There are 63 state parks, of which Kerr Lake State Recreational Area is the largest at 43,246 hectares (106,864 acres); this reservoir area includes nine different parks. Hanging Rock State Park, in the Sauratown Mountains, is well known for its vertical cliffs and rock climbing opportunities. Pettigrew State Park, along the shoreline of Lake Phelps, is located on a former plantation called Somerset Place. Fort Macon, completed in 1834 and fought over during the American Civil War (1861-1865), is a state park near Morehead City. The state has a nature preserve near Southern Pines. Also under state administration are a number of historic sites, among which are Fort Fisher, south of Wilmington, where a museum and remnants of the Civil War earthwork fort commemorate one of the largest amphibious landings prior to the invasion of Normandy in World War II.
Tryon Palace Historic Site and Gardens, at New Bern, has been restored to its appearance during colonial times. Town Creek Indian Mounds, near Mount Gilead, is the location of some reconstructed Native American temples. A fine example of a mountain log home is preserved at the Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace State Historic Site near Weaverville, commemorating the man who was governor of North Carolina from 1862 to 1865 and later a United States senator. The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources operates a system of six Educational State Forests—Clemmons, Holmes, Jordan, Rendezvous Mountain, Turnbull Creek, and Tuttle—as well as several other state forests.
The educational forests, the first of which was designated in 1977, are designed to teach the public—especially schoolchildren—about the forest environment.
The Biltmore Estate is one of the country’s best examples of the mansions built at the turn of the 20th century by American millionaires. It was designed and built in the early French Renaissance style by George W. Vanderbilt. The birthplace of President Andrew Johnson is in Raleigh, and that of the novelist Thomas Wolfe is in Asheville. In Winston-Salem is Old Salem, a Moravian town founded in 1766 (see Moravian Church). Many 18th-century buildings, including Salem Tavern and Winkler Bakery, are still in use. Automobile races are held annually at speedways in Charlotte, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Hickory, and North Wilkesboro. The U.S.S. North Carolina, a World War II battleship, is permanently docked in a berth alongside the Cape Fear River at Wilmington as a war memorial. A former Native American trading post at Murphy is now the Cherokee County Historical Museum, featuring 2,000 exhibits of the Native American lifestyle. "North Carolina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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