The Neuse Greenway stretches 27.5 miles from Falls Dam in Raleigh all the way down to Clayton. I’ve explored the upper sections of the trail extensively, but yesterday I took a run along the lower portion near the Wake and Johnston County boarder to get a peek at the famous sunflower fields along the trail. These fields are located between mile markers 23 and 24 near the intersection of the trail and Brown Field Road (map).
I’ve tried to get pictures of this field before but my timing in the past was off and I always missed the flowers in bloom. If you want to see them you need to go out there
by mid July otherwise the plants start dying off from the heat. (Update: I’ve gotten reports that the sunflowers are already “spent” from the intense heat – best to try and catch them next year). To get there I parked my car at the the parking lot along Mial Plantation Road, which is a little past mile 26 on the trail. I then ran about 2.25 miles to mile marker 24 which is where the fields are located. If you don’t want to run or bike there you should be able to pull off the road along Brown Field Road and sneak a peek at the field.
Many don’t realize this, but these fields are owned by the City of Raleigh and are used to land apply treated wastewater. The plants are grown on the fields to take up the nutrients from the wastewater, which basically acts like a fertilizer for the flowers. Because it is City of Raleigh property you’ll need to enjoy the view of the field from behind the white fences that line the fields. To learn more about the Neuse Greenway and download a full map of the trail visit the Neuse Greenway website here.