North Carolina Living, a discovery guide for people interested in moving to North Carolina a free resource and part of the BLP exclusive lifestyle redefined community.


What can we say? In case you can’t tell, there is plenty of food in North Carolina. In this post,  we cover a true favorite. Since you made the move to your new home in Rocky Mount, we are sure you have heard many suggestions for the best food options. Likewise, you probably weren’t disappointed given all the great food options near BLP. However, when it comes to this, you can trust us, that below are tjhe spots for the Best Fried Chicken in NC.

We’ve all heard the term “southern fried chicken” and in North Carolina, that is a term not taken lightly. While these suggestions below are not in any particular order, we are sure that once you are to taste any of them you will understand why we’ve included them among where to get the Best Fried Chicken in NC.

(This is the first of a two-part article on places to get the Best Fried Chicken in NC. We will cover five locations in each post to arrive at our top 10 total entries.)

Best Fried Chicken in NC Served On, In, or With Some Extra Carbs!

We have no less than ten total entries from across the state to list for the Best Fried Chicken in NC. However, as you will see, while all of these are “to die for,” they each are unique in their own way and how they are made. For the first three entries, we have each served in a somewhat similar fashion, but with a different main partner.

Buxton Hall BBQ, Asheville

The unbelievably delicious buttermilk fried chicken from Buxton Hall BBQ in Asheville starts our list out. The most popular way this style of this location’s chicken is between a bun as a sandwich. Earning “Best Fried Chicken Sandwich of the Year” from Bon Appetit magazine, they prepare this sandwich with a hearty serving of pimento and American cheese, pickles, and a side of white BBQ sauce. If that right there doesn’t make you hungry, we aren’t sure what will.

Blue Ridge Biscuit Company, Asheville

Well, it’s safe to say that Asheville is home to some pretty darn good fried chicken. This is the second entry on our list and both places are in the same Western NC town. Another similarity between this and the first entry on our Best Fried Chicken in NC is they serve them with some type of bread. The big difference, however, is at Blue Ridge, your fried chicken comes between a delectable, homemade, fresh-made biscuit. As if that were not enough, this sandwich also gets the full smothering treatment in an amazing, homemade country-style gravy.

Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, Durham, and Greensboro

The next stop is Dame’s Chicken and Waffles. This place’s chicken is so good they had to open a second location!!! Regardless, both Durham and Greensboro are happy to have them. At Dame’s, they boast fried chicken cooked to absolute perfection on top of a homemade and perfectly fluffy waffle. Each gets its own flavor-infusion butter. Also, word is you’d be foolish to not have their mac-n-cheese as a side.

Legend and Lore Can’t Be Wrong: The Best Chicken in NC Search Continues

There may be no better advertising tool for a restaurant than knocking the socks off a customer with your delicious food. Once they’ve had an incredible experience, they are going to tell their friends, and want to come back. These next two entrants for our Best Fried Chicken in NC are both establishments that have been tops for years. Both are iconic to their own local area. Likewise, you will love every bite from the following “legend.”

Price’s Chicken Coop, Charlotte

Any local will tell you that while it may not look too fancy or big on “glitz and glam,” in Charlotte, Price’s fried chicken is king. From a humble, Southend of Charlotte neighborhood location, Price’s Chicken Coop has survived the growth and expansion of the city changing almost nothing what so ever. Just straight-up fried chicken goodness and by that we mean straight-up Best Fried Chicken in NC goodness since 1962.

The Best Fried Chicken in NC: Half Way Home!

We listed four of our eight selections for the Best Fried Chicken in NC above. The remaining five you will see in the second post in this two-part series. Whether on this list, or next editions, one thing you can be 100 percent sure of is each of these has some seriously amazing chicken. For any information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community. visit


To continue with our second of a two-part series on the amazing Camping in North Carolina options, we will bring you to a few different settings. Everybody has their own preferences, and as we discuss in the first post of this series, some are more experienced “in the wild,” than others. We understand this, and luckily for you since moving to your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, you are in a fantastic, centralized location to explore some of the most beautiful outdoor areas anywhere across NC. So, whether you prefer a more primitive camping experience, or one slightly more pampered, “you’re never too far away.”

Now in our initial post, we finished off “in the mountains.” With the gorgeous scenery across the state, some of the most desired spots for Camping in North Carolina are at elevation, increasing the already incredible views and landscapes. Thus, we will continue with one more stop “in the hills,” before we bring you to another popular spot for Camping in North Carolina. This sought after spot is not specific other than being near water. Lastly, we will touch on a few iconic camping spots that can be enjoyed by the “roughest outdoorsman,” or the family looking to have a fun weekend alike.

