Raleigh Up Close: Something for Nature Lovers


The list of capital city accolades for Raleigh, N.C. continues, whether you’re itching to walk, run, climb or canoe. Discover what this charming metropolitan city boasts in outdoor fun and recreation with the Nature Lovers brag list.

Catch up on the stir the capital city is causing, then be sure to secure your ticket to ROCK the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & 1/2 Marathon on April 1-2, 2017.

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Raleigh Capital-Area-Greenway

Capital Area Greenway Trail System

Head outdoors and breathe in fresh country air while exploring over 100 miles of 28 individual trails. The Capital Area Greenway is a collection of public lands and recreational trails which provides no shortage of activities like walking, jogging, hiking, canoeing, picnicking and more. The trails connect many of Raleigh’s parks, weaving in and out of different boroughs.

Free and open to the public.

Raleigh Ellen-Mordecai-Garden

Photo Credit: City of Raleigh Parks & Recreation

The Ellen Mordecai Garden

Continue your tour of Raleigh’s natural side with a visit to the Ellen Mordecai Garden, which recreates a kitchen garden of the 19th century complete with herbs, vegetables and flowers commonly growth throughout the 1800s.

Free and open to the public.

Raleigh Neuse-River-Canoe-Trail
Photo Credit: James Williamor

Neuse River Canoe Trail

Take your pick of canoe launch sites along 17 miles of the Neuse River, one of North Carolina’s most historic waterways. Visitors can adventure solo or tag along on guided tours ranging from two to four hours.

JC Raulston Arboretum

Photo credit: J.C. Raulston Arboretum

J.C. Raulston Arboretum

Make time to visit the nationally acclaimed garden at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum on North Carolina State University’s campus. The arboretum features 18 different, unique garden collections with landscape plants adapted overtime for use in the Southeast. It’s here where more than 6,000 plants from around the world that have evolved to thrive in Piedmont North Carolina conditions are collected and studied for the purpose of finding plants best suited for use in southern landscapes.

Free and open to the public.


Photo Credit: Mike P.

Museum Park at North Carolina Museum of Art

Take your learning and art appreciation to an interactive level with one of the capital city’s most spectacular gardens at Museum Park. Spanning more than 160 acres to combine art and nature, the museum trail features temporary and permanent exhibits from international artists that fuse the great, expansive outdoor landscape with works designed to inspire visitors. Visitors can choose from a variety of interactive adventures like stepping inside a cloud chamber, picnicking near the iconic Gyre rings or jogging along the Capital Area Greenway trails.

Free and open to the public.

Photo Credit: Jason Raitz

Municipal Rose Garden

Take in the sweet aroma of fragrant blooms at the Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden. This historic garden features 1,200 roses of 60 unique varieties blooming from May through fall. Lucky visitors may be in town during one of the many theatrical productions that take place in the garden.

Free and open to the public.

Photo Credit: WRAL-TV Azalea Gardens

WRAL Azalea Gardens

Find yourself enraptured in fragrant blooms and bright, cheery hues of azalea blossoms at the WRAL Azalea Gardens. Although located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, you’ll feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Free and open to the public.

Pullen Park

Did you know Pullen Park is the 5th oldest operating amusement park in the US and the 16th oldest in the world? What a history!Pullen Park was built in 1887 and still remains a hometown favorite for locals today. Adults and kids can enjoy the day on the Pullen Park Train, kiddie boats, carousel, pedal boats or catch one of the outdoor shoes in the Children’s Amphitheater. It also boasts playgrounds, baseball fields, tennis courts and an arts center.

Free and open to the public.