I recently found myself driving the several hundred mile trip to Camp LeJuene North Carolina to spend four and one half hours of liberty with my Marine son who was at the New River Air Base attending MCT at Camp Geiger.
Though I knew I was only going to get a few short hours with the boy, I arrived a day early and brought my two best cameras with me so that I could get some photography opportunities if any were to present themselves. It turns out that it rained the whole way down, (except for when it snowed), and I got very few good shots even though I had driven through the Cumberland Gap, Bean Station, Tennessee, and Moravian Falls.
All that changed once I arrived at Jackonsville, NC though. It was here, while I was awaiting the opportunity to check into my hotel for the night, that I did a quick google search for local attractions. The very first listed attraction near me was the Lynnwood Park Zoo located at 1071 Wells Rd. in Jacksonville, NC, (phone number is: 910-938-5848).
This is a cash only zoo, but the price of admission is only ten bucks, so I took a chance and went. Boy am I glad I did. Not only do they have a very nice selection of animal exhibits, (which are photograph friendly), but about halfway through the exhibit, two handlers are there to give you a personal encounter with many of the more exotic and personal animals. I was allowed to handle and experience a variety of snakes, a tortoise, a very soft chicken, a blue tongue skink, and Rufus the hairless rat. I had a blast and got lots of extraordinary photographs to boot.
I can’t recommend this little private zoo highly enough, and if you are going to Camp LeJuene anytime soon, or just want to visit the Carolinas on a military surplus tent adventure with the family this year, make sure you put Lynwood Park Zoo on your agenda. I assure you that you’ll be glad you did.