Sites and Facilities

Our teaching, research and technical services require top-quality spaces for students and faculty to find solutions to today’s most pressing environmental issues. Our natural environments, living labs, built space and applied research resources are essential to NC State’s Think and Do environment.

Stacy Nelson

Natural Environments

Bull Neck Swamp Forest

  • Location: 6,046 acres in Washington County on the Albemarle Sound, about 3 hours from NC State main campus
  • About: The salinity wedge moves up and down Albemarle Sound and Bull Neck Swamp is the only College of Natural Resources forest that may experience saline water. Sea level rise is evident on the tract. However, the freshwater marsh along Deep Creek in the southern portion of the tract is florally unique.
  • Public Access: Bull Neck Swamp is leased for hunting. Land management responsibilities are assumed by the College of Natural Resources wildlife program.
  • Research: Considerable wildlife research has been conducted in the last decade. Bald Eagles were seen on-site and beaver control is necessary to retain the road system and maintain good relations with adjacent agricultural land owners.

Carl Alwin Schenck Forest

  • Location: 245 acres in Wake County, about 10 minutes from NC State main campus
  • About: Managed by NC State as a teaching and research forest to demonstrate the multiple benefits generated by an actively-managed forest, Schenck Forest plays a vital role as an outdoor laboratory for a number of academic programs including forestry, botany, ecology, soils, recreation and wildlife biology. A 50-acre tract of mature hardwood preservation in the forest is found to the west of Richlands Creek and is still assigned to the NCDOT.
  • Public Access: Schenck Forest is home to a University Recreation Challenge Ropes Course, ROTC activities, and constant public access for hiking, running and orienteering. Visitors also enjoy well-maintained trails and picnic areas. The Frances L. Liles Trail is most frequently used by the public and passes through a number of sites where a variety of management practices are employed, including those to support different wildlife habitats and encourage specific plants and animals. No dogs, bikes, horses or hunting are permitted.
  • Research: This forest hosts multiple classes and active research projects, including tree growth, genetics, hydrology and wildlife habitat are underway in the forest. A teaching arboretum includes some non-native species that compliments the NC Museum’s Prairie Ridge native species arboretum nearby.

Chowan Swamp

  • Location: 3,736 acres in Gates County, about 3 hours from NC State main campus
  • About: Between 1973 and 1994, the Nature Conservancy worked with Union Camp Corporation and Georgia-Pacific Corporation to protect almost 11,000 acres, now owned by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the N.C. Forestry Foundation, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and NC State. Our tract is split by Bennetts Creek, downstream from Merchant’s Millpond State Park and just upstream from Holiday Island in the Chowan River. Abundant wetland wildlife is present including alligators. Atlantic white cedar grows on the tract, but has been continually felled by periodic hurricanes, so large timber is spotty. Large cypress trees also grow along the considerable shoreline.
  • Public Access: Chowan Swamp is fairly inaccessible with no roads or facilities. Road access through adjacent rural agricultural fields leads to edge of the swamp. State Parks would like to put canoe platforms along the creek since best access is by boat or slowly on foot.
  • Research: There is no active research at this time.

G.W. Hill Forest

  • Location: 2,450 acres in Durham County, about an hour from NC State main campus
  • About: This forest began as a gift of 378 acres from George Watts Hill. The Flat River (Neuse basin) bisects the forest and planted forest types include a variety of pine species and an endangered sumac species relocation effort. Landscape matrix of agriculture (some forestry) is slowly giving way in the south to residential as sewer systems move northward from Durham. Often simply called Summer Camp, rising juniors in the Forest Management Major spend 9 summer weeks and rising seniors in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Major spend 6 summer weeks at Camp Slocum to build on the knowledge they have gained in the classroom, through intense, practical experience.
  • Public Access: Still hunting, fox hunting, horseback riding, biking, hiking and fishing activities are allowed with a lease or permit. A road system allows access and there is some instrumentation (rain gages, flow meters and ground water wells) onsite.
  • Research: Research investigations conducted in Hill Forest have resulted in more than 15 Ph.D. dissertations, 31 Masters theses, and 23 refereed articles in scientific journals and books. Home of the College’s Camp Slocum Summer Camp with onsite classrooms, workshop, storage, bathrooms and food preparation facilities in addition to 3 year-round cabins and 18 seasonal cabins. Older log construction buildings are historic. Established in 1929, Hill Forest has been managed as a teaching laboratory, where students learn to survey, measure, identify vegetation, perform water quality and soil tests, and undertake a myriad of other scientific explorations.

Hofmann Forest

  • Location: 79,000 acres in Jones and Onslow Counties, about 2.5 hours from NC State main campus
  • About: This large contiguous tract centered on White Oak pocosin, contains headwaters of the Trent, New and White Oak Rivers. The forest has more than 54,000 acres of plantation pine under a timber deed managed according to SFI certified practices by Resource Management Service (RMS). The surrounding land use is largely agricultural, especially in Jones County, but developed land uses are encroaching, especially on the southwest side as the city of Jacksonville grows.
  • Public Access: The forest is not open to the public.  Use of the property for NC State research and demonstration projects and educational visits can be accommodated by contacting Sam Cook, Executive Director of Forest Assets. The property includes an extensive network of roads, some capacity for overnight accommodations and a machine shop.
  • Research: Hofmann Forest has been used for research for over 50 years. Research instrumentation on-site includes flow meters, groundwater wells, NADP site and RAWs weather stations.

