Tag Archives: Wake County

Get Outside & Visit The E. Carroll Joyner Park in Wake Forest


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.


Filed under Parks

Wake Forest Herb Festival Returns – April 16-25, 2010


The Annual Herb Festival returns to Festival Park on White Street in downtown Wake Forest for ten days in April running from April 16-through the 25th.  This is perfect timing considering in this area the last frost date is typically April 15th. 

 The festival features low maintenance, organically grown herb plants and organic vegetables along with live entertainment and educational seminars. Last year they even had a beer stand from LoneRider Beer Co. selling refreshments. While this is a small event by “festival” standards, the Herb Fest is recognized as the largest herb and perennial festival East of the Mississippi.  Parking is ample and relatively easy along White Street and the offer red rider wagons and other carts to load up your plants (or tote your children around in). 

Many of the herb plants I purchased last year ranged in price from $3-$4. The Festival does have a website, but it appears to be under construction at this point, but I will plan on posting more information in April about the scheduled musical acts and confirm whether or not you can expect another local brewery to attend the festival. 

To see pictures from last year’s festival click here.

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Filed under Events, Garden

LoneRider Brewing Company – Beer So Good It Should Be Outlawed!

Lone Rider 1  

Ok, I know I have had a lot of posts about beer lately and this blog really isn’t all about beer, but I finally got over to the LoneRider Brewing Co. with a friend of mine this past Saturday and want to share my thoughts.  I have no idea why it has taken me this long to check out such a cool place.  Afterall, it did open up well over a year ago right here in Raleigh and  is not all that far from where I live. The Brewery itself is situated in a warehouse located just off of Westgate Boulevard near where I-540 connects with Glenwood Avenue in the vicinity of Brier Creek. 

The story behind LoneRider is inspiring. The three owners are friends who connected through their shared interest in home brewing. Each works an 8-5  job yet they somehow found the time to pursue their dream of opening and running a great local brewery.  I met one of the owners, Steve, on my visit and enjoyed learning about the brewery’s history. Steve and the other staff at LoneRider were very friendly and gracious in answering my various newbie beer questions. I left there knowing a whole lot more about how good beer is made than before I had entered their “Hideout”.  


LoneRider holds brewery tours on alternating Fridays and Saturdays and also have a tasting room that is open Thursday-Saturday (check their website for tour info and tasting room hours). I haven’t been on a tour yet, but I hear they can draw quite crowd.  The tasting room is fantastic in its simplicity. It is comprised of an inviting little bar with taps for all of their beers and in what appears to be the loading bay for the brewery complete with a loading dock door opening to the parking lot giving the tasting bar a “drop in and say hello” feel.

While my friend and I sat at the bar drinking our pints I was intrigued by the number of people who dropped by to get their “growlers” filled up. One guy even drove up in his Harley and pulled two empty growlers out of the saddle bags on his bike. In addtion to the regualr draught beers, they also offer their beer on a “Nitro Tap” meaning the beer is served using compressed nitrogen instead of CO2 . Apparently this gives the beer a different texture and tast. I didn’t try that on this visit but may experiment with it on a future visit.  


When we stopped by they had their Shotgun Betty (hefeweizen), Peacemaker (pale ale), and Deadeye Jack (porter) on tap. They also have a tap for Sweet Josie Brown, their brown ale, but they were out of it on my visit but should have more within the next day or two.  I am very new to the beer tasting scene and don’t pretend to have a sophistacted palate so take my comment on the beers with that in mind! That being said, I found the Shotgun Betty to be a very tasty wheat beer. It had that nice orange cloudy look of a hefeweizen but a unique somewhat sweet flavor with a hint of banana and citrus. My friend tried their Porter which had the classic rich dark look and a taste dominated by coffee and roasted chocolate. 

My friend and I both had a couple of pints of the Peacemaker Pale Ale and agreed it was extremely good. As I sit here writing this, I can’t quite find the words to describe it. It was very different from anything I’ve ever had before. I guess I will just have to go back and try it again to develop an adequate review! Let’s just say it was one of the best beers I have had in a while! 


In the end, off the three beers I tried, my favorite is the Peacemaker pale ale with Shotgun Betty coming in as a close second. I’m sure my appreciation of the Dead Eye Jack will grow as my beer palate matures.  It certainly seemed popular with the other people there that day! In addition to getting a pint at the bar for a very reasonable $3 or filling up a growler ($13 for a new one, $9 for a refill) they now sell six-packs if Shotgun Betty and Deadeye Jack. Word has it that in addition to picking up a six pack at the brewery, you should now be able to find six-packs in the local Harris Teeters and Whole Foods. I know they are already carrying it at Taylor’s BP in North Raleigh.

You can also find LoneRider Beers on tap at various bars and restaurants around the Triangle (around 80 so far) including places like The Pit, The Flying Saucer, and Brixx Pizza.  As I mentioned in my previous post about the Rialto, the Theater now offers Shotgun Betty as one of the beers you can enjoy while catching a movie.  


LoneRider also holds  a cool annual event called “Brew it Forward” where local home brewers compete to have their beer selected to be brewed at Lone Rider for a limited time. I think last year’s winner was a Pilsner that is due to be ready later next month.  There were around 85 homebrews submitted for consideration in 2009 so I’m sure the 2010 competition will be fierce.  This year’s Brew it Forward event is scheduled for March 27th. For more info about the event and instrcutions on how to submit a beer to be juedged  check out the event website.  

From top to bottom LoneRider is a great addition to Raleigh and the local beer scene.  Not only do they make some great beers there, but their tasting room is a unique and fun place to visit and I look forward to stopping by there as often as I can. For more information about the guys behind LoneRider and the inspiration behind starting their own brewery check out this article from Know Your Brewer.  



Filed under Local Beers and Breweries

Picture of the Week – Raleigh Rickshaw

Raleigh Rickshaw 1

This week’s picture of the week is an action shot of some people enjoying a rickshaw ride up Wilmington street in downtown Raleigh.   Now that the Triangle is starting to thaw out, you may be looking for opportunities to enjoy the warmer weather and rickshaw rides are a great way to take advantage of the warmer temps while getting whisked around to different points of interest downtown .  The operators are friendly and knowledgeable about the city so they can give you tips on the latest places to check out.

The Raleigh Rickshaw Co.   provides speacial “Date Night” packages as well as  special tours of historic downtown neighborhoods for a fixed rate (check out their website for details and rates).  Each rickshaw can support up to two adults and one child and with the exception of the package deals  the rickshaw operators work for tips.


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Picture of the Week – Beers on tap at Shucker’s Oyster Bar & Grill in Wake Forest

Beers on Tap at Shucker's

This week’s “picture of the week” is a quick shot of the various beers on tap at one of my favorite places, Shucker’s Oyster Bar & Grill in Wake Forest.  I hope to do a full blog post about Shucker’s in the future, but in the meantime here is a quick shot of their draught beer offerings I took while enjoying a beverage at their bar this week.

As you can see they offer everything from Bud Light, Land Shark Lager, Blue Moon, and Fat Tire to Big Boss Bad Penny Ale (which is brewed right here in Raleigh) and Red Oak which is made out towards Greensboro.

As always, please feel free to submit a photo for consideration for future “pictures of the week” by emailing me at TriangleExplorer@gmail.com.


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