Raleigh Outdoors

Happy 2nd Day of Spring y’all!

In honor of shedding the layers, buddlings on the trees, and open-window weather I thought today was as good of a day as any to talk about my excitement for visiting new parks in the next coming months. Interesting factoid, I grew up in a city that was named “City of Parks” for its abundance of parks located throughout the city. In the 6 years that my husband and I have occupied Raleigh we have been to a total of … 2 parks. Perhaps I was all “parked” out? Growing up we were at the park every other day, if not every day, during the summer swimming, playing, catching some rays so that we could go back to school in the fall with a fresh set of freckles. We lived about a mile away from the biggest of the city’s parks and mom would lug the youngest in a little red wagon while the rest of us hopped on our bikes or roller-blades and off we were!raleigh_march_14_2012_raleighskyline.com_18

In comparison Raleigh has about 10 times the amount of parks than the city I grew up in, but to be fair it also has about 10 times the population (20 times when you add in the ‘burbs). During our time in Raleigh my husband and I have been to Falls Lake and Pullen Park. Falls Lake has all of the amenities that you would be looking for at a state recreation area: fishing, boating, swimming, walking, biking, camping, you name it. I believe that the Mountains-to-Sea Trail runs through Falls as well. For those that don’t know, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is exactly as it sounds, a trail that runs from North Carolina’s mountains in the west all the way to the Atlantic in the east.

Pullen Park is a popular place to bring the kiddies, with a train, merry-go-round, arts center, row boats, etc. Our first experience at Pullen Park was for a birthday party on a Saturday morning in August and it was PACKED! I also went another time for a work function were we set up camp, cooked out, and played yard games. Being located close to Raleigh’s downtown (and my work) it is an ideal location for fun ‘n sun, and a some lunch downtown on a Saturday or Sunday or for a break from work if I need to get away for an hour. I distinctly remembered telling my husband to make a mental note that we will be seeing a lot of Pullen Park in our future.


While looking up information on the parks that I hope to discover this year I came across Raleigh’s new Parks and Recreation Locator. It appears the locator was launched in January ’13 with a mobile application being launched in Summer ’13.


When first launched it gives you a view of all of Raleigh’s Parks and Recreational properties that you can visit. When you click on a location you get a brief description in the left panel. If you want to narrow down by a certain park feature, like picnic shelter or playground, you can do so in the right panel and it will narrow down your options. The screenshot above is an aerial view of Shelley Lake, which is one of the parks on my list. Looks like fun! I am officially counting down to the App being released this summer.

My fellow Raleigh citizens, any park recommendations? Places you like taking your kids to? I’m personally trying to build my kid-friendly parks list so I can continue those fond park memories I have as a child, all I’ll need is a little red wagon …


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