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Hidden away from the crowded cacophony of the city life, William B. Umstead State Park stretches gloriously across 5579-acres (2257-hectare) crossing the border of Raleigh and spilling onto Cary and Durham. Endowed with tranquil lakes, picturesque pathways and dense drapes of forests, William B. Umstead State Park is a real boon for city-dwellers. An absolute delight for outdoor enthusiasts, numerous trails cut their way through the park's pristine span, offering off-road bicycling opportunities along with hiking and additional trails are also reserved for equestrians. There are numerous picnic spots scattered across the park and there are plenty of and campsites and cabins for those who wish to lodge overnight. A visitor center organizes a series of interactive exhibits, and park rangers regularly scheduled educational programs.
Lake Johnson Park offers visitors more than 5 miles (8 kilometers) of walking trails leading around a serene lake, past picnic shelters, a boardwalk, a public pool, and boat launches. Boat rentals are available through the park office. The park is a popular fishing destination, holds conference and event facilities, and hosts a public program of educational activities throughout the year.
Centered around the Falls Lake, this recreational area is a sprawling natural expanse right in the center of North Carolina, offering a wide range of outdoor activities. The reservoir came to being in 1978, after the Army Corp of Engineers constructed a dam on the Neuse River to prevent further flooding which damaged farmlands, roadways and other infrastructure in the area. Today, the park offers numerous activities like kayaking, canoeing, extensive mountain biking and scenic hiking trails. The area upholds water and wildlife conservation to a great extent, and is also home to the historically-significant Rock Cliff Farm. Sheltering boat ramps, swimming beaches and an array of camping tents, Falls Lake is a striking nexus of nature and recreation.
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area is a North Carolina state park with seven beaches and more than 1,000 campsites along the shoreline of an undeveloped, 14,000 acre reservoir. The lake is a popular destination for boaters, and offers a range of other outdoor activities including swimming, fishing, camping, and hiking along 14 miles (22.4 kilometers) of hills and lake shore. Ospreys and bald eagles are often spotted along the trails. Every year on the first Saturday in October, the Lake hosts a heritage day festival to celebrate the cultural and natural resources of the region, and agricultural, industrial, and Native American history.