At the House Creek Trail dedication and grand opening ceremony yesterday, you really got a sense of the anticipation and excitement around this new trail. Many guests spoke about the history of the greenway system, especially highlighting the fact that House Creek was Raleigh’s first pilot greenway trail back in the 1970s. It was a short gravel path made possible by the Barefoot family, who was also in attendance at the grand opening. Fast forward forty years and the addition of the new House Creek Trail brings the total greenway mileage up to 78! At 2.9 miles long, the House Creek Trail is a vital north/south connection between Meredith College and the Crabtree area.
The grand opening took place inside Glen Eden Pilot Park. After the ceremony we headed towards Crabtree Valley Mall on the newly paved path. While on our way, we cruised by I-440 rush hour traffic in the distance, crossed bridges, noticed large land developments underway, and visited the Marshall Memorial Park. Not aware of the Marshall Memorial Park, we stopped to take a look and a quick rest. The park is a project funded by Rick Marshall, long-time Raleigh realtor, in honor of his father, Lt. Col. George F. Marshall. Lt. Col. Marshall was killed in World War II while commanding troops during the British-American invasion of Oran, also known as Operation Torch. The park is quietly located near the intersection with Blue Ridge Rd and contains a iron arbor and several stone seats and a wooden boardwalk, making it a good place to reflect and relax.
After passing the memorial park, we came to Blue Ridge Rd, which was rather busy around 5pm. Several signs alert you of the busy two-lane highway, so we were able to cross with ease and continued to the corner across from the McDonalds. In all it was a relatively easy .75 miles from Glen Eden Park to the McDonalds. The mile markings begin near the McDonalds and display every .25 miles.
After arriving back to Glen Eden Park, we continued south on the House Creek Trail where we crossed under the Glen Eden Rd tunnel and kept on until the 1.5 mile marker. The path is well landscaped throughout; natural grasses, plants and trees line most of the shady path with newly planted magnolias and other hardwoods throughout. If you’re concerned about walking on the sidewalks of Glen Eden Dr or other areas that seem more dramatic from the beltway, don’t worry – this greenway trail has more railings and safety features than any other I’ve seen! The stone wall along the tunnel slightly reminded me of Hokie Stone at VT!
Covering half of the new trail was a perfect end to a gorgeous fall day. We passed so many bikers, joggers and walkers enjoying the new trail. We’re excited to start at the southern end near Meredith College and work our way north next time. Check out my previous post about House Creek Trail when it was under construction.
Thumbs up: landscaping, safety railings, signage, safety of the area, memorial park, connection created between Meredith College and Crabtree
Thumbs down: nothing to report