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Singletary Lake State Park

This Is Among The Smallest Of The State Parks In North Carolina

Singletary Lake State Park was named after Richard Singletary who was the leader of the group of European colonists who first arrived to settle in the area. Singletary had received a grant of land in 1729 allowing him and his group to settle and farm in Bladen County, North Carolina. When they arrived and discovered the lake it was named in his honor.

Singletary Lake

The park is located on 649 acres and although it is one of the smallest of the N.C. State Parks it is still full of beauty and interest.

The early settlers had found a country that was heavily forested with longleaf pines which were soon logged and used as a source of turpentine pitch and the timber used for maritime purposes.

By the early 1900`s the area surrounding the lake had been heavily over-farmed and could no longer support the size of the population living there.

In 1936 some of the land was bought by the National Parks Service but run by the Resettlement Administration.

It was while the land was under their management that they constructed ten cabins together with a dining hall, recreation building, workshop and a small infirmary. This development became known as Camp Ipecac, named after the locally grown herb that was often used in traditional medicine. The camp can accommodate groups of up to 92 people.

One Of The Cabins At Camp Ipecac

In 1939 the land was leased to the state of North Carolina and it opened as Singletary Lake State Park that summer. The site is unique among the N.C. State Parks in that its primary use is for private organisations of twenty or more people. Groups such as the Boy Scouts and 4-H are regular visitors. The general public are allowed to use the park and its facilities but only when they haven`t been booked by a recognized group.

A second camp called Loblolly Bay was built in 1984 and this can take up to 48 campers. Both sites now have facilities that include basketball and volleyball courts, outdoor grills and picnic tables.

Statue Honoring The Civilian Conservation Corps

During the Second World War Camp Ipecac and Singletary Lake State Park was used by the military for training purposes and in 1945 the Red Cross used it as a refugee centre fo unfortunate people driven from their homes by severe floods on the Cape Fear River.

When members of the general public have access to the park they can enjoy the atmosphere around the lake and its 500 foot long pier. Due to the acidity of the water in Lake Singletary many species of fish are unable to survive there. However, yellow perch thrive in its waters and provide a good challenge to any fishermen. Boating and hiking in the park are both very popular.

Singletary Lake is another Carolina Bay and, like the lake at Lake Waccamaw State Park, is unusual for its size. It is about 4,000 feet long and has a shoreline of four miles. However, the lake is only about 40% of the size it once was and ultimately it may be reduced to just a small swampy area. It has no streams or springs running into it and relies purely on rainfall to keep it topped up. The lake lies within the 35,975 acre Bladen Lakes State Forest.

For a map of Singletary Lake S.P. showing the facilities click here.

Here is the address and contact details for the park -

Singletary Lake State Park
6707 NC 53 Hwy. East,
NC 28448

GPS cooordinates

Phone - (910)669-2928

email - singletary.lake@ncdenr.gov

If you are interested in making a reservation at the camps or learning more about Singletary, or any of the other NC State Parks here is a superb resource.

Here is a county map of North Carolina with Singletary Lake S.P. indicated with a star.

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