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Exploring the Great North Carolina Outdoors

Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park region attract people who love the city’s downtown area and its vibrant nightlife, museums, and music festivals. However, longtime residents are in on the best kept secret: the beauty and splendor of the North Carolina outdoors.

In fact, Raleigh and Research Triangle Park are not only known for its prominent research centers and hip urban lifestyle but also its outdoor spaces; this includes parks, nature trails and recreation centers. This is an area that outdoor enthusiasts love and for good reason.

North Carolina Outdoors: What Do People Love About It?

the great north carolina outdoors

Raleigh is anchored by Research Triangle Park which was founded in 1959 and is one of the most prominent high-tech research and development centers in the country. Across an expansive 7,000 acres they house more than 200 companies that employ over 50,000 workers.

The Triangle is also home to top universities including Duke University in Durham, The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

The Triangle attracts talented, highly skilled workers to the region and numerous entrepreneurs have created thriving businesses here. However, it’s also noteworthy that the Triangle features picturesque scenery and lots of recreational options in the great North Carolina outdoors.

There are unique places here to enjoy biking and hiking on outdoor trails, a tranquil boat ride across a 14,000-acre lake, hidden kayaking spots, and plenty of fishing.

Some popular options for action sports include:

  • Skate parks
  • Go-kart tracks and speedways
  • Batting cages
  • Rock walls
  • Tennis courts
  • Ice rinks
  • Aquatic centers

The Triangle is home to 180 total miles of greenway trails, and if you’re a dog owner you can explore one of the many dog parks here.

Nature is a major selling point here. North Carolina outdoor recreational pursuits are great fun to indulge in, especially since city, county, and state parks are scattered throughout the region, along with Nature Centers.

Keep in mind that the weather is mild here, so spring and fall are gorgeous times to be outdoors.

Some Other Popular North Carolina Outdoor Locations and Activities

If action sports are not your cup of tea then the Triangle’s top educational institutions are good places to visit when you want to get outdoors and do some exploring.

The lush Sarah P. Duke Gardens on the historic Duke University Campus in Durham offers 55 acres of landscaped and wooded areas and 5 miles of allées, walks, and pathways throughout its gardens. There are four gardens to explore here: the Historic Gardens, the H.L. Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, the W.L. Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, and the Doris Duke Center Gardens.

Another popular spot is Eno River State Park, providing 4,200-acres across Durham and Orange Counties that preserve more than 14 miles of the Eno River and surrounding lands.

This is a park that attracts people to the nearly 30 miles of trails that it has, making it appealing to sightseers, photographers and hikers alike. There’s also backcountry camping at individual sites in addition to canoeing and kayaking.

Another great hiking spot is the American Tobacco Trail, where the 22-plus miles are particularly inviting for exploring on foot, bicycle, or horseback. These are scenic pathways that were once home to train trestles and the trails run through the City of Durham, the towns of Cary and Apex, and land around Jordan Lake.

In the summer, people flock to the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. The lake has 14,000 acres of water across Wake and Chatham counties, ideal for swimming, water skiing, fishing, and sailing. It’s also a park with campgrounds, picnic areas, public beaches, comfort stations, and volleyball nets.

If you love the arts and love the great outdoors, a good option for you would be the North Carolina Museum of Art Park. The park covers 160 acres of fields, woodlands, and creeks. Best of all, the park’s scenic trails also feature works of art and plenty of information on art, plants, and animals to discover.


If you’re planning to visit or relocate to North Carolina and you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ve come to the right place. There are amazing parks, nature trails, and lakes throughout the great North Carolina outdoors; which is one of the key reasons why people love living here.

If you’re moving to this area or you’re ready to buy your first home, contact us at Waterford Green Communities. Let our team of experienced home builders and community development professionals guide you through the, sometimes daunting, process of finding your dream home.

We take a lot of pride in building homes in this region that are immaculately designed and appealing to families of all sizes.

We’re here to answer all your questions about our new homes. Contact us today or call us at 919-629-1329 and let’s get you started on the path to owning your new home in beautiful North Carolina.


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