A Little Bit of Everything When. Camping in North Carolina at Morrow Mountain

Morrow Mountain State Park, Albemarle

Let us head back into the mountains for the first of our Camping in North Carolina suggestions. To be precise let’s head to Albemarle and Morrow Mountain State Park. Now, at one point, the Uwharrie Mountains, of which this camping site is in, had elevations as high as 20,000 feet! Before you get scared off though, thanks to geologic aging, today the site is just over 1,000 feet. Now, we know that 1,000 feet are certainly nothing to scoff at. It certainly makes for some challenging hikes from your campsite at Morrow Mountain. Likewise, the elevation makes for incredible views. 

In addition to the great views and brisk hiking opportunities, Morrow Mountain features almost everything you’d want in a camping trip. Is there an avid fisherman among you? Got it covered. How about a “paddler,” that loves to canoe or kayak? Got that covered too. But maybe the most popular attraction and activity at this well-known spot for Camping in North Carolina is swimming in the Civilian Conservation Corps pool. This cement pond surrounded by an amazing forest has been an attraction for decades and will remain one for more.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 167.3 miles, 2 hours, 52 minutes

It’s All About the Water for Camping in North Carolina at These Sites

Camping goes hand in hand with many things. The outdoor activities we all grew up with and loved certainly play into the overall love and good feelings enjoyed on a family camping trip, or one with friends for that matter. On top of the added beauty to a sunset or sunrise that reflects off the water, just think back to that stuff we all loved. Fishing, swimming, canoeing, you name it, and they go hand in hand with an incredible and memorable camping experience. The next two spots for Camping in North Carolina are going to put you in a perfect spot to enjoy all these things and get as wet as you like.

Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, Henderson

Ok, if it’s water you want, then it’s water you will get. At Kerr Lake State Recreation Area, it is all about water. This great spot for Camping in North Carolina features five separate campgrounds on the 50,000-acre lake. All of the sites provide direct access to the lake and two of the five (Nutbush and Satterwhite Point) are even open year-round.

One of those “year-round” campgrounds, Satterwhite Point is the main swimming beach at Kerr Lake, however, there are plenty of fine swimming spots all along the lake’s shoreline. This may be the most ideal of any area for Camping In North Carolina for the fisherman though. Striped bass, largemouth bass, white perch, catfish, crappie, basically take the bass boat out and you have tons of chances once you cast out. While you can say this for many reasons, but also, if sailing is your thing, too, Kerr Lake is the spot to be

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 56.1 miles, 1 hour, 11 minutes

New River State Park, Laurel Springs

Well, I guess it’s only fair if our first Camping in North Carolina destination with a focus on water is a lake, then the second would be a river Located in the northern mountains, New River State Park is a linear park that shadow one of the oldest rivers in NC. 

Amazing fishing remains a theme at our second Camping in North Carolina stop on the water. Prepare for the rainbow and brown trout that you will find in the river’s tributaries. Rockfish. muskellunge and shad are also catchable at points along the waterway. Even more than fishing at New River, the designation of this as a National Wild and Scenic Reiver has made canoeing and kayaking a very popular part of the camoing experience here.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 248 miles, 4 hours, 3 minutes

Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach

We’ve been all over the place Camping in North Carolina. We have “headed to the mountains.” Likewise, we have “went to the water.” Heck, we’ve been pretty deep in the wilderness and forests looking back at our list. But now, let’s head to the beach. Carolina B\each State Park to be exact.

You may be thinking a state park at a beach is a unique camping destination. Well, you’re right, but, as we forewarned, when Camping in North Carolina you’re options are almost endless. At this site, you can hike a 60-foot dune that was once used in the Civil War as a lookout post. However, we do warn you to be careful as you pass through the terrain which is highly populated with the rarely seen “meat-eating” plant, the Venus flytrap. Oh yeah and don’t forget, you are at the beach! So camping or not, you are steps from the ocean, the sand, and all the things that make Carolina Beach so incredible.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 162,2 miles, 2 hours 43 minutes

Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap

When we labeled the final two entries on our Camping in North Carolina list as “classics,” one afternoon of camping at Stone Mountain and you’ll know why. Everything that makes a great day in the outdoors is within reach when Camping in North Carolina at this site.

