Historic Sites, International Cuisine, Fishing Holes and More
Touring Cumberland County has never been easier with over 750 miles of themed driving trails. These pre-planned routes with maps assist the visitor in discovering our recreation gems, botanical oases, antique shops and much more. Just pick from one of the 17 trails and get ready to explore.
Prominent late 19th century African-Americans called Fayetteville home. The nation’s first well-known African-American novelist, Charles W. Chesnutt grew up in Fayetteville and was principal of The State Colored Normal School (which evolved into Fayetteville State University) from 1880-1883. Eastern North Carolina was the setting and source of Chesnutt’s most important works. Fayetteville native Hiram Revels became the nation’s first African-American United States senator in 1870. He was born in Fayetteville to free black parents in Fayetteville in 1827. Learn more on the African-American Heritage Trail.
Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry (FILI) was formed in 1793 under the Militia Act signed by George Washington. It is the oldest military unit in continuous existence in the south. Today, FILI acts as North Carolina’s Official Historic Military Command. The armory and museum houses more than two centuries of artifacts from formation of the unit to today. www.fili1793.com
Until the Summer of 2016, the largest catfish caught in the state of North Carolina was caught on the Cape Fear River in Fayetteville. The 52” catfish weighted 78 lbs. (Today this is the 2nd largest catch in NC). Try one or more of the sites on the Fish & Game Trail to try your hand at catching a record-setting fish. www.FayettevilleNCTrails.com
Fayetteville will host the Carolina Caledonia Festival October 28-29 at Campbellton Landing. The Gaelic festival will include entertainment, Highland Games, whiskey and beer tastings, Clan Row, and authentic Scottish Food. www.CaledoniaFest.com. The Festival honors the Cape Fear Region’s strong Scottish heritage, which can be explored on Cumberland County’s Gaelic Beginnings Cultural Heritage Trail. www.FayettevilleNCTrails.com
James Stillman Rockefeller’s Winter Estate, Long Valley Farm is located at Carvers Creek State Park in Northern Cumberland County. The Fayetteville region’s first state park, Carvers Creek is home to the rare Long Leaf Pine Ecosystem. The ecosystem is home to endangered species, including the Red Cockaded Woodpecker. Nearby Fort Bragg won several environmental awards for its natural resources conservation efforts, in part because of its protection of the Red Cockaded Woodpecker.
Thanks to nearby Fort Bragg, Fayetteville and Cumberland County offers a diversity of cuisine rarely found other places. As an example, in a few blocks downtown, we offer Hungarian, West African, Turkish, Greek and Italian Cuisine. The community also boasts Caribbean, Mediterranean, Italian, Thai, German, Soul Food, Vegetarian and of course good ‘ole Southern BBQ and other American food. For a sampling of our diverse, locally-owned restaurants can be found on the International Cuisine Trail:
You may know that George Herman “Babe” Ruth hit his first homerun as a professional baseball player in Fayetteville. Ruth hit the homer during 1914 spring training with the Baltimore Orioles. A piece of baseball history that you may not know- Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe also played professional baseball in Fayetteville.
Thorpe played baseball for the Fayetteville Highlanders starting mid-season in 1910. Thorpe batted .250 in 16 games as the Highlanders won the Eastern Carolina title. A lengthy home run Thorpe hit was matched only by Ruth’s a few years later. Both home runs are still part of local lore.
The community boasts one of the Top 10 zip lines in the United States, (according to USA today) –Zipquest and Waterfall Adventure. They also offer night time zipping. ZipQuest boasts one of the largest waterfalls in the Eastern Carolinas. That’s not the only adventure in Fayetteville. ParacleteXP offers indoor “skydiving” in a wind tunnel. You can either take part and train yourself, or sit back and watch. The world-famous Golden Knights train at ParacleteXP.
During his 1825 tour of the United States, “Americas Favorite Fighting Frenchman” – the Marquis de Lafayette made his way south to visit Fayetteville, the only namesake city he visited. He her remarked about the warmth of his welcome. The community offers a “Lafayette Cultural Heritage Trail” that takes visitors to each of the sites Lafayette visited during his stay. FayettevilleNCTrails.com