Posts Tagged ‘Crabtree Creek Trail’
This past weekend, we explored part of the Crabtree Creek Trail greenway with over 50 fellow RTP Hokies for our annual Hokies 3.2 Memorial Run. Our friends Becca and Brent organized the run, which started and finished at Big Boss Brewing Co. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for the run and such a great reminder that Hokies are awesome! We even started the race with some Enter Sandman blasting from the car radio!
Like I said, we started the race at Big Boss Brewing Co, which is located at 1249 Wicker Drive in Raleigh. Btw, they started a weekly run club about a year ago that you should check out! We headed north on Laurelbrook St and then made a left onto Hodges St, which runs parallel with the greenway. Just east of Atlantic Ave, we jumped onto the Crabtree Creek Trail greenway and headed west. This section of the greenway parallels Crabtree Creek so you have a nice view of the rapid flowing creek and several major overpasses and train tracks to cross under. Being that we were pushing a stroller and not in our usual William & Kate shape, we lost sight of the group a few times on the way out. Luckily some of the trail became familiar to me and at the fork in the road we headed right instead of left towards Kiwanis Park. We ran until we reached Oxford St and then turned around and headed back for a total of 3.2 miles.
Overall, this stretch of the greenway is nicely shaded, paved, and flat! And, the best part of all was finishing the race with some much needed local beers at Big Boss with some awesome Hokies! Ut Prosim!
Thumbs up: flat and shaded greenway, passing by the RTP Hokies hangout Carolina Ale House @ Creekside Dr, cold water and beer at Big Boss
Thumbs down: lack of signage or maps at forks in the greenway
On the sixth day of Raleigh Parks, we visited Fallon Park, which is located just northeast of the Five Points area and not far from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School. Fallon Park is a long and slender wooded area between Royster St and Oxford Rd at 2601 Oxford Rd. A small stream runs off from the nearby Crabtree Creek and meanders through the park creating small pools for splashing and admiring the water creatures.
The lower level of the park has a large open field with a pavilion, picnic tables, and benches. There is also a leaning deodar cedar tree planted almost 40 years ago that immediately grabs your attention. Be sure to walk along the unpaved path in the park, where you’ll cross over bridges, admire the large rocks along the stream, and enjoy the natural setting. On this particular day we passed quite a few people jogging and walking their dogs. On the northern side of the park, there is a gazebo and additional benches and picnic tables. If you continue heading north on Oxford Rd you’ll eventually come to a portion of the Crabtree Creek Trail, which can take you either to Lassiter Mill Park or Kiwanis Park. I’d love to visit this park again in the spring or fall when the trees are in bloom or changing colors.
Thumbs up: natural setting, exploring the stream, neighborhood setting
Thumbs down: downed trees along stream
Over the last few months I’ve noticed the new paved trail near Ridgewood Shopping Center and then the new pedestrian tunnels take shape along the beltline. All of this has led me to ask, “What is going on?” So, on the third day of Raleigh Parks visits, we did some exploratory research into the pedestrian tunnels and new paved trails that have been popping up in the area.
It seems the new greenway trails are part of the House Creek Greenway Trail that is currently under construction. According to the Raleigh Parks and Rec website, this will be a 2.9 mile greenway that will extend from the Reedy Creek Trail at the I-440 pedestrian bridge to Crabtree Creek Trail at the intersection of Blue Ridge Rd and Crabtree Valley Blvd. This piece of the greenway will give folks in North Raleigh a pedestrian trail for accessing Umstead Park.
In looking at the proposed trail map, this section of the greenway will start near the intersection of Wade Ave and Ridge Rd and head west along the inner beltline, go under Lake Boone Trail, go under Glen Eden Dr, meander through Glen Eden Pilot Park and then come out on Blue Ridge Rd near the McDonald’s. From there, you can easily access Crabtree Creek Trail.
As I mentioned, we were out today to just explore what’s going on, especially since all the trails are still under construction and closed at this point. We can’t wait to report back in Spring 2012 after it’s all finished!
Thumbs up: increased greenway access, pedestrian options for accessing Umstead Park, informative Raleigh Parks & Rec website
Thumbs down: nothing to report so far
A few weeks ago we headed down to Lassiter Mill Park again to access the nearby greenway via Crabtree Creek Trail for a run. Little did we know that after a mile and half into our run, we would come to Kiwanis Park. It was a nice surprise and a good break from the run, as we weren’t anticipating either!
Following the greenway was a bit tricky in some places. If starting near Lassiter Mill Park, you’ll eventually come to Claremont Rd, where the greenway signs stop. Take a left onto Claremont Rd and then cross Anderson Dr where Claremont Rd turns into Oxford Rd. Stay on the sidewalks and you’ll shortly see the next portion of the greenway on your left, which will lead you straight to Kiwanis Park. Despite the trickiness of the greenway, this has turned out to be one of the favorite running trails in Raleigh. It is super FLAT and the bridges and scenery you pass make the running seem effortless at times.