To start, let’s talk about over 18 miles of scenic trails perfect for hiking, biking, or just walking and looking. Would you rather “drop a line?” Well, you’re in the right place, at Stone Mountaimnyou can fish on 20 miles of designated trout streams. Climbing? Got you there too, with their 600 foot high, granite dome. What about horseback riding? Yep, that’s is going on here as well. Heck, you can even travel back in time when Camping in North Carolina at Stone Mountain. Well, not exactly, but the Hutchinson Homestead is on-site at the park and is a restored mid-1800’s farm that was abandoned long ago.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve:  223.3 miles, 3 hours, 29 minutes

Camping in North Carolina: Wherever You May Roam

This concludes our two-part series on Camping in North Carolina. Honestly, we listed a total of nine spots, giving you a look at NC camping near the mountains, water, beaches, and more. It goes without saying there are literally hundreds more camping spots across the state that provide that peace and access to the outdoors that makes camping so fun and so special. However, with these all ranging in reasonable driving distance from your new home at BLP, these are surely ones we feel would not disappoint.

For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit


At times, keeping you up to speed with all the amazing outdoor attractions and just the incredible natural beauty that is accessible in North Carolina can be challenging. With so many great parks, beaches, trails, mountains, and more, it can be hard to fit all the great attractions and sights in. One area that we have not featured since you’ve settled into your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve is actually one of the most peaceful and therapeutic outdoor “getaways” of all. That area would be one of the greatest ways to connect with your gorgeous surroundings, camping. Below, we will list some of the Best Campsites in NC that can be enjoyed by all levels of experienced campers.

Now, we realize that there are some folks who when you say “camping” are thinking a bit more hardcore. Now, that’s fine, to each their own, however, our suggestions here will showcase the most primitive, to the simplest areas to camp. We will take you in this first of two posts on the Best Campsites in NC through some of the simpler sites, and those located near higher elevations and the NC mountains.

Find Your “Inner-Explorer” at the Best Campsites in NC

These days there are so many different ways and methods referred to as “camping” that early settlers or explorers from long ago may not even recognize it as the same activity. Don’t get us wrong, we are all for the modern evolution and comforts that can be had on a camping trip. However, the first two of our Best Campsites in NC will take you back to nature and connect you more with the outdoors.

Eno River State Park, Durham

Let out the true “backcountry explorer” in yourself at Eno River State Park in Durham. The classic backcountry campsites here are as close as a quarter-mile and no further than two miles from your car. This short distance from parking is especially ideal for families with young children along for the trip. 

At this first of our Best Campsites in NC, we actually have three primitive sites to choose from. Two of these are at the Fews Ford Access and one at the Cole Mill Access. Regardless of which area you choose, this is the perfect, peaceful way to enjoy the natural beauty of North Carolina. Literally, unplug from the non-stop world of technology and even any electronics for the ultimate urban get-a-way and a unique slice of wilderness in the Triangle area.

Distance from BLP: 90.9 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes

Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville

The second entry among our Best Campsites in NC continues with our “explorer” type destinations. With the popularity of kayaking and canoeing in recent years however, Merchants Millpond State Park has seen a boost in visitors no doubt.  

There are canoes for rent on site at this destination, that literally makes it feel you’ve walked back in time. Located in Gatesville on the Great Dismal Swamp, you can paddle to three canoe campsites in a 4.5 mile stretch or less. If you are a “paddler,” and like the above entry, just feel the need to get out on the water and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of every day, your canoe is waiting at Merchants Millpond

Distance from BLP: 79.7 miles, 1 hour 34 minutes

Climbing through the Cities Towards the Best Campsites in NC

From the sounds of it, camping in the mountains sounds incredible. Doesn’t it? Well, it can be amazing, but it can also be unpredictable. The uncertainty of the weather, driving challenges in getting there, can be worrisome without question. However, when we talk about the Best Campsites in NC, and more specifically, those in the mountains, luckily for you the mountains in this state are nearby its population centers and several cities in the central region of the state. 

Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury

Ok, so when people think Mountains, this may not be the highest of high. However the next on our Best Campsites in NC does peak at 2,579 feet, which can certainly make for some incredible views. Likewise, whether you think it’s “high enough” or not, the park’s 12-acre lake is obviously elevated enough to give swimmers a bracing jolt, even on a hot day. 

This gorgeous, elevated park has so much to offer, from rock climbing and waterfall viewing to kayaking and canoeing. All in all, the elevation adds to the natural beauty of this 73-site campground. Likewise, this is truly a great stop for groups large and small and of any camping experience level.

Distance from BLP: 182.6 miles, 3 hours

Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle

Whereas Hanging Rock is the anchor of the eastern end of the Sauratown Mountain chain, at the far end to anchor the west some 25 miles away is Pilot Mountain, State Park. This is the most popular climbing destination in all of North Carolina’s Piedmont region, with routes pitched at levels that can be handled by all wanting to climb.

