Set Current Location
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.
This park offers two miles of trails with work-out stations along scenic Shelley Lake, open fields, a basketball court, and a playground. The park is also home to the Sertoma Art Center, which hosts visual and performance art workshops, and exhibition and studio space. Take a leisurely walk around the lake and enjoy the natural setting, have a picnic, go fishing, paddle a canoe or rowboat around the lake, or just sit and watch sailboats go by.
Founded in 1934, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens offers 55 acres (22 hectares) of world-class gardens in the center of Duke University. More than five miles (eight kilometers) of pathways lead visitors on walks through four sections of beautifully landscaped terraces, gardens, and arboretums. The Duke Gardens host gardening, photography, and natural history classes, and a summer concert series. A cafe and a visitor center are on the grounds. Walking and trolley tours are given four days a week; reservations are recommended.
Crowder District Park offers visitors 33 acres (13.35 hectares) of wetlands and hardwood forests, and is a hub of outdoor activities and educational opportunities. Park amenities include picnic shelters, walking trails, playgrounds, a volleyball court, an outdoor amphitheater, and a 3-acre (1.2 hectares) pond with a boardwalk and an observation deck. Educational activities designed for children and their families are held at the park throughout the year. The park is a great place to enjoy an afternoon walk, or take part in organized arts and crafts activities and stargazing nights.
Spread over 4,200 acres (1699 hectares) of opaque forested areas, the Eno River State Park is a popular outdoor destination that boasts of nearly 28 miles (45 kilometers) of some of the finest hiking trails in North Carolina. The Eno River runs alongside these trails, which leads hikers through old-growth forests, rocky landscapes, and historic vestiges. The vestiges are mainly gristmills from the time of the Eno River's settlement, with as many as 30 mills lining the river's banks at the time. A number of interesting trails help explore various corners of the park, from the steep trail leading to Cox Mountain, to the Eno Trace that offers avenues to view wildlife. In spring, the Pump Station trail is an excellent way to take in views of wildflowers sprinkled across small mounds. Other popular activities in the park include angling, camping, wildlife photography, picnicking, and canoeing and kayaking.