35+ Ways to Escape to the Outdoors in the Triangle
Photo by discoverduke

35+ Ways to Escape to the Outdoors in the Triangle

By Tess Howard
Friday, Apr 19 2019

The warm weather is here and we don't know about you, but we have been itching to get outside and romp around the great outdoors. Explore winding trails, check out the awe-inspiring Carolina Tiger Rescue, gaze at  beautiful gardens, or enjoy all the other bits of Mother Nature that the Triangle has to offer.

(P.S. Did we miss a great outdoor experience? Email your suggestions to editor@offlinemedia.net!)

Raleigh

Bike the Greenway at NC Art Museum at North Carolina Museum of Art
Photo by @haleypatton_

Bike the Greenway at NC Art Museum

There is nothing more relaxing than a bike ride with your best bud on a sunny day. Good thing Raleigh has an extensive Greenway that has developed into a 100-mile, 3700-acre system and continues to grow!

Bike the Greenway at NC Art Museum
-   .  North Carolina Museum of Art   .  Raleigh
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Stop & Smell the Rose Garden at Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden
Photo by @bowershours

Stop & Smell the Rose Garden

Stop and smell the roses at the Raleigh Rose Garden. It's the perfect setting for a photo op (or wedding), but it's even better for a stroll through beautiful blooms.

Stop & Smell the Rose Garden
Free   .  Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden   .  Raleigh
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Go For A Run On The Sycamore Trail at Sycamore Parking
Photo by @@kaylawinsatt

Go For A Run On The Sycamore Trail

The Sycamore Trail is a 7.6 mile trail in the heart of William B. Umstead State Park.

Go For A Run On The Sycamore Trail
-   .  Sycamore Parking   .  Raleigh
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Explore Lake Johnson Park at Lake Johnson Park
Photo by @carolinaskies5

Catch a Gorgeous Sunset at Lake Johnson Park

Treat yourself to a relaxing evening with a scenic run or walk around the perimeter of Lake Johnson.

Explore Lake Johnson Park
-   .  Lake Johnson Park   .  Raleigh
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Explore Raleigh's Hidden Azalea Gardens at WRAL Azalea Gardens

Explore Raleigh's Hidden Azalea Gardens

Bask in the sun at the WRAL Azalea Gardens, which are perfect for a spring bike ride, picnic, or outdoor date. You're sure to find peace of mind among the beautiful blooming azaleas.

Explore Raleigh's Hidden Azalea Gardens
Free   .  WRAL Azalea Gardens   .  Raleigh
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Spend an Afternoon at Lake Wheeler at Lake Wheeler

Spend an Afternoon at Lake Wheeler

Relax in the sun or be adventurous at Raleigh's eight-hundred-acre lake park. Lake Wheeler is the perfect spot for an afternoon outdoors.

Spend an Afternoon at Lake Wheeler
-   .  Lake Wheeler   .  Raleigh
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See the City from Dorothea Dix  at Flowers Field at Dorothea Dix Park
Photo by @anthony_kago

See the City from Dorothea Dix

Dorothea Dix Park is a natural gem in downtown Raleigh. You'll come back again and again to keep enjoying the way this park's green beauty is contrasted against the city's skyline!

See the City from Dorothea Dix
Free   .  Flowers Field at Dorothea Dix Park   .  Raleigh
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Escape into Nature at the JC Raulston Arboretum at JC Raulston Arboretum
Photo by @maxilillian

Escape into Nature at the JC Raulston Arboretum

Visit one of NC State University's treasures, the JC Raulston Arboretum. Stroll through the beautiful gardens and learn about plants from all over the world.

Escape into Nature at the JC Raulston Arboretum
Free   .  JC Raulston Arboretum   .  Raleigh
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Visit the Prairie Ridge Ecostation at Prairie Ridge Ecostation
Photo by @kdmoreno

Visit the Prairie Ridge Ecostation

Who knew that you could find prairie land in Raleigh? Visit the Prairie Ridge Ecostation for a new outdoor experience.