You truthfully get “a little bit of everything” at this member of our Best Campsites in NC. Take the challenging hike up to the 2,420 foot Big Pinnacle on the 3-mile long Grindstone Trail. Go fishing on the Yadkin River. Or hike the 6-plus miles and make your way around the base of the mountain. The views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Pilot Mountain are truly breathtaking and really must be seen to be appreciated.

Distance from BLP: 183.7 miles, 2 hours, 48 minutes

The Best Campsites in NC: We’re Just Getting Going!

So just to get the “tens and firewood,” we made it through our first four suggestions for the Best Campsites in NC. With so many amazing sites, across the “Tar Heel State,” there is no way we could limit our picks to just four. Thus, in our next post, we will continue with the Best Campsites in NC as we will head to some iconic mountains and “back to the beach.”

For any information regarding your new home neighborhood in Rocky Mount, Belmont Lake Preserve, visit


When the dampness of Spring finally subsides and fully gives way to the heat and sunshine of Summer there is plenty to enjoy outdoors across North Carolina. Since you’ve settled into your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, we have continuously reminded you of your prime location in regard to all points of NC. Well, we want to remind you of that once again as we head toward the Summer. We want to remind you that you are in a prime location to visit the Best NC State Parks.

Sure, we know you have seen the spectacular green spaces and the amazing outdoor attractions and beauty at Belmont Lake Preserve and the local surrounding area. But given that at Belmont lake Preserve, you are “never too far from there,” we have done the hard work of selecting the Best NC State Parks and narrowed it to a three-part blog post series, down from literally hundreds of beautiful parks.

The Best State Parks in NC: The First Five, Seeing is Believing

Gorgeous. Amazing. Breathtaking. These are all words used in describing outdoor beauty and parks not just in NC, but anywhere. However, sometimes these words can be used very loosely. Well, not here. Not in North Carolina, and not when we talk about State Parks. In this the first of our three-part series on the Best NC State Parks, we could have chosen what seems to be hundreds of places that would fit the headline. Thus, you can only imagine the true beauty of not just the five featured here, but all 15 of our parks we will discuss in these three posts.

Mount Mitchell State Park

Many call Mount Mitchell State Park the “crown jewel” of North Carolina’s amazing mountain range. Our first entrant of Best NC State Parks stands at 6,684 feet above sea level. This is the highest point anywhere east of the Mississippi River. The views and scenery are so awe-inspiring at this spot that it is said when clear it is possible to see up to 100 miles out. In addition to the killer views, also give Mount Mitchell points for being the very first state park established in North Carolina.

Jockey’s Ridge State Park

A unique but welcome trait of the scenic beauty in North Carolina is surely its diversity in the gorgeous types of landscapes that can be seen. The perfect example of this among our Best NC State Parks is Jockey’s Ridge. This beauty sits at the end of the mountains-to-sea-trail. It is the tallest living sand dune on the entire Atlantic Coast. This is an adventure lover’s paradise.

Eli Knob State Park

This entry among our Best NC State Parks gives you an up-close and personal look at some of NC’s rare plant life. Likewise, breath deep and soak in the scenery on the unexplored hiking trails. Wintertime is just fine for Eli Knob state park too, as many love the area for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Hanging Rock State Park

Hanging Rock State Park is a perfect day trip among our Best NC State Parks. Located at an awesome 2,580 feet, this state park has it all. Five waterfalls, a mountain, a lake, and gorgeous rock outcroppings. Looks like in planning that day trip, you should plan to enjoy filling up the whole day.

Chimney Rock State Park

Another easy addition to the Best NC State Parks is our fifth and final entry of this post. Chimney Rock is the definition of spectacular. Featuring a 404-foot waterfall, rock climbing, hiking, and the legendary boulder, this is a truly breathtaking 5,700 acres of state park heaven.

More of the Best NC State Parks to Come

In the next post, our second in a three-part series on the Best NC State Parks, we will suggest five more beautiful outdoor spots for you to check out at some point this summer or whenever you have the time.

For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community in Rocky Mount, visit


Outdoor excursions. Family-friendly fun spots, statewide. Places to get just about every type of delicious food you can imagine. What do these things have in common? They are all just a few of the things that you have discovered across North Carolina since opting to move to your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve. So, with all the great activities to choose from, what could possibly be left to explore in NC? Well, for the animal lover in your home, we have just the thing. A short trip from BLP awaits some of the most unique and once-in-a-lifetime- NC Animal Encounters that you may never even have thought possible.

Below, we have listed and briefly described several destinations across the state that you can enjoy some amazing NC Animal Encounters. Each of those listed is less than a two and a half-hour car ride from Belmont lake Preserve, with our closest stop being less than 30 miles away.

