The Great Outdoors

In my previous life, I would have never imagined spending so much time outside during a North Carolina summer because of the heat, the humidity, and the mosquitoes. Individually they are annoying enough, and the trifecta is sure to drive me insane!

Or so I assumed until pandemic life set the record straight for me. Because playgrounds in Raleigh are still off limits (and we don’t have one in our backyard), we’ve been forced to get out almost every single day, either hiking or biking in search of mostly shady spots that are relatively bug free, and crowd free.

Our two new discoveries from this week are the Walnut Creek Trail and Lake Wheeler Park.

Walnut Creek Trail

This trail is part of the extensive Greenway system, but the portion that we love to use starts right by the NC Farmers Market. We park in the spots behind the gas-station and the Subway sandwich shop across from the market. Once the bikes and scooters are unloaded we simply just walk over to the trail path which is paved.

At the fork, go left if you can help it because that portion is more scenic with a trestle bridge, creek, and big shady trees. Thus far, the older two have been on bikes while I’ve helped Ajay on his scooter. Thankfully my friends J&M just gave me their under utilized baby bike seat. Once I install it, I imagine our bike rides being even longer and more fun because they won’t be as stop and go as they are now. So here are some pictures from our most recent bike ride on the trail.

Lake Wheeler Park

Lake Wheeler Park is a couple of miles up the road from our favorite Yates Mill Park, which I have written about before. Naturally, it was during one of our visits to Yates Mill when we decided to just drive through Lake Wheeler Park to see if we were missing anything.

The park was completely deserted due to COVID-19, and also because it was midday on a weekday. But it has fishing, boating, trails, picnic shelters, playground, and everything else a fun park needs. It reminded me of Lake Johnson, except bigger and with much easier and abundant parking.

But the part that I want to tell you about today isn’t all those fantastic amenities (many of which are closed due to COVID-19 for now). What we discovered was an outdoor exercise area, which my playground starved kids went crazy for. They jumped around on the wooden structures and even though there were no swing or slide in sight, they had so much fun. I had to drag them out of there. It was completely shady, with the beautiful lake as the backdrop.

So there we go friends, hope you get a chance to get out there and enjoy these outdoor nature spots too. Au revoir!


Featured Imaged: James Fitzgerald via unsplash.

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