(The Triangle Trend) — If quarantine has taught you anything, it’s probably that spending time outdoors is not something to be taken for granted. Nearly seven months into social distancing and nature outings are absolutely invigorating. Especially with the word from health officials that outdoor activities greatly reduce the spread of COVID compared to indoor alternatives. Meaning you get to inhale some fresh air, receive a much-needed emotional boost, and view mother nature in all her beauty without fearing for your health. Here are the top spots to embrace the changing leaves in and near beautiful Morrisville, NC.
Lake Crabtree County Park is a forested area between Cary, Morrisville, and the RDU Airport, bounded by the northeastern shore of Lake Crabtree, I-40, and Aviation Parkway.
The main entrance is on the Aviation Parkway side and is equipped with two playgrounds, a boat dock, bathrooms, an observation tower, and other amenities. A system of hiking and biking trails crosses through the park, with the most used one along the lakeshore.
Morrisville Community Park has many amenities that serve visitors with both active and passive recreational opportunities, including the Hatcher Creek Greenway.
The park features rentable shelters and athletic fields, a gazebo with picnic tables, a picnic shelter with two grills, a multi-purpose playing field, a T-ball field, a Little League baseball field, and an adult softball field.
Phillips provides clean, wholesome fun for the entire family. The Farm grows hay, straw, corn, and strawberry crops at various seasons throughout the year and sells Christmas trees every December.
The farm’s major attractions are the family Corn Maze and Haunted Farm. Visit the farm for a healthy dose of family entertainment and a little scare, all in good fun.
This 16-acre neighborhood park features multiple pedestrian trails, a community garden, and the memorial site for Flights 3379 and 3378.
Attractions include the central pond with an earthen dam, a children’s play area (currently closed), a play-lawn, basketball and pickleball courts, a community garden, a terraced lawn area, a preserved forest, and a pedestrian trail.
This 23-mile rail-trail built on an abandoned railroad corridor stretches from the western edge of Apex and passes through Wake, Chatham, and Durham Counties on its way to Downtown Durham.
On the whole, the rail trail in this section passes through woodland, with occasional views of houses, farm fields, ponds, and creeks.
Since the whole trail is built on an old railroad bed it has quite flat and smooth terrain. Hunting in-season is allowed—where posted—on Army Corps of Engineers Jordan Lake Game Lands.
From dusk to dawn, the trail can be used for horse-back riding, walking, running, bicycling, walking leashed dogs, skating, or rollerblading, and is stroller and wheelchair friendly.
The White Oak Creek Greenway originates in Bond Park. It currently consists of segments of trail which extend from Bond Park to Green Level Church Road in the west of Cary, a combined distance of 4.7 miles. The White Oak Creek Greenway and the Black Creek Greenway represent two of the town’s most important regional greenways.
The Greenway connects to Bond Park, Black Creek Greenway, Cary YMCA, Davis Drive Park, Davis Drive Street-Side Trail, Davis Drive Schools, Park Village Greenway, White Oak Park, and Batchelor Branch Greenway.
The Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest, also known as the Schenck for short, is a 245-acre forest located in western Wake County, North Carolina. It is managed and owned by North Carolina State University as a teaching and research forest. Visitors can walk the trails to enjoy birdwatching and wildlife, see a managed forest that shows successional stages, and enjoy the picnic facilities.
The highlight of the Schenck is the Braham Arboretum. It contains a variety of tree species that some professors use to quiz students.
Lake Crabtree is ideal for water sports such as fishing, sailing, rowing, and paddling. The park has a boat rental facility open from early May until late September, with the exception of 2020. The park also has a year-round public boat launch area, which includes a two-lane boat ramp and a car-top canoe/kayak launching area.
Their fishing pier and platform provide handicap accessibility. The park offers a Tackle Loaner Program through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.