Amazing NC Animal Encounters Under Two and Half Hours from BLP

(Distances given between each site and Belmont Lake Preserve are estimates from Google Maps.)

Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Scotland Neck

Anyone for some bird watching? We don’t just mean your average winged fried flying by either, as the closest of our NC Animal Encounters is just over a half-hour away from Belmont lake Preserve. See the largest collection of waterfowl species in the entire world in addition to flamingos and just about any exotic bird you can imagine.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 37 minutes (27.8 miles)

North Carolina Estuarium, Washington

The next area for more amazing NC Animal Encounters is only a little bit over an hour from your new home in Rocky Mount. This is the world’s first estuarium and still to the day, the only one that focuses on both salt and freshwater species. 

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hour 14 minutes (64.7 miles)

Duke’s Lemur Center, Durham

Do we have a Lemur fan under your roof at Belmont Lake Preserve? No? Well, it would have come as less surprising I guess if you had a fan then it is that North Carolina has an entire sanctuary devoted to them. Regardless, these lovable, furry primates await for another of our NC Animal Encounters at Duke University in Durham

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hour 26 minutes (89.2 miles)

Aloha Safari Zoo, Cameron

This is another exotic animal sanctuary that’s under two hours from your doorstep at BLP. As far as our unique NC Animal Encounters go, at Aloha Safari Zoo in Cameron the experiences are just that…unique. Ever want to feed a giraffe? How about nursing a newborn big cat or some type? Well, here is your chance.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hour 47 minutes (115.2 miles)

All-A-Flutter Farms Butterfly Farm, High Point

Now, technically, I am not positive that this counts as one of our NC Animal Encounters. However, we love butterflies, and you know that you do too…so close enough. Come see the entire life cycle of the monarch butterfly at this NC farm that raises them before letting them fly free with millions of other Monarchs on route to Mexico each year.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 2 hours 21 minutes (147.4 miles)

North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro

Our final spot for NC Animal Encounters may be the furthest estimated time from your new home in Rocky Mount. However at just over 140 miles, your trip to the North Carolina Zoo puts you at the largest zoo in the entire world. The NC Zoo is known for its spectacular natural habitats for each species and animal. Also a impressive is how each animal’s country is represented and awaiting you to begin to explore.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 2 hours 24 minutes (140.7 miles)

All Ages Fun Goes Hand in Hand with These NC Animal Encounters

Whether the youngest child in the home or bringing the visiting grandparents, the incredible experiences at the NC Animal Encounters above are truly thrilling for all ages. The fact that all of these are well with in distance of a simple day trip makes these one of a kind moments, well, able to be enjoyed more than once! 

Regardless of how many times you visit any of the above animal destinations, there are so many features at each, you could really never get enough. For more details on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit


So far in our series on Cycling Trails in NC, we went through some of the most scenic and rides anywhere in the state. No cyclist would argue that they make for a fantastic ride. Some enthusiasts though prefer a bit more of a challenge and maybe a little more nature in their rides.

Well, these are for those who are a bit more “extreme” about their riding. There are plenty of challenging Cycling Trails in NC. In actuality, there are so that its tough narrowing the choices down. However, on the trails below, you can “take it to the next level.”

Don’t Let Your Eyes Play Tricks on these Cycling Trails in NC

Now, our headline here is an obvious play on words. To explain, it is actually coincidental and does not have a lot to do with the riding portion of our first trail. That being said, due to the amazing natural surroundings of this ride, you may be rubbing your eyeballs briefly. But at least you will be enjoying the ride!

Hanging Rock, Greensboro and Winston Salem

Well, in “stepping up the game” and taking on some more challenging Cycling Trails in NC, we start at Hanging Rock. Officially, North Carolina Route 8 and 89 is this curvy and scenic ride. As you move South toward Danbury, things get interesting as the trail climbs and twists along and up the hill. There is a gorgeous view at this point of the ride but be careful of those sharp curves that come out of nowhere.    

As for the “eye rubbing” we allude to above, that comes as you reach Sizemore Road and have an incredible view of Hanging Rock to your direct right. You truly will have to look twice and at the same time, you’ll realize why it’s called “Hanging Rock,” as the huge masses appear to just be hanging off the mountainside.

Back to Earth…or at least the Ground with Cycling Trails in NC

All right, no more tricks or illusions! Just moving on to some hardcore riding and our next two amazing Cycling Trails in NC.

