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50 at 50 | January 19

Posted By MICHELLE WELLS, NC RECREATION & PARK ASSN, Friday, January 19, 2018
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018

On a recent visit to visit my family in Goldsboro, my nephew Austin and I ventured out one afternoon to explore a few parks. Our first visit was to Battle Park in Rocky Mount. I picked this park after reading the description on their website. This park sits on the site of Rocky Mount’s first post office, theatre and the "rocky mounds" where Rocky Mount got its name. The 56.5-acre park was dedicated in 1976 and is located between Highway 64 and the Tar River. The park is mostly based on natural and historical resources and provides access to the Tar River Trail and the Tar River Paddle Trail. The park offers a boat landing, picnic shelters, fishing piers and a gazebo with a view of the Rocky Mount Mills dam.

On this cold day, we drove around the park first. Our first stop was at the boat ramp where we had a great view in both directions of the Tar River. Then we visited the Battle Park Cemetery which was once owned by The Rocky Mount Mills and is the burial site for many employees of the Mills and their families. A short walk along the greenway we found a great viewing spot for the water roaring over the dam outside the mill. Further down the path, we found a gazebo with even better views.

We found a sign about a 13 minute documentary on the Burning of the Rocky Mount Mills during Potter’s Raid in 1863. The documentary was a project of the Advanced Placement US History class from Nash Central High School during the 2015-16 school year and links to a youtube video. This was a nice use of technology to relay the history of the area to visitors and maybe even locals.

With the ongoing revitalization of the 150-acre mill area into a live, work and play development along the opposite side of the river, I would anticipate this park being even more popular in the future. If you find your way to Rocky Mount, consider a visit to Battle Park. More information on the park can be found at

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Tags:  50at50  history  Parks  Recreation  rocky mount 

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