fight

This is your chance to enjoy a favorite wintertime activity even if we don’t get snow. Safe, realistic “snowballs” will be provided. 
All ages welcome; Mon., Feb. 18; 2 pm; Free