Historic Oak View County Park is a must-see park for people of all ages located at 4028 Carya Drive in east Raleigh. I had first visited this park several years ago when I volunteered with the Raleigh Jaycees and Wake County Animal Shelter during their Annual Mutt Strutt and was so surprised at how large and unassuming it was given that it’s right in a business park.
As you pull into the park you pass a small pond, large open fields, and shelters to the left and limited parking on the right. There’s a walking path that snakes through the open fields.
Keep straight on the road to get to the main attractions of the park – Visitor’s Center, Cotton Gin Museum, and Main House. First, check in at the Visitor’s Center and get a walking map of the area. Inside the Visitor’s Center, you’ll find some agricultural exhibits to visit and a ton of educational activities for children to do. It also seems like the center has children’s programs available during the week, so call them to learn more. Begin your journey by heading out the back doors through the patio.
Our first stop along the paved walk was to the cotton fields and the Cotton Gin Museum.
Just past the Cotton Gin House is the Williams family cemetery.
Next, we visited the gorgeous Main House, which is an 1855 Greek Revival home. During our visit the temporary exhibit, “Morning to Night: Domestic Service in the Guilded Age South” was being showcased. The exhibit tells the story of the African-American work force in the south.
Just outside the Main House is the Cedar Plank Kitchen, which was unusual for this part of the country because of the costs of cedar. The kitchen was built separately from the main structure in the event a fire broke out it would not destroy the entire home.
Another site to see on your trip through the park is the Herb Garden, which has everything from basil to horseradish!
Other buildings to explore on your visit include the Barn, Carriage House/Tenant House
Thumbs up: Visitor’s Center, educational activities, cotton museum, walking path, herb garden, signage, benches, shelter areas
Thumbs down: location of park being within business park