Best Places to Picnic in Martin and Pitt Counties
July is National Picnic Month, and what better way to celebrate than to share the top five best places for picnics in Pitt County and Martin County, North Carolina. Having a picnic with your children is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time together without screens. There are dozens of parks in Martin and Pitt Counties, but here are our favorites and everything you need to bring to have the best picnic.
- River Park North
- Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza and Town Common
- Godwin-Coppage Park
- Ayden District Park
- Greensprings Park
River Park North Picnic Areas
There are few places more beautiful when it comes to enjoying nature than River Park North in Greenville, North Carolina. The Park covers 324 acres and stretches 1.2 miles along the water of the Tar River, making it a perfect choice for fishing, camping, hiking, water activities, and exploring nature. When it comes to picnicking, River Park North has dozens of options. Enjoy a picnic at one of the forty picnic tables, spread out a blanket in the grassy area, or walk down one of the trails and make yourself at home in nature — just don’t forget to leave everything cleaner than you found it!
We love River Park North for the variety of educational activities available to families. In addition to picnics, you can explore the Walter L. Stasavich Science and Nature Center’s turtle touch tank, freshwater aquarium, and exhibits displaying different types of Eastern NC wildlife. The park is also home to rental fishing boats, primitive campsites, a sand volleyball court, two fishing piers, and a fossil pit.
Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza and Town Common
Enjoying a picnic at the Town Common comes with more than a great view of the water. The Town Common is home to the Greenville Toyota Amphitheater, Town Common Inclusive Playground, boat access, and the newly added Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza. With 21 acres of open green space, Town Common offers a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic with your family. A 1,500-foot river walk stretches along the Tar River, and the area offers multiple benches and picnic tables for families to use.
Town Common’s Inclusive Playground is a relatively new addition, made possible by a $750,000 grant from Play Together Construction and Trillium Health Resources. The playground is designed to accommodate children and adults of all ages and abilities and is the largest playground in the city. Structures include zip lines, fitness equipment, wheelchair-accessible swings, and musical elements.
Another iconic area near Town Common is the Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza. The site commemorates the location of the Sycamore Hill Baptist Church, a cornerstone of the Black community in Greenville that was torn down to create the space where the Town Common now sits. The plaza was constructed to honor the community that once stood in its place and is a beautiful way to incorporate a bit of history into your family picnic.
Picnic at Godwin-Coppage Park
One of our favorite parks in Martin County sits just outside of downtown Williamston. Godwin-Coppage Park offers soccer fields, batting cages, a softball complex, picnic shelter, walking trails, and a large playground. Like the Town Common, Godwin-Coppage Park offers an inclusive playground to residents, with features including fully accessible play structures, a roller slide, zipline track, arch swing, and rubber safety surfacing. The playground was part of Trillium’s Play Together grant and also includes adult outdoor fitness equipment and is a wonderful feature for family fun and activities.
Ayden District Park
The Ayden District Park is one of our favorites because of its splash pad. The splash pad is open from June 15 to August 22 and offers families a great way to cool down during the heat of summer. Once you’re done splashing around, you can enjoy beach volleyball, horseshoes, a disc golf course, a paved trail, and a playground.
If you’re closer to Greenville, check out Dream Park, featuring Splashpoint! The Splashpoint! sprayground is open every day from June 12 to August 15 and on weekends from August 21 to September 6. The area offers a picnic shelter, playground with a natural play area, grills, and fully accessible restrooms. Be sure to read through the opening hours and rules before you go!
Greenville offers a large selection of greenway trails that are great for walking, biking, and jogging. One of our favorite places to stop for a picnic before heading out on the trails is Greensprings Park. The area features a small picnic shelter with grills surrounded by tall trees, providing a perfect amount of shade during the summer. The grassy areas around the park make this another excellent location for spreading out a blanket and enjoying everything nature has to offer.
How to Go on a Picnic With Kids
No matter where you choose to enjoy a picnic this summer, there are a few must-haves that will make your entire experience more enjoyable. Here is a list of everything we pack in our picnic basket that you can’t eat:
- Bug spray: Bringing bug spray is always essential when you’re out in nature, especially when you’ll be around the water. Getting eaten up by mosquitos is no fun and can ruin your entire picnic. If bug spray isn’t your preference, there are several other options, including this portable option from Thermacell.
- Baby wipes and hand sanitizer: Staying clean is essential before, during, and after your picnic, especially when you have children. Add hand sanitizer and baby wipes to your bag to help clean up messes, wash sticky hands, and wipe down any surface before or after your picnic.
- Trash bag: The most important nature tip is always to leave the area cleaner than you found it. Pick up your trash and leave nature where it is to make sure you can enjoy your favorite picnic area for years to come. Although many of the options we listed have trashcans, it’s always a good idea to bring your own small trash bag just in case.
- Sunscreen: Keeping your skin safe from the sun is important year-round. Applying sunscreen is essential even if you won’t be in the direct sunlight, and keeping an extra bottle in your picnic basket can help with reapplying or in case you forget before you leave home.
If you’re looking for other activities to enjoy with your little one, check out our programs and see the different ways we can help you make the most of your child’s first five years.