Sunday mornings in Raleigh with little ones require creativity! The few indoor play places that are open are usually crowded so that’s when we escape to the outdoors. One summer Sunday morning we decided to re-visit Historic Oak View Park in search of their vegetable garden and newer nature walking trails.
As (bad) luck would have it, we parked on the side of the parking lot that is not adjacent to the hiking trails so we set off on the only trail we saw – the paved trail near the pear trees. It took us behind the nearby office buildings and towards the front of the park where we saw grape vines before crossing the main entrance road and following the main trail through the pecan grove and by the tenant house under construction and the main house. Even though we hadn’t planned to follow the brick path through the main part of the park, it was nice to revisit familiar buildings, see the progress on the tenant house renovation, and admire the newer copper drain pipes on the main house. Unfortunately we couldn’t access any of the buildings because they were either under construction or didn’t open until 1pm on Sundays. The areas near the vegetable garden were also blocked off because of the nearby construction on the cotton gin building. When we arrived back to the car we luckily spotted the nature trails we originally set out for. After a quick toddler potty break down the street (restrooms in park aren’t open until 1pm) we came back to the nature trails.
We headed down the main trail path, which has a small gravel base, making it doable with a Bob stroller. After a short 100yd walk we came to the small pond, amphitheater, and gazebo. After playing in the gazebo we walked around the Hunnicut Trail, which is a 0.4 mile loop through the woods. It was a nicely shaded and flat gravel path making it an easy walk for little ones. The forest was alive with noises from hundreds of insects and birds. We passed an old vehicle gate, presumably evidence of the old working farm’s history. After we returned to the main path we walked over the old stone bridge, which led to the back of the nearby office park. A short while later we walked back up the path towards the parking lot. We look forward to returning to Historic Oak View Park this fall to see the progress on the renovations and to explore the other short nature trail, Jones Creek Trail (0.7 miles).
- 2011 review of Historic Oak View Park
- 2013 review of Historic Oak View Park’s barn, Farm History Center & visit with the goats
Thumbs up: short, flat and shady nature walking trails for toddlers, photo ops near gazebo
Thumbs down: poor signage about trail location