Explore New Parks in the Triangle
The Triangle’s pleasant climate makes year-round park adventures a reality. Pack a picnic and head out to explore these new parks that recently popped up in different areas of the Triangle. From new spraygrounds to fitness trails, you’ll find something for every member of your family. (Note: Some parks have not opened yet.)
4420 Louis Stephens Rd., Cary
The 16-acre park includes a children's play area, play lawn area, multi-sport court, preserved forest, central pond, pedestrian trail and more.
Jack Smith Park
9725 Penny Rd.
This 50-acre tract located in southeastern Cary, formerly the Bartley family farm, will offer a natural setting featuring unique additions created by North Carolina artists. The park includes a playground, sprayground, dog park, climbing rock, greenway trails and picnic shelters.
Seymore Athletic Fields
2500 Evans Rd.
Apex Nature Park
2600 Evans Rd.
More than 160 acres at Seymour Athletic Fields and Apex Nature Park offer something for everyone. The athletic fields include a multiage playground, lighted tennis courts, a lighted soccer and multiuse fields, two sand volleyball courts and a picnic shelter. The Apex Nature Park features a popular disc golf course, multiuse trails, a dog park and a picnic shelter.
Visitors can also enjoy a night out at the Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre, which offers family-friendly concerts and movies throughout the summer. For a schedule of events, visit nc-apex.civicplus.com/870/apex-music-movies-in-the-park-series.
Rodgers Family Skate Plaza at Trackside
1290 Ambergate Station
Looking for a way to get the kids moving? Grab a skateboard, inline skates or a scooter and head to the Rodgers Family Skate Plaza at Trackside in downtown Apex. Kids will enjoy riding along the 13,000-square-foot, four-tiered track that runs along the rail lines, and those who are looking for a challenge can take a ride on the competition elements. Don’t forget helmets, knee pads and elbow pads.
South Park Splash Pad
900 S. Main St.
This 6,000-square-foot splash pad with more than 35 water features will have kids running, jumping and staying cool during the hot days of summer. South Park Pavilion is just around the corner if you need a sheltered spot to cool off. Note: Residents must present their Resident Splash Pad card (attainable at the Fuquay-Varina Community Center) at the front kiosk for free admittance. Nonresidents will be required to pay $2 per person. One parent will be admitted without charge and children under the age of 2 are free of charge.
Church Street Park
5800 Cricket Pitch Way
Head to Church Street Park for a variety of recreational activities, including a playground with a totlot, three tennis courts, and rentable shelters and athletic fields. Get some exercise on the walking track that measures 3/10ths of a mile, or hop on the Shiloh Greenway that runs through the park. If you are feeling especially adventurous, head to the multipurpose field where you will often find a game of cricket being played.
998 Parkside Valley Dr.
Newly opened Northwest Park features a playground with a totlot, paved fitness trail, open-play field and picnic shelters. It uniquely incorporates environmental features throughout the park, such as a permeable playground to help control storm water.
Hollow Rock Nature Park
692 Erwin Rd.
orangecountync.gov (search for “Hollow Rock”)
Located near New Hope Creek, this 75-acre nature park scheduled to open this spring is a partnership between Orange and Durham counties, the City of Durham and the town of Chapel Hill. Kids will enjoy New Hope Creek, a trail to the “hanging rock,” 2 miles of trails that connect to the Duke Forest trail system and an open meadow. Future plans include renovating the existing barn for educational programs.
Abbotts Creek Park
9950 Durant Rd.
raleighnc.gov (search for “Abbotts Creek Park”)
Abbotts Creek Park, located south of the North Wake Landfill Park in northeast Raleigh, is home to the new Abbotts Creek Community Center. This 26,000-square-foot facility includes a gym, fitness room, multipurpose classrooms and a fitness studio. Two playgrounds next to the two multipurpose fields feature play equipment and swings.
Michele Jonczak is a freelance writer from Raleigh and mom to Holden, Hayes and Emery.