Recreation in Tarboro

Leisure and recreational activities are plentiful in Tarboro and its surrounding landscape. Acres of parks and walking trails await nature enthusiasts. The Tar River beckons fisherman and boaters. Golf courses keep golfers on the links. Ball fields and courts welcome those like to show off their game. Whether teeing off or taking a yoga class on the Town Common, you’ll find that inactivity simply isn’t an option in our “Fit Community” of Tarboro.

Tarboro Historic District National Recreation Trail 
Historic District
Designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Recreation Trail begins at the Blount-Bridgers House and provides a leisurely stroll or drive through one of North Carolina's largest and most diverse historic districts. Numerous public and private restorations are found along the two-mile trail with structures representing Colonial, Antebellum and Victorian architectural periods. Significant historic sites are the Pender Museum, the Town Common, the Cotton Press Complex, Calvary Church and churchyard, and the National Main Street Program facade improvements in historic Downtown Tarboro.

Tennis Courts 
Assorted Locations
A total of eight tennis courts are available for area citizens. Four paved, lighted courts can be found at the Indian Lake Sports Complex, two at Braswell Park, and two at the eastern end of the Town Common.

Riverfront Park
Entrance on East Panola Street
Located along the Tar River which is adjacent to downtown, Riverfront Park offers 25 acres of beautiful cypress lowlands, landscaped gardens and trails, and a boat ramp granting direct access to the river for boating and fishing enthusiasts.

Livesay Park 
Speight Forest Neighborhood
Livesay Park in Speight Forest is a landscaped neighborhood garden park designed as an urban greenway. It has paths with benches in an attractive wooded setting.

Golfing in Tarboro
The Links at Cotton Valley
2681 Highway 258 South //  Phone: 252-824-0818
Established in 1998, this Johnson Golf Group-built, links style course offers 18 holes of golf with a driving range and practice facility. Cotton Valley is a Par 72 championship course with over 16,000 yards from the blue tees and a slope rating of 120. Its front side features two Par 3’s, three Par 5’s and five Par 4’s; the back side features three Par 3’s, three Par 5’s and three Par 4’s. With its 6,773-yard layout, its great course for beginning golfers to hone their skills and experienced golfers to enjoy a challenging game from the back tees. Cotton Valley is a member of the USGA and the GGA. Semi-Private. Memberships available.

Tarboro Canoe/Kayak Paddle Trails on the Tar River

To view the Tar River Paddle Trail click on the following link:
Tar River Paddle Trail Map

Dunbar Road to Bell’s Bridge
12.5 miles, 3.5 hours paddling
Put in at the North Carolina Wildlife access on Dunbar between US Hwy 64 and NC 97. This narrow and winding section of the Tar River is rugged and scenic. The shallow water conditions and fallen trees make this section almost impassible by boat, but perfect for kayaks and canoes. Stop and rest or have a picnic on one of many sand bars that jut out at the bends of the river. Take out for this section at Bell’s Bridge located on NC 33 just north of Tarboro.

Bell’s Bridge to Riverfront Park
11 miles, 3 hours paddling
This paddle is along the Tar River and is sheltered the entire way. The put in is at Bell’s Bridge using the North Carolina Wildlife Access on NC 33 North approximately one mile outside the Tarboro city limits. Take out is at Riverfront Park in downtown Tarboro. Turn onto Granville Street off Main Street and continue to the park entrance. Paddling from Bell’s Bridge at NC 33, the Tar River twists for approximately five miles. Just before reaching marker 141, the entrance to Fishing Creek will be on the left. Downstream just past marker 143 will be historic Red Iron Bridge, a railroad trestle that will become a part of the new Tarboro Bike Trail. From this point, the river straightens out and continues to the Riverfront Park take-out in downtown Tarboro.

Riverfront Park to Old Sparta
8 miles, 2.5 hours paddling
Put in at Riverfront Park in Tarboro located near the Main Street Bridge between Princeville and Tarboro in historic downtown Tarboro. This section of the river is straight and wide, allowing you to enjoy the scenic beauty and wildlife of the Tar River. Take out for this section is at the NC Wildlife access off of NC Hwy 42 just east of the intersection of NC Hwy 42 and Colonial Road.

To find out more about the Tar River Paddle Trail in the Tarboro area, Parks and Recreation Director at (252) 641-4276.

For information on the Rocky Mount Tar River Paddle Trail visit

Tarboro Parks and Recreation Facilities
All other Tarboro Parks and Recreation parks and facilities can be found under the Parks and Recreation tab