A Walk in the Park

In April 2020, Buzz, Web Exclusive by Lauren Kruchten

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WEB EXCLUSIVE North Carolina’s stay-at-home order prohibits people from gathering in large groups–going out to bars or watching a new movie at the movie theater are definitely out. But you can, and should, still get outdoors, especially now that the weather is finally starting to improve (minus the pollen, of course!). We’ve compiled a list of resources to help you navigate which parks are still open so you can get outside and enjoy the sunshine ASAP.

OPEN*
All city greenway trails remain open. Additionally, most City of Raleigh Wake County open space parks are currently open, including:

NCMA Park
2110 Blue Ridge Road

Visitors are welcome to walk the trails, including those on the greenway, and enjoy the amazing outdoor art pieces at the NCMA park while practicing safe social distancing. The park’s grassy fields are also great for picnicking, laying out, playing games and sports. ncartmuseum.org/visit/the_park

Falls Lake State Recreation Area
13300 Creedmoor Road

Though technically closed, hikers can still access the entirety of the Falls Lake section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail by entering any of the trailheads where the trail crosses a road. ncparks.gov/falls-lake-state-recreation-area/home

Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road

Yates Mill features 174 acres of hiking trails with beautiful views of Wake County’s last remaining gristmill—fully restored and operable—and the mill’s pond fed by Steep Hill Creek. wakegov.com/parks/yatesmill

Lake Johnson Park
4601 Avent Ferry Road

This popular park just down the road from NC State contains two hiking trails—one, a paved 2.8-mile loop and the other, a 2.1-mile dirt trail. Both options offer views of Lake Johnson. raleighnc.gov/places/lake-johnson-park

Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Road

Located on the shores of Falls Lake in northern Wake County, Blue Jay Point Park offers wooded hiking trails through 236 acres of land. Visitors can also enjoy fishing and picnicking. wakegov.com/parks/bluejay/Pages/default.aspx

For a full list of Wake County parks, visit www.wakegov.com/parks/Pages/default.aspx

For more on Raleigh parks, visit raleighnc.gov/services/parks.

CLOSED

Umstead State Park
Lake Wheeler Park
Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve
Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve Park
Forest Ridge Park
Durant Nature Preserve
Pullen Park

*While trails are still open and accessible, all park amenities are closed including, but not limited to, park offices and visitors centers, athletic courts and fields, playgrounds, lakes, restrooms, shelters, campgrounds and other facilities. Safe social distancing practices must be followed.

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