Blue Jay Point County Park is an outdoor mecca for people of all ages! We visited Blue Jay Point County Park about a month ago after hearing so much great news about the new Go Ape Zip Line & Tree Adventure course. Even though this park visit was more for the little ones, I can’t wait to head back here for some adult time on the adventure course.
Blue Jay Point County Park is a peninsula located at 3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd in North Raleigh. It is surrounded on three sides by Falls Lake and just south of the intersection of NC-98 and Six Forks Rd.
We first drove to the back of the park and scoped out the playground area, which was huge! The ages 5-12 playground has at least 8 slides in total, long ramps for running up and down, monkey bars, climbing ladders, tunnels and more. The ages 2-5 playground has several shorter slides, an arched climbing ladder, and nearby teeter totters and standing sand tables. There is a restroom area, small covered pavilion, benches and picnic tables near the playground. Most of the playground area is in full sun, but we were able to score a little shade on the benches under the trees.
After some playground time, we headed towards the covered pavilion where the Laurel Loop nature trail begins. This was such an ideal walk for young kids – it is a well maintained unpaved trail with lots of shade, has several benches and picnic tables throughout, is only 0.2 miles, allows for a short walk by adjacent Falls Lake, and loops you back to the playground area. All of the girls from ages 18 months to 4 years old loved exploring this trail, especially finding the dozens of caterpillars along the trail.
After our hike, we got back in our cars and headed to the front of the park to explore the main building’s Nature Discovery Room. After recently visiting Rockwood Nature Center in Richmond, VA where we saw several live animals, the girls seemed disappointed they didn’t have any live creepy, crawly native animals to gawk at. However, they did enjoy learning about the water cycle at Falls Lake and playing with some of the interactive tree and plant exhibits.
We then headed outside to the nearby fenced-in garden area for a much deserved picnic lunch. After our lunch we walked all throughout the gardens learning about the different herbs, flowers and vegetables they’ve planted. The biggest highlight for me was the “pizza garden” where they planted lots of basil and tomatoes. The biggest highlight for the girls was spotting butterflies and checking out the resident turtles and water snake in the small pond area.
Even though we spent about 3 hours at Blue Jay County Park, I feel as if we barely scratched the surface of this park. With so many nature and hiking trails (some that connect to Mountains-to-Sea trail), a natural play area, a tree-top adventure course, lots of open space, and tons of educational programs I can’t wait to come back very soon!
Thumbs up: nature trails with varying lengths for all ages, gardens, playground area, proximity to Falls Lake, so many outdoor activities to do
Thumbs down: signage around park