Fall is prime time for hiking, enjoying the great weather and taking in the leaves changing colors. We recently visited Brookhaven Nature Park in the Brookhaven neighborhood at 5125 Berkeley St near Crabtree Valley Mall. Brookhaven is a city park, but the Jr Woman’s Club of Raleigh helps maintain and beautify it. After arriving at the park we explored the pavilion area and then headed off on the Main Trail, which is a narrow, unpaved path that criss-crosses several streams. Part of the trail is labeled wheelchair-accessible, but the paved trail seemed rather uneven and the decline was rather steep (imho). This time of year the trail was covered in rust-colored leaves so we took extra caution when hiking, especially with Ashley in the backpack.
For being in a North Raleigh neighborhood the trail is actually pretty hilly, so we were surprised by how much actual “hiking” we did. Its peacefulness should also be noted, especially with its close proximity to so many busy Raleigh roads. Along the hike we came across a small pond with a deck for taking in the views and scouting for fauna. On this particular day the reflections on the pond made it look like the trees were sprouting from the water…it made for great pictures! The deck also featured a few informational signs about the fauna in the area, snapping turtles and mallards.
After leaving the pond we followed the Main Trail some more and then took the Pine Tree Loop and Upland Forest Trails to increase our hiking distance, which actually only totaled about 1 mile. Even though the hike was short overall it was a fun, quick way to explore a naturally hilly part of Raleigh. Be sure to bring another adult with you to this trail and all trails; this park is not staffed and the trails are not heavily traveled with other visitors.
Thumbs up: photo ops, good hiking workout, peacefulness, proximity within city, shadiness
Thumbs down: confusing signage near end of the trail