ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Tucked away in Salisbury, Dan Nicholas Park might be the best kept secret in all of North Carolina. 

With over 450 acres to discover, Dan Nicholas Park has plenty of fun for the entire family. From the paddle boats you can rent for just $2 to the $1 train ride, there's no shortage of things to do at the park. 

You can even take a ride on the carousel, which came from New York City. The best part of the entire park might be the hidden gems. No, really, there's an actual gem mine where you can sift for gemstones in the water. 

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Before you leave, the wildlife is another great feature at Dan Nicholas Park. Its home to over 100 animals that are native to North Carolina, including bears. 

Dan Nicholas Park is open 365 days a year and admission is always free. The park has 17 covered shelters available for rent, as well as shelters that can accommodate up to 150 people complete with picnic tables and grills.