Places to Go

Sunset over the water
Sunset over Albemarle Sound

National Park Service

 
1896 Monument
Close-up of the stonework

National Park Service

1896 Monument
See the monument that marks the beginning of on-site preservation efforts. The stone marker commemorates the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in North America, and the baptism of the Croatoan native Manteo by the English.

 
Earthwork
Part of the reconstructed earthwork

National Park Service

Earthwork
Archeological evidence reveals an earthwork and metallurgical activity were present on this site in the 1580's. Copper nuggets, charcoal, antimony ore and furnace bricks were discovered just west of the earthwork and could be the workshop site of Joachim Gans, a metal expert on the 1585 expedition. The earthwork seen today was reconstructed in 1950.

 
Dark stone monument in an outdoor plaza surrounded by trees
Detailed etching on the First Light of Freedom monument

National Park Service

First Light of Freedom
The First Light of Freedom monument commemorates the Roanoke Island Freedman's Colony that was set up during the American Civil War. The colony provided a safe haven and education for the formerly enslaved to help prepare them for a new life.

 
Freedom Trail
View of the Croatan Sound

National Park Service

Freedom Trail
Explore the maritime forest along this 1.25-mile trail that ends with views of the Croatan Sound on the western edge of the park. This trails ends in the vacinity of where the Freedmen's Colony and Civil War forts once stood. Return by the trail, or use the bike path along Hwy. 64 for a loop back to the visitor center of 2.5-miles.

 
A sign nestled in woods overlooking the water
Path through the maritime forest

National Park Service

Thomas Hariot Trail
Walk this 0.3-mile loop through the island's maritime forest to the sandy shores of Albemarle Sound. Enjoy interpretive signs along the way describing the forest habitat, the Algonquian methods for gathering food and resouces the English found valuable on Roanoke Island.

 
Visitor Center
Exhibit Hall

National Park Service

Visitor Center
Discover the in-depth heritage stories of Roanoke Island, from the Algonquian and the English to freedmen and a radio scientist. The visitor center hosts an exhibit hall with artifacts from the site, the park bookstore, the Elizabethan Room that dates from the late 1500's and a 17-minute movie.

 
Outdoor theater on the waters edge
Main stage of the Waterside Theatre

National Park Service

Waterside Theatre
View the home of The Lost Colony, an outdoor symphonic drama performed by a park partner, the Roanoke Island Historical Association. The performance is the nation's first and longest running outdoor symphonic drama.

 

Last updated: August 30, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954

Phone:

(252) 473-2111

Contact Us