Good morning, Raleigh. It’s almost time for the leaves to start changing colors, so we’ve curated a list of places to admire the fall foliage in case you soon find yourself at two roads diverged in a yellow wood + need to know which one to take.
In the City of Oaks
🍁 Dorothea Dix Park | 1030 Richardson Dr. | The Raleigh skyline + the fall foliage will make the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot.
🍁 Art to Heart Corridor | 2110 Blue Ridge Rd. | This paved trail that starts at the NCMA and ends in Downtown is perfect for families, a leisurely stroll, running, biking, or even picnics.
🍁 Pullen Park | 520 Ashe Ave. | Take in the autumn sights at the first public park in NC + the fifth-oldest operating amusement park in the US.
🍁 William B. Umstead State Park | 8801 Glenwood Ave. | This park features trails for hikers, runners, bicyclists + equestrians, 3 man-made lakes, as well as picnic grounds with fireplaces that can be reserved.
🍁 Shelley Lake Park | 1400 W. Millbrook Rd. | Take the kids to the playground or the basketball courts + enjoy the surrounding trees.
🍁 Carl Alwin Schenck Memorial Forest | Schenck Forest Access Rd. | This 245-acre forest is located ~10 minutes from NC State’s campus + as a teaching and research forest for the school. Pro tip: The public can access the forest during daylight hours for hiking, running + bird watching — though dogs, bikes, and horses are not allowed.
🍁 Lake Johnson Park | 4601 Avent Ferry Rd. | Rent a boat + admire the leaves from the water or bring a hammock and enjoy the fall views from one of the park’s hammocking spots.
🍁 Neuse River Trail | 20 Anderson Point Dr. | There are plenty of opportunities to see the fall foliage change along the Neuse River, on boardwalk areas through wetlands, and agricultural fields.
In the Triangle
🍁 Fred G. Bond Metro Park | 801 High House Rd., Cary | This ~300-acre park includes Bond Lake, athletic fields, the Sertoma Amphitheatre, and the Lazy Daze Playground.
🍁 Falls Lake at Beaverdam | 14600 Creedmoor Rd., Wake Forest | Recommended by one of our Instagram followers (@frontporchportraits), this spot gives both beautiful foliage + water views.
🍁 Lake Crabtree County Park | 1400 Aviation Pkwy, Morrisville | Visitors can find gardens, picnic shelters, playgrounds + trails.
More NC spots
🍁 Raven Rock State Park | 3009 Raven Rock Rd., Lillington (~1 hour from Raleigh) | Wheelchair accessible picnic areas | Check out the leaves as you canoe along the Cape Fear Canoe Trail, which is over 50 miles long.
🍁 Medoc Mountain State Park | 1541 Medoc State Park Rd., Hollister (~1 hour 15 minutes from Raleigh) | Wheelchair accessible picnic areas | Watch the leaves + enjoy a meal at the picnic shelter, which has tables, a grill, and a fireplace.
🍁 Uwharrie National Forest | 789 NC Hwy 24, Troy (~1.5 hours from Raleigh)| This national forest spans 52,000 acres and is a favorite of North Carolinians.
🍁 Hanging Rock State Park | 1790 Hanging Rock Park Rd., Danbury (~2.5 hours from Raleigh) | Wheelchair accessible | This state park has over 20 miles of hiking trails that include spectacular views and weave alongside streams + waterfalls.
🍁 South Mountains State Park | 3001 South Mountain Park Ave., Connelly Springs (~3 hours and 15 minutes from Raleigh) | This scenic spot has 15+ trails that accommodate hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers.
Pro tip: Be sure to check the park’s website for hours, closures, and COVID-19 updates.