Exploring Raleigh’s Natural Gems: 6 Must-Visit North Carolina Parks

Pullen Park a Raleigh North Carolina Park.

Embark on a journey through Raleigh’s captivating North Carolina parks.


Nestled in the heart of North Carolina, Raleigh is a city brimming with natural beauty and a strong sense of community. Among its many attractions, the city boasts an impressive array of parks that cater to residents and visitors alike. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at six popular parks in Raleigh that have captured the hearts of locals. From serene lakeside retreats to vibrant urban oases, these parks offer diverse experiences for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


William B. Umstead State Park

As one of Raleigh’s largest and most beloved parks, William B. Umstead State Park offers over 5,500 acres of untouched woodlands, pristine lakes, and meandering trails. Locals flock to this natural haven for activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking. With its tranquil atmosphere and well-maintained trails, Umstead State Park provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


Lake Johnson Park

Lake Johnson Park in Raleigh north carolina.

Lake Johnson Park is a local favorite for those seeking a tranquil retreat. Spanning 150 acres, this serene park features a scenic lake surrounded by lush forested trails. Visitors can enjoy activities such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and bird-watching. The park’s well-maintained pathways cater to walkers, joggers, and cyclists, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts of all fitness levels.

Dorothea Dix Park

Dorothea Dix park in Raleigh north carolina.

Dorothea Dix Park is a sprawling urban park that offers breathtaking views of Raleigh’s skyline. This historic site, formerly home to a psychiatric hospital, has been transformed into a vibrant green space that celebrates the city’s cultural and natural heritage. With its rolling hills, open fields, and beautiful gardens, Dorothea Dix Park is a gathering place for festivals, concerts, and community events. Locals come here to relax, fly kites, take yoga classes, or enjoy nature’s beauty.


Shelley Lake Park

Shelley Lake Park, nestled in the heart of North Raleigh, is a hidden oasis. The centerpiece of this park is the picturesque Shelley Lake, encircled by a 2.8-mile paved trail that offers scenic views and ample opportunities for walking, jogging, and biking. The park also features picnic areas, a playground, and a boathouse where visitors can rent canoes and kayaks. Shelley Lake Park’s peaceful ambiance and well-maintained facilities make it a popular destination for families, fitness enthusiasts, and nature lovers.

Pullen Park

Pullen park in raleigh north carolina.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Raleigh, Pullen Park is a beloved treasure that captures the hearts of both young and old. Boasting a rich history dating back to 1887, it is North Carolina’s first public park. Pullen Park offers a delightful blend of family-friendly attractions, including a miniature train, carousel, paddle boats, and playgrounds. The park’s picturesque setting, complete with beautiful gardens and lush greenery, provides the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing picnic.


Historic Oakwood Cemetery

While it may seem unconventional to include a cemetery in a list of parks, Historic Oakwood Cemetery offers a unique blend of history, tranquility, and natural beauty. This 102-acre cemetery, established in 1869, is a resting place for many notable individuals from Raleigh‘s past. Its well-manicured grounds feature majestic oak trees, stunning sculptures, and beautifully landscaped gardens. Locals often visit to pay their respects, take peaceful walks, or partake in guided tours that offer fascinating insights into the city’s history.



Lastly, check out the recent Redfin article I was featured in:


Raleigh’s Southern charm extends to its range of parks and recreational areas that cater to a spectrum of interests. Be it the thrill of hiking trails, the excitement of amusement rides, the serenity of nature walks, or the joy of a well spent afternoon with your canine friend, Raleigh’s parks cover it all. From Pullen Park with its historic carousel to Umstead State Park with its extensive trail network and tranquil lakes, to Oakwood Dog Park specially designed for our four-legged friends, Raleigh leaves no stone unturned when it comes to outdoor enjoyment.
Read the full article here: Raleigh’s Green Gems: Exploring the City’s Most Beloved Parks | Redfin


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