If I had to describe how it felt to visit Durant Nature Preserve in Raleigh, I’d say it was like finding a crumpled $10 dollar bill in an old pair of jeans, un-crumpled, only to discover another $20 hiding inside! Why this specific analogy you ask?
Since the COVID-19 pandemic took over our lives, we have spent much more time and effort discovering the wonderful parks and preserves in Raleigh that have always been in our “back pocket” (so to speak). They have been ours all along. But it’s only now that we’ve un-crumpled their magic and joy. Silver linings.
Durant Nature Preserve is located way up on Capital Boulevard, at 8305 Camp Durant road. It is conspicuous enough and so much less crowded than its other famous park cousins like the Umstead. There are trails, butterfly gardens, and lots of nice shelters to bring a picnic. However, the part that felt like the hidden $20 bill was the SECRET CREEK TRAIL which is shady and a short hike from the parking lot, ending at the most serene creek. It’s magical.
We had gone there with the simple intention to park our car and walk around a bit; we didn’t even bring any swim clothes. The creek was a total surprise. We ended up eating our lunch by the gurgling waters, and splashing and playing for over 2 hours. Arjun even described it as being better than the beach because it was shady, cool, and perfect to jump around in.
Sharing a few pictures with you below. So, go forth and explore my friends.