Village of Flat Rock, NC

Park FAQ


 What is the size of the park and what is unique about the property?

The Park at Flat Rock consists of 66 acres of prime, flat, open green space at the eastern entrance to the Village of Flat Rock. Almost two-thirds is flood plain. The property was formerly the Highland Lake Golf Club and remains home for a wide variety of indigenous animals and plants.

 What watershed is the park in and what is the major creek that runs through it?

The park is in the French Broad watershed. King Creek runs along the boundary with the Staton Woods residential neighborhood. The smaller Dye Creek runs down the middle of the park.

 What kinds of wildlife make their home in the park?

The number and variety of animals and plants who call the park home is not yet known, but it is considerable. One of the purposes of the park is to protect and preserve the indigenous species that live there.

There are a number of species of birds common to this region (e.g., robins, Blue Jays, finches, etc.). Most notably, the Red-winged Blackbird makes its home among the cattails in several of the ponds. The Red-winged Blackbird was special to Native Americans and is part of the official logo of the park.

There are turtles, fish, and frogs in the ponds. There is a cornucopia of trees, wildflowers, and grasses to identify. In short, the Park at Flat Rock is a naturalist’s dream. There is a great deal of wildlife to see and hear, to learn about (and from), and most of all, to enjoy.

 What is the vision for the park?

“The park should be low impact and passive.” Thus began the set of recommendations by the Flat Rock Park Exploratory Committee in its report of February 4, 2013, to the Village Council. That sentiment is at the core of the vision for this green space:

The Park at Flat Rock is a place for all generations to enjoy its natural beauty and reap the benefits of outdoor recreation and leisure while protecting and preserving the wildlife that make their home there.

 How were the amenities decided?

The proposed set of initial amenities was developed over three months of intense work by the Flat Rock Park Exploratory Committee comprised of ten citizen volunteers. They held open meetings most Wednesday afternoons from late October 2012 to the end of January 2013.

The committee based its proposals on a wealth of public input from a variety of sources, to include: an on-line survey to gauge public sentiment over time, a dedicated email account where citizens could share their concerns and ideas directly with the committee, an evening public forum and additional hard copy survey, and engagement with homeowners associations, the business community, and Historic Flat Rock, Inc. when there was something specific to share.

 When was the park purchased by the Village of Flat Rock and how much did it cost?

The Village of Flat Rock purchased the Highland Lake Golf Club property in June 2013 for $1.15 million and paid for the property in three installments:

-     $525,000 paid at closing

-     $475,000 paid in January 2014

-     $150,000 paid in January 2015

The village received a grant of $475,000 from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), which was used for the January 2014 payment. Thus the village has paid $675,000 of Flat Rock taxpayer money for the purchase of the 66 acres.

The village took possession of the property in November 2013 and opened it to the public for limited use in December 2013. It is open every day, dawn to dusk.

 What amenities does the park offer?

Park amenities include the Ed Lastein Perimeter trail, Bryan Playground, Robert V. Staton Pavilion, Quiet Place, Rhett-Maybank Nature Center, and Welcome Center. The distance around the outer trail is 1.5 miles. The trails are a flat, all-season walkable surface that begin and end at the parking lot. Most of the trails are composed of a soft surface made of finely crushed, compacted rock and can handle flooding with minimal damage. There is a short section of interior trails made of asphalt. Additional amenities, as portrayed on the master plan, may be developed as finances permit.

Interested in holding an event at the park? The Robert V. Staton Pavilion, the Perry N. Rudnick Community Room in the Welcome Center, and areas of the park itself can be reserved.

 How can I get information about what is happening at the park?

The best way to stay current about activities at the park is to visit and see it for yourself! Bulletin boards in the park provide the latest information on what’s going on at the park. Also, please follow us on Facebook (The Village of Flat Rock) and Instagram (@village_of_flat_rock) to keep up with what’s happening. The meetings of the Village Council and Park Commission, which oversee the park, are open to the public, posted on the village website, and announced in the Times-News. Not all meetings include park business.

 How can I help support the park or get involved in it in some way?

The Village of Flat Rock has established the Flat Rock Park and Recreation Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, for the purpose of securing funds to help support the park and also to educate the public about its value and many uses for their health and enjoyment. For more information on donating to the Park Foundation, please contact the Foundation at or check their website

For information on using park facilities for an event, contact the Flat Rock Village Park Director or download reservation forms.

To get involved in the park, you can volunteer to help in various ways. To find out how to connect with an existing group or propose a project, contact the Park Commission.

You can also donate to the Flat Rock Park and Recreation Foundation.