Top of the Hill Trail
As I prepare to run in my first marathon this fall I find myself constantly looking for new places to avoid getting bored using the same old route. Since the race I am running, the City of Oaks Marathon, is right here in Raleigh it is also important that I incorporate some hill work into my routine so I am ready for of the topography on race day. Fortunately I live just down the road from the relatively new North Wake Landfill Park located off Durant Road in North Raleigh which provides a short hill perfect for hill training
View from the Top
As the name implies this the North Wake Landfill District Park is in built on top of a now closed landfill. The landfill was capped a few years ago and is now used as a park with fantastic open green space with a small playground, walking and mountain biking trails, picnic shelter, and great views from the the top of the “Big Hill”.
I pulled the map above from the park’s official website. It shows the location of the trails, parking and various recreational areas. It is a small park, but I find it to be a great place to do short runs and work on hill repeats. If you are looking for longer runs you can take one of the trails that connects to the the much longer Neuse Greenway trail that stretches on for miles
Top of the Hill Trail
I need to give a “tip of the hat” to the River Run Club for the idea of using this park for “hill repeat” runs. This place is so convient to my neck of the woods and the hill is challenging but not impossible so it makes for a good training spot. The “Top of the Hill Trail” is only .07 miles long with an elevation climbing to 469 feet above sea level. Once up top you your efforts are rewarded with a nice view of the surrounding area including downtown Raleigh. I enjoy running up and down 5-6 times then doing a quick loop around the park.
Another View from the Top
The park is open from dawn to dusk. Signs currently posted at the entrance indicate exactly what time the gates will close at night. Right now the park is ope from 8am to 9pm. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a new place to run, walk, or just get some nice views from the hill. Park brochure with addition information.
Filed under Parks, Running
On Saturday my wife and I visited the E. Carroll Joyner Park in Wake Forest. This is the town’s newest park located at 701 Harris Road, approximately 1 mile off of Capital Boulevard. The park covers 117 acres and is being built out over several phases. Phase I of the park was completed in late July 2009 and opened to the public in August 2009.
The park features three miles of paved walking trails that wind around the open fields providing views of restored farm buildings, groves of pecan trees. Leashed dogs are allowed at the park as are bikes on the trails. While we were there we saw several people biking and walking even though it was kind of chilly. I imagine this will be a very popular destination once the weather warms up. There is also a 1,000-lawn-seat amphitheatre at the park that will serve as the new home of Wake Forest’s Six Sundays in spring concert series in 2010.
As I mentioned above, much of the park is made up of open meadows making it a great place to fly a kite or throw a frisbee around. There is also a unique looking “stacked” stone wall that bends around portions of the trail along the road near the park entrance and a garden area adjacent to the amphitheater. I am looking forward to going back to the park in the spring when the area greens up and the garden is in full bloom.
If you want to make an afternoon out of your trip to Wake Forest, when you leave the park you can take a short but picturesque drive through the Wake Forest historic district on N. Main Street as you head towards downtown Wake Forest to check out the farmer’s market , whish is open on Saturday mornings in the spring and summer from 8-12, or swing by the Wake Forest Coffee Company on White Street.
For more information about the E. Carroll Joyner Park check out the town of Wake Forest’s parks website. You can view more pictures from my trip to the park in my flickr photo album.
Right now the cold of winter is upon us, but Spring will be here before you know it and people will be headed back outdoors to the many parks and trails in the area. A few years ago I discuvered the Durant Nature Park in North Raleigh. I couldn’t believe this park is just 5 minutes from my house . It truly is an amazing escape from the surrounding suburban area! The park is 237-acres and has 2 small lakes and Five miles of trails to explore. There are different recreational and picnic facilities and open air lodges there and that can be reserved for events like a child’s birthday party.
While taking the easy 1.5 mile hike around the lake you will likely see deer in the forest and turtles sunning on logs in the lake. Some of the trails are wide have a gravel base while others are more narrow bumpy with lots of roots under your feet, but it is a great place to go for a walk in the woods. This park is very convenient to folks living in Bedford, Falls River, and Durant Trails. Below are a few quick pictures that I snapped while we were there. If you want to read more about the Duran Trails Nature Park and the events offered there check out these links Durant Nature Park | Features and newsobserver.com | Take A Child Outside