Posts Tagged ‘Neuse River Trail’
While I was training for the City of Oaks 10k last fall, it gave us a chance to try out several trails during my longer runs on the weekend. One Saturday we headed over to the Neuse River Greenway near Anderson Point Park for a 4 mile run. The Neuse River Greenway runs through Anderson Point Park and since I had explored part of the trail south of the park, we decided to park in the small lot prior to the entrance to Anderson Point Park and run north.
The parking lot at 22 Anderson Point Dr is rather large and serves for access to the greenway, overflow parking to the park, and canoe launch access to the river. After parking, we headed north on the greenway and shortly saw mile marker 17 and signs for Mingo Creek Trail, which is maintained by the Town of Knightdale.
Along our 4 mile run (2 miles out and back) we passed over several pedestrian bridges, ran under New Bern Ave, passed a good amount of bikers and runners and discovered the beautiful Milburnie Dam. The nearby greenway bridge provides great straight-on views of the dam, which has been out of commission since the 80s. Milburnie Dam was first built in the mid-1850s as a power source for a paper mill. From powering a paper mill, streetcars, and gristmill this dam has seen several changes since its inception according to the on-site information guide. While the dam hasn’t been in use since the 1980s, it has since created a vibrant habitat for several animals. In researching more about the dam it seems that removal of the dam has been debated for the last decade so its future use is unknown. In the meantime, be sure to visit this great spot for some amazing photo opportunities…yet another reason why running on the greenway can provide beautiful surprises.
There is a small parking lot for quicker access to Milburnie Dam near the intersection of Old Milburnie Rd and Loch Haven Rd.
Check out Raleigh Nature’s blog post for more information on the Milburnie Dam.
Thumbs up: beautiful views of Milburnie Dam, relatively flat and shady greenway, having a playground near the greenway
Thumbs down: nothing to report
It might be snowmaggedon part 2 in Raleigh right now, but months ago it was a beautifully warm day for a run in North Raleigh along Abbotts Creek Trail. Abbotts Creek Trail is 2.9 miles and connects Simms Branch Trail with the Neuse River Trail. We parked on-street near the intersection of Falls River Ave and Ashmead Ln. Abbotts Creek Trail is connected by the sidewalk near where we parked so after some walking back and forth, we got our bearings and headed north on Falls River Ave where we shortly caught up with Abbotts Creek Trail. Again, I’d love some directional signage throughout the greenways.
Abbotts Creek Trail is a wide, flat, and paved trail that runs between the Bedford at Falls River subdivision to the north and Abbotts Creek to the south. It nicely carves a path through a moderately wooded forest (great for shadiness in the hot NC summer). Along our run we passed several bikers and joggers, crossed multiple bridges, and explored the blue heron habitat. While we didn’t see any blue herons, we did see evidence of their nests, which were easy to identify with help from the information guides. Near the habitat are several benches, great for resting while doing some bird watching.
When we reached the end of Abbotts Creek Trail we turned left north onto the Neuse River Trail for a bit before turning around. While on the Upper Neuse River Trail we passed the 2 3/4 mile mark and were impressed with the information guides about the floodplains and benches along the way. Our out and back run was a total of 3.2 miles and I look forward to getting back up here again to explore the southern half of Abbotts Creek Trail, which I think leads to the North Wake Landfill District Park.
Thumbs up: flat and wide trail, lots of shade, fun nature stops along the way, busy foot traffic
Thumbs down: signage
A couple of months ago we attended the Neuse River Trail grand opening at Anderson Point Park located at 20 Anderson Point Dr. Most grand openings we attend are usually low-key and only involve a few important speakers, but this celebration was full of food trucks, live music, crafts for kids, local vendors and more. As typical, we sat through 5 minutes of the grand opening speeches and then played on the playground before hitting up the food, vendors and crafts.
The Neuse River Trail is located on the eastern side of Raleigh paralleling the Neuse River with 7 bridges over the river throughout the trail; it begins at Falls Dam Lake and continues south past the WRAL Soccer Park, Buffaloe Rd Park, Milburnie Park, Anderson Pointe Park and to the Johnston County line. The new section of trail added 20 additional miles, bringing the total distance of this paved trail to 27.5 miles. The Neuse River Trail allows for easy connections west to Crabtree Creek Trail or Walnut Creek Trail and is a great connection between the municipalities of Wake Forest, Raleigh, Knightdale, and Johnston County. Part of the trail is also a segment of the Mountains to Sea Trail that extends from the Great Smokey Mountains to the Outer Banks.
