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Dismal Swamp Canal Trail

Location Trail Entrance by Dismal Swamp Welcome Center and Dismal Swamp State Park parking lot or by the connection of US Hwy 17 and Hwy 343 in South Mills. Trail runs beside the historic Dismal Swamp Canal.
State(s) North Carolina
Counties Camden
Type Greenway
Length 4.50 Miles / 7.24 Km Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses Bicycling (on pavement)
Boating, non-motorized: Canoeing
Boating, non-motorized: Kayaking
Dogs - On leash
Heritage and History
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency City, Town, or County
Entry Fee? No Parking Fee? No




photo: Dismal Swamp Trail Bridge
Dismal Swamp Trail Bridge

Biking, Hiking, Birding and photography are all enjoyed by those who utilize the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. The trail is part of the NC Birding Trail and the East Coast Greenway. Total length of 4.5 miles is possible with a 1.25 mile, 5' bicycle lane extension to the Village of South Mills. Opened in June 2005, the trail enhances the banks of the historic Dismal Swamp Canal and provide wonder recreational uses for the public. The Dismal Swamp Welcome Center and Dismal Swamp State Park provide nearby restrooms and other amenities.
The Canal is the oldest hand-dug canal in continuous operational use and is an alternate route on the Intracoastal Waterway. The trail provides a view of beautiful pleasure boats making their way through the mirrored tea stained waters of the Dismal Swamp Canal. The Dismal Swamp Canal is recognized as part of the North Carolina and Virginia Civil War Trail and also part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.

The trail is open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. Restrooms and water are located at the Dismal Swamp State Park and Dismal Swamp Welcome Center. Please keep the trail beautiful and dispose of trash in receptacles. Pets must be on a leash. Owners are responsible for cleaning up behind pets. The trail is maintained by the Parks and Recreation Dept. of Camden County.


Visitor Information

Date Opens: 1/1 - Date Closes: 12/31

Time Opens: Sunup - Time Closes: Sundown


Trail entrance is located 3 miles south of the NC/VA state line on US Hwy 17 in the Dismal Swamp State Parking lot or at the North end of Hwy 343, 1.25 miles from the Village of South Mills.


Additional Information

Width: 120 inches.

Primary Surface: Asphalt

Secondary Surface: None

Average Grade: 1%

Elevation Low Point: 9

Elevation High Point: 12

Year Designated: 2008

Date Last Updated: 08/07/2017


Contact Information

Information Contact:
Donna Stewart
Dismal Swamp Welcome Center
2356 US Hwy 17 N
South Mills , NC 27976
(252) 771-8333


Related Webpages and Documents

Title Type Link
Dismal Swamp Canal Trail Brochure Document View/Download
Historic Dismal Swamp Canal Document View/Download
Birds in the Dismal Swamp Document View/Download
Civil War - Battle of South Mills Document View/Download
Underground Railroad - Dismal Swamp Document View/Download
Camden County Website Website View/Download
Dismal Swamp State Park Website View/Download
Dismal Swamp Welcome Center Website View/Download



Do you see a problem with this trail data? Contact either the trail manager (listed above) or email


NOTE: The information on this web site and/or in this database is provided for the convenience of the public, trail managers, organizations, elected officials, etc. Neither the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, nor American Trails can guarantee that the information is accurate. Trail users are urged to inquire locally about weather, trail conditions, trail characteristics, fees, and regulations! The information on this web site and/or in this database should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, and any mention of trade names, commercial products, or businesses does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.




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