Lillington, N.C. (WNCN) — Many people re-discovered national and state parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Raven Rock State Park rangers say that they’ve received record numbers over the last few years, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

“A lot of these green spaces weren’t prepared for that many people coming on in, and that much wear and tear on the facilities and trails,” said Raven Rock State Park Ranger Lindsey Baker.

The park has nearly 30 miles of hiking trails and almost 14 miles for biking. Additionally, the park is equipped with primitive camping sites, cabins, and full trailer hookups.

Lisa and Randy Miskech drove from Wilmington to hike Raven Rock’s trails.

“They’re all great, they really are. They’re the appropriate length, well taken care of,” said Randy Miskech.

Trails throughout the park vary in difficulty. The Raven Rock Loop is an easier trail, where friends, families, and dogs can comfortably hike. The loop offers views of the Cape Fear River, as well as the namesake Raven Rock boulder.

Regardless of experience, there are steps any hiker needs to take before hitting the trails. Sun protection, water, and proper footwear are essential. Baker says lack of preparation can lead to problems. She says that the rangers average around two rescues a week. Sometimes, rescues can take multiple agencies.

“All sorts of agencies coming out here to really scour every inch of that trail and off trail to find those folks,” said Baker.

Baker gives safety demonstrations to park visitors in need of a safety lesson. Simple things like remembering to bring both a charged phone and a separate flashlight can be life-saving when hiking at night. Relying on phones for light drains the batteries more quickly.

Baker also says understanding the trail systems are necessary to have a fun, safe hike. Not all trails at the park are built for beginners.

The Campbell Creek Loop sits right of the visitor parking lot, with a wide entrance. To the untrained eye, it seems like the perfect starter hike, when Baker says it’s actually one of the parks more difficult trails.

“If someone’s new to the park, never been here before, they’re gonna grab a map and find that trail very quickly and easily, but not have that knowledge base that this may not be the best trail for you,” said Baker.