Posted in: Living Posted on: Jul 23rd, 2015

5 Incredible Parks, Trails, and Forests Near Raleigh

Photo Credit: Public Domain

If you want the benefits of having access to vibrant, lively neighborhoods, but still want that small town feel, Raleigh, NC living is ideal. The weather in the city is thoroughly stunning, making it ideal for fans of the outdoors. And what better way to take advantage of the great outdoors than to explore all of the amazing parks in Raleigh? Here are just a few of the green spaces in this charming town with which you will fall in love.

Hiking Trails: William B. Umstead State Park

This park is situated between Raleigh and Durham between I-40 and US 70. There are over 19 miles of easy to moderately difficult hiking trails to explore, as well as 11 miles of trails dedicated to biking and horseback riding. This is a great park to get your fix of the outdoors and get away from it all. There are fishing, camping, and picnicking areas to make visiting William B. Umstead Park an all-day affair.

Bird and Wildlife Watching: Carl Alwin Schneck Memorial Forest

Not everyone gets the chance to explore a 245-acre forest. However, as a Raleigh resident, the opportunity is all yours. The Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest is full of well-maintained paths and trails. It is a wonderful location to go bird watching or look for wildlife. There are also picnic facilities so that you can stop for lunch. The Frances L. Liles Trail is a favorite amongst locals.

Lake View: Lake Lynn Park

Stroll around the pristine Lake Lynn on a greenway trail that runs 2.8-miles. This is a great park to go to alone to reflect and get some peace after a long working day, or to go with friends and catch up while gazing at the gorgeous view. Lake Lynn Park also has many facilities such as a baseball field, bocce courts, a playground, batting cages, and tennis courts. There is also a Lake Lynn Community Center located at the park that includes basketball courts, an art room, gymnasium, dance studio, meeting room, and warming kitchen.

Boating: Shelley Lake

Shelley Lake is a 53-acre lake that is an exceptional location to pedal boat, rowboat, canoe, or sail. There are also great fishing spots on the lake. If you do not own a boat, you may rent one for a fee. Additionally, you can get some exercise on the two miles of scenic, paved trails that have exercise workstations every few hundred feet.

Historic Farmstead: Oak View County Park

Time travel back to 1855 with this antebellum farmstead. Oak View County Park features a Greek style house with a detached kitchen, livestock barn, cotton gin house, and carriage house. Wander through the herb garden and pecan grove and enjoy a picnic at this facility. The ‘Farmer’s Corner’ interactive center will entertain and educate your kids through fun interactive play. You can also take a look at farm history at the ‘Farm History Center’. It is free to check out and only closed on Saturday.