Raleigh, North Carolina has some great nature walking trails to explore. Here are the best walking trails in Raleigh that supply lakes, forests, nature views and park oriented locations.
Lake Johnson – – State University students love Lake Johnson, otherwise known as Johnson Lake. Lake Johnson offers a beautiful walking trail. For those near Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh, Lake Johnson is just around the bend across from Athens Drive Highschool.
To begin towards the walking trail across the lake that leads around the entire lake, you walk down a lengthy boardwalk. This is not just any other boardwalk, it allows many to fish, observe the many greenback turtles, the boats passing underneathe and is accompanied by sun that warms your skin.
If you decide to walk away from the boardwalk to enter the trail, you are about to embark onto “turtle trail” as many locals call it. This portion of the walking trail goes along the lake where ducks harbor in privacy as turtles can be spotted with heads popping up and down.
No matter which way you enter, it goes around the entire lake so that you can enjoy all the sights of nature without the rush of vehicles passing by. Lake Johnson shares walking trails in and around the lake that also extends away from the lake towards the Gorman Street in Raleigh.
For those thirsty moments, Lake Johnson offers a snack stand. For those wishing to fish, Lake Johnson offers worms and other fishing merchandise. For those who want to use a canoe or float boat, Lake Johnson has them in supply with life jackets. But for those looking to enjoy a nature walking trail, Lake Johnson has something special for you.
Directions: From Gorman Street (away from State College) turn right onto Avent Ferry Road and follow it until you pass Athens Drive Highschool, as Johnson Lake is shortly located upon both sides as you come up to the lake. Parking is free and available with bathroom facilities. From Tryon Road in Raleigh turn left onto Avent Ferry Road. Lake Johnson is straight ahead one mile away.
Umstead Park – – This park has 16 miles worth of hiking and walking trails, 4 campgrounds and 3 lakes. Big Lake permits fishing, an added plus when a walker brings a rod to catch a large-mouth bass, bluegill, crappie or a sunfish.
The walking trails are amazing, nothing less with nature at your fingertips. During the fall and winter the trees are beautiful with a color spectrum upon each falling leaf or the leaves that hang upon the trees. Animals are found deep within the forest such as a fox. The type of fox found at Umstead Park is non-aggressive if you simply let the fox do his thing. They are not easy to spot but they do exist. We have seen them and they are beautiful to admire during a walk upon the neverending trail.
During the spring and summer you can witness the beauty of nature come alive through the birth of greenery. The animals are quite the treat for the human ear as the birds of many sounds can be heard at long distance. If you walk upon the trail and continue to the center of the park, you will find a waterway upon massive stones. Here you can take a break as the water flows along the rocks.
Where do you sit? If you are a climber then head towards the largest stone around, the Umstead Park stone (as locals call it). There you can sit like a lion basking in the sun. I would not suggest wearing a bathing suit when taking this hike, it just wouldn’t be appropriate for this walking trail. However, wearing one under your clothes until you locate this section is not out of the question on hot summer days.
Directions: From I-40 take exit 287 (Harrison Avenue) to the entrance of Reedy Creek portion of the park. A sign is posted upon entry indicating the entrance to Umstead Park. From US-70 (from I-440 in Raleigh) turn left unto Umstead Parkway (about 6 miles from I-440) into the Crabtree Creek portion closest to the park. This park offers free parking with spaces available and bathroom facilities.
Pullen Park – – Walking trails do not have to be confined to dirt. The third best place to take a walk would be located in Pullen Park. Here one can walk freely around a park at no cost. From watching the Pullen Park train, the waterway boats to taking a break at the picnic tables for that second wind, Pullen Park is most favorable for those wanting to see something other than trees, animals and dirt trails.
Many State University students walk from the college just to take a walk within this park. It is a family oriented park, but not only for people with children. This park does offer a snack bar, water fountains, and bathroom facilities. Animals are welcome.
Directions: Pullen Park is located off of Western Blvd. in Raleigh (towards the city of Raleigh from Gorman Street). You will see the park on the left as you pass by. Take the next left to enter. You can also find Pullen Park by taking a right at the bell tower located at State University. For this road until it links with Pullen Park. Parking is free as spaces are available.
For more on Pullen Park visit Things to Do in Pullen Park.
With these 3 top walking trails in North Carolina, a person can enjoy a moment in nature and areas to explore with peace at mind.