Cashiers Tour, Smoky Mountains and Cherokee

The next on our Cycling Trails of NC list is one that will no question leave those thighs burning. While the trail is only 10 miles, Cashiers is perched on a plateau that is surrounded by Nantahala National Forest. Thus the views and accompanying scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

Jump on this entry among our Cycling Trails in NC on U.S 64 at Cashier’s Commons. Next, turn right on to North Carolina 107. Now let the hairpin turns and heart-thumping inclines take over. A great trail for mountain bike enthusiasts for sure.

Tsali Trails, Smoky Mountains and Cherokee

In the Tsali Trails of Nantahala National Forest is where we start or next grueling but rewarding trek on our Cycling Trails of NC. Get ready for more than 40 miles of heart-pounding hilly trails, broken up into several loops each that vary in degree of difficulty. 

Right Loop, which is more difficult a ride gives you much “hilly” ride with a few creek crossings and access to the Windy Gap Overlook. The moderate Thompson Loop, still gives you a hilly ride. but far less

This concludes our three post series on Cycling Trails in NC. Much like all the previous outdoor activities we detail, these are just another way to enjoy the beauty of North Carolina. Above all, the majestic natural setting at all these trails are perfect for a nice ride.

To read more about the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community in Rocky Mount, visit


You have become familiar with the local area since moving into your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve. We have detailed the many outdoor activities locally and l across the state. We’ve discussed camping, mountains, hiking trails, parks, and more. So, given the great location at BLP putting you “never too far from there,” this post begins a three-post series. It is the perfect guide for those who “like to ride.” Below is our listing of the Best North Carolina Bike Trails.

As is with basically all the great outdoor activities and options in NC, when we talk North Carolina Bike Trails, we have many options. Just as we mentioned with camping, biking has many levels of interested partakers. With differing skill and experience levels as well as some of the “riskier” or “hardcore cyclists, obviously are looking for different trails than a family of four. But, not to fret, there are North Carolina Bike Trail options that range from flat, easier rides along the spectacular, scenic coastline. Consequently, there are also rugged and steep climbs along the mountain trails. Any way you prefer and choose, your perfect trail awaits.

Enjoy the Scenery and a Smooth Ride Along the North Carolina Bike Trails

To begin our series on North Carolina Bike Trails, we will cover five paths that are smoother than most. These allow for a leisurely ride alongside some of the most stunning, natural backdrops that you could find anywhere. Easy enough a ride on most of these trails that anyone could enjoy. Yet, still challenging and beautiful enough, that even the most experienced cyclist would appreciate.

New River Route, High Country

We begin our top North Carolina Bike Trails with a rare combination making up this path. What we have is a flat bike trail that is located in the mountains. As unlikely as that sounds, this smooth ride is along the southern fork of the New River in Ashe County. 

Following along Railroad Grade Road, of all, our North Carolina Bike Trails this is the most level and easiest to ride. But don’t let that deter you. This trail goes past some amazing scenery including but not limited to the river, lush pastoral settings, and miles of gorgeous greenery.

Hatteras Island, Outer Banks and Currituck

Well, just as we mention covering almost anything outdoors in NC, we likewise at some point in that coverage suggest a stop at the Outer Banks. This trend continues with our next two North Carolina Bike Trails. To start, we ride the stunning 25-mile coastal trail that is parallel with NC Highway 12. If you are unsure, yes, it is that one and only major road on all of Hatteras Island. 

This quiet ride barely even passes by a single home or billboard. It’s just you, the trail, and on either side, the ocean and the Pamlico Sound. Finally, when you reach the end of this ride, you reach the only high rise on the island, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. A truly spectacular ride.

Duck to Sanderling Resort, Outer Banks and Currituck

Ok, now any of these trails we discuss is going to have a tough time following the one we just discussed. Consequently, for our second ride, we continue to run parallel to NC Highway 12, as we are now in the Northern Outer Banks though.

Not as long as our first trail, along this route, you will see the awesome views of the Currituck Sound. You can actually duck down and through some side roads of these North Carolina Bike Trails and take some even more amazing looks at the ocean. The distance you ride is for you to decide, however, if the five miles between Sanderling Resort and Duck isn’t far enough, head along toCorrolla and you may even pass a few wild horses on the beach as you go.

North Carolina Bike Trails from Smooth Sailing into the Wild Terrain

This concludes our first look at the North Carolina Bike Trails. These all feature smooth riding and gorgeous scenery. In our follow up post, we will continue these paths. However, the riding of the trails coming up are a bit more challenging. 

For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community in Rocky Mount, visit


In the initial posts, we ran through numbers ten through four in the rankings. That just leaves us just three places left to go. Being that you are now in your Rocky Mount new home at Belmont Lake Preserve, these should all be on your radar. Consequently, below, are the top three Rocky Mount NC Restaurants.

