March-Oct. Mon.-Fri. 8 am-5 pm, Sat. 8-noon
Nov.-Feb. Mon.-Fri. 8 am-5 pm
Clark Park is the city’s second largest regional park and is considered a gem by those who frequent it. It was designed, and remains a natural woodland area dedicated to preserving the environment and educating the public on North Carolina plants and wildlife. Three trails wind through the park and along the Cape Fear River. The Nature Center showcases both static displays and live animals. Park rangers educate visitors at the center, along the park trails and through school visits. Rangers conduct events at the park such as nature fairs, basic astronomy and animal print tracking and much more.
A visit to the Nature Center can include a picnic at one of the eight tables on the back deck overlooking the woods andwaterfall. For those interested in walking, jogging or bicycling, use the main parking lot to start a visit to the Cape Fear River Trail, a 5+ mile paved linear trail.
Click here to view all parks and recreation programs and activities.
PARK PROGRAMS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
All programs will meet at the Nature 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.
Educational Group Field Trips
A variety of ranger-guided environmental and local history programs can be taught at Clark, Lake Rim, or Mazarick Parks. Topics include: wetlands, animal adaptations, beaver ecology, tree identification, rocks and minerals, fossils, insects, the naval stores industry, local Native American cultures, nature center tours, guided hikes, or we can create activities specific to your needs. This is a great opportunity
for schools, churches, civic groups and scouts to learn about our world. Programs are offered by appointment only; call Clark Park for more information and to schedule your group. Free
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 Clark Park for more information.
$25/program; Free for Cumberland County Public Schools, Fort Bragg Schools and affiliates
Preschool Programming - Growing up Wild Field Trips
Growing up Wild is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, these programs provide an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and academic skills. These programs meet Head Start Domains and NAEYC Accreditation Criteria. Call Clark Park for reservations and topics.
Scout Outdoor Activities Badge Programs
A park ranger can help scouts earn their Forester, Naturalist, or Geologist Outdoor Activity Badges with a variety of lessons that meet badge requirements. Please call Clark Park to set up an appointment for your group. Classes can be taught at Clark, Lake Rim, or Mazarick Parks.
7-12 yrs; $2/participant
Environmental Mobile Unit (EMU)
Clark Park utilizes a twenty-four foot mobile educational trailer that enables rangers to provide outreach programs for schools, community groups and events within Cumberland County. The EMU houses wildlife pelts, skulls, and reptile and amphibian models, along with other exhibits. Some restrictions apply. Call Clark Park for information and reservations.
$25/visit; Free for Cumberland County Public Schools, Fort Bragg Schools and affiliates
Alligators chomping, snakes swallowing, and turtles snapping, come see what is for dinner at the nature center.
All ages; Wed.; 4-4:30 pm; Free
Saturday Nature Hour
A variety of natural history topics will be explored through talks, activities, and hikes. Call for a schedule and to register for programs.
All ages; Sat.; 10-11 am; Free
Curious about nature? Increase your knowledge about a wide array of subjects during these ranger-led talks. Kids 12 and under who attend 4 or more different naturalist programs at any park will receive a “Junior Naturalist” award. Call to register.
March 12: Insects; April 9: Wildflowers; May 14: Birds; June 11: Snakes; July 9: Butterflies and Moths; Aug. 13: Reptiles and Amphibians
All ages; 2nd Thurs. of each month; 3:30-4:30 pm; Free
Growing Up Wild Early Childhood Nature Exploration
Growing up Wild is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, these programs provide an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and academic skills. These programs are hands-on and include a craft. Call to register.
March 3: Grow As We Go; Explore the life cycles of familiar wildlife and understand that living things grow and change.
April 7: Who Lives in A Tree; Learn about what animals make their nests or home in a tree as we explore the park.
May 5: Hiding in Plain Sight; Learn about animals that use camouflage and why it helps them to survive.
June 2: Wildlife is Everywhere!; Join a park ranger for a hike as we explore the wildlife that lives at Clark Park.
July 7: Deep Blue Sea; A lot of animals make the ocean their home. We will learn about some of these creatures that live in the deep blue sea.
Aug. 4: Grasshopper World; Learn the difference between grasshoppers and crickets as we observe these insects and their natural habitat.
3-7 yrs with an adult; 1st Tues. of each month; 1-2 pm; $1 (cash only)
Nature Story Time
You and your child are invited to Clark Park for a nature story and craft time with a different theme each month. A Cumberland County Public Library librarian reads the story as your child interacts with them. Call to register.
March 17: Wildflowers; April 21: Hummingbirds; May 19: Raccoons; June 16: Frogs; July 21: Butterflies;
Aug. 18: Grasshoppers
6-under yrs with an adult; 3rd Tues. of each month; 1-2 pm; Free
The archery class is designed to introduce the sport of archery to beginners. Participants will use state of the art 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 because space is limited. Call for dates and times.
Camping can be an added part of your adventure by staying overnight at Clark Park. A semi-primitive campground is available for rent that includes a fire-ring and outdoor restrooms with a cold shower. There is no electricity. Campground is available March–Oct. At least a one business day advanced reservation with payment is necessary. Campground capacity limited to 50 people.
Rates: Family: $10/day; Groups up to 25 individuals: $25/day ($1 each additional person over 25)
Cape Fear River Trail Golf Cart Tours ***SENIORS***
For seniors and persons with permanent limited physical abilities, interpretive golf cart tours along the Cape Fear River Trail are available for individuals or groups of up to five people. Riders must be able to grasp and hold safety handles.
Reservations are required; Free
Gather around the campfire for an evening of marshmallow roasting, storytelling, skits, songs and games. Fun for the whole family! Dress for outdoors. Bring water and a flashlight. We will meet at the Nature Center and take a short walk to the campground. Promptness is essential. You must call to register by March 12, space is limited.
All ages; Fri., March 13; 6:30-8 pm; $3/person (cash only)
Teddy Bear Picnic
Enjoy a special picnic with your favorite teddy bear or another favorite stuffed friend as we listen to a story, play games, make a craft and have lunch. Bring your best stuffed pal and a bagged lunch. Pre-registration required by May 19.
2-5 yrs with an adult; Wed., May 20; 11:30 am-1 pm; $2 (cash only)