The Museum Park is located on the grounds of the NC Museum of Art at 2110 Blue Ridge Rd just outside the beltline. Part of the trail through the park is shared with the Reedy Creek Trail greenway, which connects Meredith College to Umstead Park and Schenck Forest. The museum was renovated a few years ago and besides biking the greenway past the museum, I hadn’t really stopped to visit this park. So, we parked in the museum parking lot and followed the paved trail towards the very easy-to-read information board.
The information board highlights four different walking paths to take and breaks it out by distance, walking time, calories burned, and features you’ll see along the way. Because it was a very hot Sunday and we had the stroller, we opted for the one-mile Ambler path, which allowed us to explore several works of art on the paved trail close to the museum. For those planning ahead, here is a map of the park.
Here are the works of art we passed along the Ambler path:
A photographer’s dream shoot, the Museum Park has a gorgeous landscape of rolling hills with a sprinkle of wooded forests between the East Museum Building and the outdoor works of art.
Next, we explored one of the newer (to me, at least) features of the park, The Pond area. With over 20,000 plants installed, this area helps with runoff, water pollution, and settling for sediment. The terraced landscaping and even spacing of the plants had an Asian design feel to it, but what do I know! Here’s a list of the various plants installed and some pictures to detail the beauty of this area:
What outdoor museum would be complete without an amphitheater and outdoor movie screen?! The NC Museum of Art holds several outdoor concerts and movies throughout the summer months. Having finally made it to an outdoor movie last summer to see The Fantastic Mr. Fox, I can attest to how much fun they are. So, bring a picnic dinner, lawn chairs or blanket, and some cash (for the beer/wine tent) and you’ve got the perfect, cheap summer night planned! Btw, The Social Network movie is playing tonight at 8:30pm.
Overall, this park offers much more than any average park. Whether just passing by on the greenway, planning a trip to the indoor museum, or watching a movie or concert be sure to plan enough time to explore the artwork in the Museum Park.
Thumbs up: picnic spots, rolling hills, outdoor artwork, outdoor movies/concerts, The Pond landscaping, information plaques/maps, parking
Thumbs down: few pockets of shade