Somehow the trend of each type of restaurant having a specialized in its area continues., This just opens up more options for you in your new hometown. Either way, bring your appetite to and you may want to start with these three Rocky Mount NC Restaurants.

Going All-American With the Top Three Rocky Mount NC Restaurants

The “top three” Rocky Mount NC Restaurants, all do fit in one category together. American! One specializies in burgers, dogs, and the like. Another actually uses “America” in its name. Then ” first among our Rocky Mount NC Restaurants covers BBQ. ‘Nuff said.

3- Barley and Burger

Is anything more American than a great burger joint? Barley and Burger has been turning heads with its amazing burgers since opening. We feel one reviewer really “nailed it” in it below.

This customer begins, “The food was great. According to the restaurant, their burgers are sourced from the highest quality black angus whole muscle cuts of short rib and chuck. This truly shows in the juiciness and flavor of the meat.” 

The juicy burgers were not all that impresses though at Barley and Burger. Their great service also plays big into the top three ranking of Rocky Mount NC Restaurants. The same customer addressed the amazing service, too. “What sets Barley & Burger over the top is the service, in my opinion. This stems from the hardworking nature of the owner… Every employee was attentive, hardworking, and friendly.” In conclusion, this loyal customer adds, “Their motto is ‘Great Food. Great Beer. Made Simple.’ I personally think that they nailed it.”

2- Lou Reda’s An American Table

This is our second entry owned by Mr. Reda. As for an “All- American,” restaurant, this is called an “American Table.” Anyhow, we will let the customer experiences continue on the talking. Below is a happy Lou Reda’s visitor.

“This is my favorite restaurant in all of Rocky Mount…It was so good I almost screamed. Really. Just delicious! They add, “The entire meal was phenomenal, the food was so good I came back the next day…”

As they explain on their own website, Lou Reda’s are “almost unclassifiable by traditional culinary standards.” They go on saying, “It’s neither a steakhouse, a seafood restaurant, or a ‘meat and three comfort joint.’ It’s all three of those places and more.” 

1- The Prime Smokehouse

Surprisingly, this was the only BBQ joint among the best Rocky Mount NC Restaurants. Unsurprisingly is that number one is Prime Smokehouse. With its unmatchable atmosphere and menu, it’s been a hit since opening in 2013.

The owner of Prime is Ed Wiley. Speaking about the unique and delicious food offerings at Prime Smokehouse, he said, “Whether you choose entrees from our time-tested, famous wood smoker; our thick, juicy premium steaks; our delicious fresh seafood choices; award-winning mac and cheese and other gourmet sides; or any of our many homemade desserts, you will immediately recognize the freshness and creativity of every dish.” 

Fittingly enough, we close our series with a pleased customer of Prime Smokehouse. “This was maybe the best meal I’ve ever had. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and tender, and mac and cheese were amazing.” She adds her husband’s take too. “My husband had ribs and they literally fell off the bone… We are excited to have found this place and look forward to coming back.”

The Top 10 Rocky Mount NC Restaurants

Once again, to arrive at our top ten Rocky Mount NC Restaurants, we looked to the public. With hundreds or ratings and reviews at Yelp, we used your feedback to compose the listing in these past three posts. One thing for sure is that by moving to your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve you are in a great location for great food statewide. But you also are minutes from some of the most delicious times you could have anywhere in NC.

For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit


Since you and your family decided on your new home in Rocky Mount, you realize there are many great “get-a-ways” across North Carolina. One of these spots, has become a known travel destination for in or out of state visitors. Only a couple of hours’ drive from Belmont Lake Preserve, you never need to long for a fantastic family trip for an Outer Banks NC Vacation.

Whether or not it’s been since you have decided to relocate to the Belmont Lake Preserve new home neighborhood, we are certain, you’ve heard the buzz about an Outer Banks NC Vacation. In case you are unfamiliar, the Outer Banks is a 130-mile stretch of islands on the north coast of North Carolina. In addition to hosting some amazing beaches, quaint, waterfront towns, and great fishing areas, the Outer Banks is also known for the natural wonders and beauty it possesses as well. Since the “secret” has got out, many have made the Outer Banks their family’s summer or spring trip destination. One visit and you will understand why.

You will barely be able to contain your excitement once embarking on your amazing Outer Banks NC Vacation. Likewise, with so much to do on this trip, we could not contain it o just one post. Thus, the second in this two post series will continue your journey.

Why an Outer Banks NC Vacation? What is all the Buzz About?

Well, for starters, as we mentioned above, the beauty of these coastal islands is truly a sight to see. On top of this, there are so many different areas with their own special type of things to enjoy, truly is a unique experience from one stop to the next on your Outer Banks NC Vacation. Below, we will take a look at some of the activities, establishments, and history awaiting at the different destinations on the Outer Banks, and we think you will wholeheartedly agree.

