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6 parks: New and coming soon to Raleigh

From a small downtown gathering space to a 300-acre $20 million project, the City of Oaks has six anticipated park projects that’ll make you want to explore the outdoors.

A rendering of the playground shelter at Beech Bluff County Park.

Plans for Beech Bluff County Park include a playground + shelter, agricultural building, multi-use lawn, and a native prairie.

Photo via City of Raleigh

With more than 200 parks in Raleigh, we want to shine a light on a recently completed downtown space and five more parks coming soon to the City of Oaks and beyond.

NC Freedom Park | Now open

This one-acre green space honoring Black North Carolinian heritage is grounded by its awe-inspiring Beacon of Freedom. Constructed between downtown government buildings on Wilmington Street, this is the first park in NC dedicated to commemorating the Black struggle for freedom.

A rendering of Downtown Cary Park's The Bark Bar with dogs running around.

The Bark Bar overlooks Barkyard, a pup play space with water features, tunnels, “fallen” logs, and natural shade.

Photo via Town of Cary

Downtown Cary Park | Now open

This centrally located park has a total of seven acres and has been in the making for 20 years. The park’s ribbon cutting ceremony will feature synchronized light shows, live performances, a Bandit Flight Team flyover, and more.

This urban development is sprawling with amenities like an elevated grab-and-go cafe, The Bark Bar — an open pavilion offering beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks adjacent to the dog park — botanical gardens, artful play structures, and plenty of space to unwind.

Beech Bluff County Park | Expected completion: Spring 2024

Located on 300 acres in the southeast corner of Wake County, the $20 million project will include hiking trails, gardens, playgrounds, and teaching opportunities like a wildlife viewing platform. The space comprises several parcels of land including undeveloped forests, floodplains, wetlands, and stream channels.

Watch this video update from September.

Gipson Play Plaza rendering.

One of the many play areas at the Plaza

Rendering courtesy of the City of Raleigh and Dix Park

Gipson Play Plaza | Expected completion: 2025

This 18.5-acre public space for all ages is a part of Dix Park’s Master Plan to further develop the 308-acre park. Once complete, this massive project will include a play area with a swing terrace, a sensory maze, water play mountain + an adventure playground.

There will also be attractions like works of art, fountains, and gardens. Plus, the historic House of Many Porches will be repurposed to house a cafe featuring sweet treats and healthy foods. Check out the construction live feed.

Neuse River Park | Project timeline: 2023-2029

Still in the early stages of planning, Raleigh Parks is hosting its first public Neuse River Park Master Plan meeting this Friday, Nov. 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Abbotts Creek Community Center.

Help the city by providing your input on how the 84-acre site located at 12028 Falls of Neuse Rd. should be utilized.

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This drone photo outlines the future site of Smoky Hollow Park.

Rendering by Design Workshop

Smoky Hollow Park | Site construction timeline: 2025-2027

Formerly Devereux Meadow Park, Smoky Hollow Park will take over the 14-acre space where the temporary Conlon Family Skatepark is located.

While the project is currently in the design phase, plans for the finished park along Capital Boulevard include a restoration of Pigeon House Branch tributary, greenspaces, pathways + plaza areas, and there will be multiple stream and wetland viewing areas.

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