The Kiwanis Park is located at 2525 Noble Rd just inside the beltline. It has a playground area with a jungle gym, but no swings. There are also several large open fields, mostly used for playing soccer. There is a sand volleyball court, baseball fields, and a basketball court. The nearby community center is not staffed and is available for rent. The large pavilion has several picnic tables and restrooms.
Even though you can get to the park by car, why not make this a greenway/park/brunch adventure with the kids! 1) Run/walk 1.5 miles with the stroller on the greenway to the park, 2) let them burn up some energy on the playground while you rest from your run/walk, 3) then run/walk 1.5 miles back followed by 4) yummy brunch at Nofo at the Pig!
Thumbs up: flat portion of greenway, scenery along greenway, playground, open fields at park, recreational sports
Thumbs down: signage along parts of greenway, no swings on playground
North Hills park is located at 100 Chowan Circle in North Raleigh. Overall this is a basic neighborhood park with B+ features. As you arrive there is a medium-sized parking lot with a nice lighted baseball field on the right. It has bleacher seating for the spectators and a water fountain near the far team’s bench area. The adjacent grassy hill also provides plenty of additional seating.
At the top of the grassy hill is a building for restrooms and the Buffaloe family cemetery.
If you continue driving past the baseball field you arrive at the back parking lot near the two lighted tennis courts, playground, pavilion with picnic and access to the greenway. The playground has several connected jungle gyms with a hard mulch base and a smaller sandy playground. The pavilion has 6 picnic tables and a nearby charcoal grill. The wide, paved sidewalk provides easy from the parking lot around the playground and pavilion.
The access to the greenway is near the tennis courts. This is the North Hills Segment of the Crabtree Creek Trail and it is 1/4 mile of steeply sloped paved pathway. Going down isn’t bad, but pushing the stroller back up was quite a workout! I would definitely recommend the baby bjorn for this segment. The trail tees into the Crabtree Creek Trail, where if you go left you’ll head south towards Lassiter Mill Park and if you turn right you’ll head north towards Shelley Lake.
It’s amazing to think that under all these overpasses and adjacent to creeks and roadways exists this other world of trails. Navigating through the greenways really helps you get a better sense of direction and helps you realize how close these parks really are to each other. It sort of reminds me of a foreign place like Middle Earth in LOTR. I encourage you all to explore the greenway. A lot of the trails are paved and shaded and would make for a great adventure with dogs, loved ones, or a group of friends. So, pick a greenway segment, find a parking lot, and explore!
Thumbs up: quality of amenities, large parking lots, large playground, easy access to greenway, sidewalk access to pavilion and playground areas
Thumbs down: no sidewalk from baseball field to playground area
Continuing on our greenway adventures, my next stop with the honey badger was to the portion of Crabtree Creek Trail directly behind Crabtree Valley Mall. I’ve been to the mall a trillion times and was always curious about this trail. So we parked in the gravel lot near the McDonald’s on Crabtree Valley Ave and headed north on the paved trail.
Views of the trail looking towards the gravel parking lot
Crabtree Creek with turtles basking in the sun
Pedestrian access to the mall (I’m sure the hotel-goers are thankful for that).
Heading north on the trail
Trail marker and Edwards Mill Rd bridge (a bit noisy)
This part of the trail itself is in good shape with benches placed throughout, but a portion of it is located along side an abandoned lot with rusty construction debris. I think this is near where the infamous Soleil building was supposed to be. Since I was by myself on this trip it made me a bit uneasy so after a mile into our stroll I turned around and headed back.
Despite walking in the middle of the day, the traffic on nearby roads was pretty steady making our walk more noisy than peaceful. In the future I would recommend bringing a buddy to walk with and walking in the morning hours.
Thumbs up: paved trail, access to mall
Thumbs down: noise, construction debris, darkness under bridge, general uneasiness
Lassiter Mill Park is a hidden gem of a park. It is located inside the beltline (intersection of Old Lassiter Mill Rd & Lassiter Mill Rd) and is home to a beautiful dam where Crabtree Creek flows through. You can see remnants of the old working mill on the far side of the creek. There is also a plaque with information about the mill on the bank of the water.
This is a great spot to bring a picnic lunch and eat in the open fields or on one of the few picnic tables. For the adventurers, shimmy down the rocky stairs for a closer view of the water. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with a baby unless you have a helper (thanks Bill). There are also plenty of spots for fishing and signs along the water displaying fishing rules and regulations.
Parking is rather limited so come early.
After you’ve finished exploring the park, walk on the paved path towards Lassiter Mill Road and make a left. After the bridge, cross the street where you’ll find access to the Crabtree Creek Trail, which is perfect for biking, walking, or running. We walked for about a mile on this paved section and then had a picnic on one of the many benches along the greenway. There is an open field with picnic tables but we weren’t up to pushing the stroller through medium-height grass. Along the way we also walked over a beautiful bridge that would make for great photo ops!
Thumbs up: beautiful scenery, walking trails, picnic/photo ops
Thumbs down: access to dam