First Stop: Roanoke Island


Each stop and area along your Outer Banks NC Vacation truly has its own history and tale to tell. Founded almost 450 years ago, Roanoke Island is the site of the New World’s first English settlement. Strangely, three years after settling, when ships returned every colonist had vanished, without a trace. All these years later, the fate of those first settlers remains untold and unknown. 

However, at the Roanoke Island Festival Park, you can analyze and derive your own conclusion as to what happened to those first founding settlers. Likewise, get a feel for what they encountered and dealt with in daily life at the settlement site or aboard the 16th-century merchant ship replica, Elizabeth II. its many “re-creators” on hand, this is a fun and educational walk back into time, and we are just starting your trip!

Fishing, Food, and Flying

Roanoke Island separates the Roanoke and Croatian sounds and is known for its fishing ports for over 1,000 years. This not only means great fishing, but it also means incredibly fresh seafood. Commercial vessels return with blue crabs, shrimp, tuna, and more that can be bought fresh or at countless local restaurants specializing in these “catches.” 

Consequently, those “in the water” aren’t the only living creatures known in this area of the Outer Banks. Manteo, located here, is home to the National Wildlife Refuges Visitor Center, and the 150,000-plus acre Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. See in this wooded and beautiful open, forested area, birds, alligators, black bears, and red wolves to name just a few. Not into “the wildlife,” try a Kitty Hawk kayak tour of this area’s canals and creeks while on your Outer Banks NC Vacation. 

Other spots among the countless attractions here are flying and aviation tours, the iconic Bodie Island lighthouse or Kitty Hawk. There are even parachuting and skydiving tours in this area of your Outer Banks NC Vacation.

In our next post, we will continue on to a few more activities on your Outer Banks NC Vacation. For more on Belmont Lake Preserve, visit


Whereas our first three entries were the closest to your new home in Rocky Mount, these next three are also reasonable for a day trip. As you may recall in our first post, each destination was under 200 miles from your new home in Rocky Mount. While slightly further of a trek, each of the following three trips are equally as awesome a view and reinvigorating of a trail that are well worth the time spent. An early departure from Belmont Lake Preserve will have you in awe at the amazing outdoor views and surroundings at any of these three Scenic Hikes in North Carolina with the whole day at your disposal to enjoy.

Following this second post, we will next take a “peak” at a few more of the most Scenic Hikes in North Carolina. Those will be ones that may take a bit more planning to get to. However, as with each of these inspiring and incredible paths we list, each view is an experience all its own.

The Most Scenic Hikes in North Carolina Under 300 Miles from BLP

Erwin’s View Trail- Linville Falls 

This is the number one favorite of all Scenic Hikes in North Carolina in the eyes of many experienced trail goers. Erwin’s View Trail, estimated at 1.5 miles in length, takes you past not one, but three incredible lookout points of Linville Falls. The majestic forests that surround this trail will leave you speechless. Erwin’s View is also one of the most photographed trails anywhere in the Eastern U.S.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 277 miles

Crabtree Falls Loop Trail- Grassy Creek, NC

This well-known entry among our Scenic Hikes in North Carolina is the perfect trek for an early afternoon or late morning start. It is not the easiest hike on our list, but this invigorating 2.5-mile trail is worth the extra effort. Starting at milepost number 339.5 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and hence the name, this trail loops around beautiful Crabtree Falls.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 295 miles

Old Mitchell Trail- Mount Mitchell

Many offer up a dare upon your arrival to the next of our top Scenic Hikes in North Carolina. The hike is Old Mitchell Trail. The dare is to hike up to the top of Mount Mitchell, rather than driving. The hilly and serene trail only goes for four miles. Each mile along the way brings a changing ecosystem that must truly be seen to appreciate. Many outdoors experts feel this to be the most spectacular and scenic hike of under-five miles in the entire state.

Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 299 miles

Our Final Three Scenic Hikes in North Carolina…Are Not Much Further Away

The next and final of our three post series on Scenic Hikes in North Carolina will once again be just a bit further from your home at Belmont Lake Preserve. Unlike this post, where the range was to almost one hundred miles further, the final three are all under 50 miles from the ones in this post. As we explain throughout, you are lucky to be in such a great, centralized location at BLP, to have access to the amazing natural sights of one of the country’s most beautiful states. With just a bit of planning ahead, on your own schedule, the serenity of these amazing outdoor destinations is waiting to be admired.

For any more information on the Belmont Lake preserve new home community, visit