Hosley Forest

  • Location: 265 acres in Franklin County, about 1.5 hours from NC State main campus
  • About: The forest began as worn out farmland on the bluffs above Shocco Creek (a tributary of the Tar River) gifted to the College and then planted to pine by Wilfred Hosley. Shocco Creek is home to endangered mussels, like the Tar Spiny Mussel and the Dwarf Wedge Mussel, and most neighboring tracts have conservation easements in place to protect water quality. Bottomland hardwood grows along the Shocco Creek floodplain was hygraded in the past and covered with vernal pools and invasive species.
  • Public Access: The tract is leased for hunting, with no facilities available on site.
  • Research: There is no active research at this time.

James Goodwin Forest

  • Location: 1,320 acres in Moore County, about 2 hours from NC State main campus
  • About: Set on the northern edge of the Sandhills, this tract is dominated by 1,067 acres of plantation pine managed for an economic return that funds multiple undergraduate scholarships annually. Nearly 100 acres are planted in longleaf pine and although there are no red-cockaded woodpeckers on the property, there are known clusters nearby. The forest is bordered on the east by Killets Creek and surrounding land use is predominantly forestry with scattered small pockets of agriculture and residential.
  • Public Access: The forest is leased for hunting and a good road system allows year-round access, but there are no facilities.
  • Research: There is no active research at this time.

Lee Forest

  • Location: 125 acres in Johnston County, within 1⁄2 mile of the US 70 Clayton bypass, about 30 minutes from NC State main campus
  • About: Lee Forest was a cutover tract upon acquisition in 2010. The forest encircles two abandoned hog lagoons immediately to the south and a tributary of Little Creek crosses at the base of the bluff occupied by the lagoons.  A former pasture was eventually planted with loblolly pine.
  • Public Access: One road is maintained annually for access and an old logging road is present, but not used. There are no facilities onsite.
  • Research: The forest is extensively used for undergraduate and graduate work in projects monitoring the surface and subsurface movement of lagoon constituents into Lee Forest surface waters from the lagoons.

Taylor Forest

  • Location: 118 acres in Nash County, about 2 hours from NC State main campus
  • About: A non-contiguous tract whose northern rectangular portion of 44 acres has no deeded access and is bordered on the west by an active hog farming operation and on the south by a first-order stream. This tract was cutover when gifted to NC State and was planted with Loblolly Pine. The southern tract is one mile away from the northern tract and Interstate 95 is less than 3 miles to the west.
  • Public Access: There one road are no facilities onsite. The tract is leased for hunting and the surrounding land is used for agriculture.
  • Research: Researchers are studying the impacts of hog farming and the southern tract contains an active tip-moth control study.

Timaca Forest

  • Location: 101 acres in Person County NC; Four miles northeast of Hill Forest,  about an hour from NC State main campus
  • About: Timaca uplands were recently clearcut and replanted with Loblolly Pine, but mature hardwood streamside management zones were left intact. The tract is located in Tar River headwaters and an old home site was severely infested with  Chinese wisteria. The surrounding land use is primarily forestry and agriculture.
  • Public Access: The tract is leased for hunting, but there are no roads or facilities onsite.
  • Research: There is no active research at this time.

Living Labs

Lonnie Poole Golf Course and Clubhouse (LPGC)

  • Location: 1509 Main Campus Drive (Centennial Campus)
  • About: The LPGC was designed by Arnold Palmer and the design team at Arnold Palmer Design Company, including NC State graduates Erik Larsen and Brandon Johnson, the layout includes breathtaking views of the Raleigh skyline and the award-winning Centennial Campus. The 18-hole public golf course is home to both the men’s and women’s varsity golf teams. In 2013, LPGC passed strict sustainability standards and became a certified Audubon International Signature golf Sanctuary and member of the organization’s Signature Program. With this certification, the LPGC represents the evolution of golf course architecture toward sustainability. Raleigh’s large elevation changes dictate the course routing, which meanders around large buffer areas, left in place to protect natural streams and wetlands.
  • Public Access: Open to the public for tee times, private instruction, group clinics, dining and events.
  • Research:This teaching and research facility serves the PGA Golf Management Program and includes a swing analysis laboratory equipped with the latest club fitting and instructional technology. The course also facilitates turfgrass and stormwater research associated with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), as well as crop science, horticulture, entomology, fisheries and wildlife, and plant pathology research programs. Within the golf course, programs involving wildlife conservation, habitat enhancement and environmental issues are balanced with the economics, operations and practicalities of running a golf course.

Built Space

Our built space includes classrooms, collaborative spaces, computer labs, greenhouses and a Natural Resources Library, located on the first floor of Jordan Hall.

Applied Research Resources

Hodges Wood Products Lab

  • Location: 411 Dan Allen Drive, NC State main campus
  • About: The Hodges Wood Products Lab is a 21,000 square foot facility with a wide range of production woodworking equipment, testing machines and instrumentation for investigating the physical and mechanical properties of wood, including dry kilns; a CNC moulder and router; finishing room; hot presses for making plywood, particleboard and fiberboard; four universal and several other testing machines; conditioning chambers and a wide range of production woodworking equipment.
  • Public Access: none
  • Research: Contact Hodges Tech Services at (919) 515-2850 or wp_techservices@ncsu.edu for industry testing services

Robertson Pulp and Paper Laboratory Complex

  • Location: Robertson Hall (2820 Faucette Drive, NC State main campus)
  • About: The Complex includes 82,863 square feet of research facilities and equipment, plus a new, 3-story lab addition containing 27,500 additional square feet of laboratory space. The Complex mirrors state of the art industry facilities and allows students to innovate and test new materials while gaining experience under actual industry conditions.
  • Public Access: none
  • Research: The equipment located in the Complex supports research into chemical pulping; mechanical pulping; bleaching; fiber recycling; papermaking; paper testing for strength, stress resistance, durability and other factors; pulp processing; pulp and paper testing; and a variety of analytical services.

Contact the College of Natural Resources Research Office at 919.515.2890 or cnr_research@ncsu.edu with questions about any of our sites and facilities.