After devouring some delicious pizza from my favorite local food truck, Klausie’s, Ashley and I headed south on the trail for about a mile before her patience and the time got the best of us. The parts of the trail we walked were gorgeous – the trails are 10ft wide, the views of the river are amazing, and the bridges make for exciting photo ops.
To access the Neuse River Trail near Anderson Point Park, the parking spots are either inside the park or at the parking lot near the canoe put-in at 22 Anderson Point Dr. At this location, you’ll be near mile marker 17 of 27.5. I can’t wait to return and explore more of the trail on bike next time!
- Greenway map (includes parking and trail information)
- Neuse River Trail map (detailed)
- Anderson Point Park review
- Dedication & historical information
Thumbs up: condition of trail, scenic views of river, photo ops, bridges
Thumbs down: signage to trails from within park
My mom visited this past weekend so on Friday morning we headed out to Anderson Point Park at 20 Anderson Point Dr in east Raleigh. This park is bordered by 264/64 bypass on the north, the Neuse River to the east and Crabtree Creek on the west. From the park you can also access the greenway via the Neuse River Trail which is over 4.5 miles of unpaved trails. Here’s a satellite view of Anderson Point Park from Google Maps.
When you arrive at the park, go around the cul-de-sac to the far left to the parking lot. From there we found a very helpful park map detailing all the features. We then walked by the Large Shelter and headed left along the main trail, which is about 3/4 mile loop. The shelter is a large pavilion with several picnic tables, restrooms, and an adjacent open field with a back stop.
Walking along the paved trail we first came to the amphitheater. It’s a beautiful stone-terraced amphitheater with lush green grass at each level. At the bottom is a large tree surrounded by a stone wall with benches and swings along the perimeter. The tree provides great shade for picnics or reading on a hot day. My mom did comment on how difficult it might be to see any type of performance at the bottom due to the hedges at each terraced level.
Back on the trail we followed the spiral pathway up to the scenic overlook. There’s a circular flower garden at the top surrounded by a stone wall perfect for sitting and enjoying the views of the park. There are also several covered swings at the top great for relaxing and taking in the scenery.
Continuing on, we passed bluebird trails and bird houses that attract martin birds. Luckily my mom, who is a bird enthusiast, was with us to identify the bird houses. The surrounding natural vegetation still allows for great views of the park.
Next, we came upon a large open field with a backstop across from the Retreat Cottage. The cottage can be rented for conferences and events and contains a small nearby parking lot to use.
Close to the cottage is the Small Shelter, which is a covered pavilion with several picnic tables and restrooms. It has an adjacent open field surrounded by crape myrtles and magnolias. Nearby there is also an information board with details about renting the various shelters, open fields, and Retreat Cottage.
Next on the trail is the largest playground I’ve ever seen. Part of the playground is covered in a mulch base and part is a sandy base. There is a large jungle gym, multiple swing sets, and several teeter totters with plenty of seating along the perimeter and sloped, grassy hill. The entire playground area is full sun, so be sure take a break at the nearby water fountain. The Small Shelter would be perfect for birthday parties with the playground being so close!
Continuing on, we arrived near the entrance, which has several shade trees and swings overlooking a large part of the park. The signs are helpful in directing you to the various parts of the park.
We followed the trail back to the parking lot and headed out of the park, but not without stopping at the canoe launch that we passed on our way in. Park in the lot there to get on the Neuse River Trail or head down the gravel road to the launch area for the Neuse River.
This is a great open park with lots of unique amenities surrounded by a paved trail that is perfect for walking the dogs and babies or going for a run. We had a fun morning with lots of exploring, so we finished off our adventure with cupcakes from The Cupcake Shoppe!
Thumbs up: scenic overlook, shelters, open fields, access to greenway, canoe launch area, playground, beauty of amphitheater, birding
Thumbs down: unsure of usage of amphitheater