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Historic Yates Mill County Park is managed as a preserve for native wildlife, with a mission to study and interpret the cultural, natural and agricultural heritage preserved in the park. The park serves as a research facility for N.C. State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and is surrounded by the university's Biological Field Laboratories.
Park facilities include the restored gristmill, a park center for education and research - including two classrooms and an auditorium - and permanent exhibits on the site's cultural and natural history. Park grounds support several miles of hiking trails, pond and wetlands boardwalks, an outdoor classroom, an overlook deck, fixed dock, picnic tables, native landscaping, wildlife habitat enhancement features, and best-management-practice demonstration areas.
Park programs focus on the site's ecology, cultural history and agricultural heritage. Visitors can look forward to cane-pole fishing, guided canoe floats, seasonal natural history and agricultural programs, and tours of the fully operational gristmill. On the third weekend of each month through November, costumed interpreters will provide a look back into the mill's history, with guided tours of the restored mill and traditional water-powered, corn-grinding demonstrations.
A day at Historic Yates Mill County Park offers visitors an "Escape from the Everyday Grind," with unique cultural and environmental experiences. The park boasts nearly 174 acres of land, including the 20-acre millpond, which is part of the Swift Creek nutrient-sensitive water-supply watershed. Diverse park habitats include pond, creek, wetlands and forests.
- Carolyn Carter
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