What are Raleigh’s walking trends?

Average daily walking trips dropped by 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022 — see how the City of Oaks compares + where to get your steps in.

People walking in Moore Square on a nice day in Raleigh, NC.

There is a -39% change in walking trips in Raleigh-Cary.

Photo by RALtoday

If you’ve been singing the lyrics “I walk a lonely road” a lot lately, you’re not… alone (well, in a sense). Raleigh roads are actually less lonely than many, but we’ll get to that in a minute. If national averages indicate anything, it’s that roads overall may have been more lonely during the past few years. According to a recent data report by Streetlight, annual average daily walking trips dropped 36% in the US between 2019 and 2022.

How does that national average shake out in Raleigh, and where are the best spots to raise those national trend (and step count) numbers? Let’s take a look.

By the numbers

What does a percent change in walking trips mean? Say a metro area sees a -50% change in walking trips. This means, on average, walking trips declined by 50% in that area. (For the record, none of the top 100 metros in the study saw that much of a decline — the biggest dip was 49% in Akron, OH.)

A sculpture at the NCMA Museum Park.

Stroll through the Museum Park at the NCMA, then spend the afternoon in the galleries.

Photo by RALtoday

Where to walk the walk

Wondering where you can get your steps in? Check out these pedestrian-friendly spots around town, from local parks to downtown streets.

  • Capital Area Greenway, NCMA, 2110 Blue Ridge Rd. | Start at the NCMA Cafe to grab a cup of joe to walk along the sculpture-lined Museum Park, greenway, and wooded trails. Psst... you may even run into a mysterious cloud chamber.
  • Downtown Raleigh, self-guided tour | The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has a series of 1- and 3-mile run/walk routes to get active, discover new businesses, and see the city from a new perspective.
  • Lake Johnson Park, 4601 Avent Ferry Rd. | Lace up your shoes for this trail if you want to enjoy wildlife like great blue herons, a clean trail, and a lake view.

Bonus: Check out our hiking guide for 20+ more trails to explore around Raleigh.

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