If you like hiking or biking on trails and at the same time learning the historical past about it, - the Roanoke Canal Museum & Trail is the most ideal place to visit while in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.
You can visit the museum exhibits for a minimal fee per person. The various exhibits can be viewed in a historical photo timelines, and through short videos on TV screens. The museum entirely shows the historical development and construction of the Roanoke navigation canals, including its engineering platforms and designs, the historical past of the Roanoke River Valley, and the canal's ultimate conversion as source of electrical power generation.
There are more exhibits downstairs consisting of some artifacts that were used during the past on displays. It's in here where you can see and touch interactive exhibits. This part of the museum used to be a power station built in 1900.
They say that Roanoke Canal Museum & Trail is the "world's longest museum". I'm not sure why, but probably because of the size of the canal that extends its history along the 7.5 mile trail.
The Roanoke Canal Trail can be enjoyed either by walking or biking where you can get the chance to view some ruins of the old structures, see the wildlife and witness the scenic view of the Roanoke River. The ruins can be seen at least a mile away from the museum as you follow the trail.
(I didn't make it to the ruins, so I couldn't share photos...sorry! ) :(