Visit the Prairie Ridge Ecostation
Free   .  Prairie Ridge Ecostation   .  Raleigh
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Run Around Lake Lynn at Lake Lynn
Photo by @vitter807

Take Your Best Friend for a Jog Around Lake Lynn

A short and sweet trail which welcomes runners, walkers, and families who enjoy taking in views of water and wildlife.

Run Around Lake Lynn
-   .  Lake Lynn   .  Raleigh
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Get Outdoors and Explore the Neuse River Trail at Neuse River Trail
Photo by @Chana Lynn via Offline

Get Outdoors and Explore the Neuse River Trail

The Neuse River Trail is a 27.5 mile adventure course that will never leave you bored!

Get Outdoors and Explore the Neuse River Trail
Free   .  Neuse River Trail   .  Raleigh
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Wander the Wilderness at William B. Umstead State Park at William B. Umstead State Park
Photo by @gain3r

Wander the Wilderness at William B. Umstead State Park

Tucked away between the RDU airport and the town of Cary lays a beautiful little park where you can spend hours getting lost in nature. And by little, we mean over five-thousand and a half acres.

Wander the Wilderness at William B. Umstead State Park
Free   .  William B. Umstead State Park   .  Raleigh
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Find Some Peace at Pullen Park at Pullen Park
Photo by @mdcjr123

Find Some Peace at Pullen Park

A stroll through Pullen Park will ease any woes a stressful week brings on. Bring a blanket and a spread for a picnic, or stay active and explore every nook and cranny.

Find Some Peace at Pullen Park
Free   .  Pullen Park   .  Raleigh
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Explore the Beauty of Jordan Lake at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
Photo by @terry_shore_photographer_usa

Explore the Beauty of Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake is the perfect day trip. Just minutes outside of the main Triangle area, this natural space provides stunning views and activities for all, from camping to swimming to fishing and more.

Explore the Beauty of Jordan Lake
Free   .  Jordan Lake State Recreation Area   .  Apex
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Run Around Shelley Lake at Shelley Lake
Photo by @@ericajaneboles

Jog Around Shelley Lake

Shelley Lake Park consists of a 53 acre lake and park land surrounding the lake with 2 miles of paved, scenic greenway trails.

Run Around Shelley Lake
-   .  Shelley Lake   .  Raleigh
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Hike Raleigh History at Historic Yates Mill at Historic Yates Mill County Park
Photo by @rachelgergely

Hike Raleigh History at Historic Yates Mill

This beautifully preserved historic mill makes the perfect backdrop for leisurely walks, photo ops and picnics.

Hike Raleigh History at Historic Yates Mill
Free   .  Historic Yates Mill County Park   .  Raleigh
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Wander History & Nature at E. Carroll Joyner Park at E Carroll Joyner Park
Photo by @rosetrailimages

Wander History & Nature at E. Carroll Joyner Park

Located just a mile off of Capital Blvd., this park is home to unexpected features like a pecan grove and historic gardens. Whether you're wandering or running, you'll take in scenic views.

Wander History & Nature at E. Carroll Joyner Park
Free   .  E Carroll Joyner Park   .  Wake Forest
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Run Through Durant Nature Preserve at Durant Nature Preserve

Take a Stroll Through Durant Nature Preserve

This park has 5 miles of trails to run through 237 acres of nature and wildlife.

Run Through Durant Nature Preserve
Free   .  Durant Nature Preserve   .  Raleigh
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Durham

Explore the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Photo by @estlinhaiss

Explore the Sarah P. Duke Gardens +331 fire icon

Often spoken of as "the crown jewel of Duke University," Duke Gardens are pure, natural bliss. Come take a stroll, revel in its beauty and appreciate gorgeous grounds.

Explore the Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Free   .  Sarah P. Duke Gardens   .  Durham
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Tour Duke Lemur Center & Ponder Animal Antiquities at Duke Lemur Center
Photo by @durhamnc

Tour Duke Lemur Center & Ponder Animal Antiquities

Be amazed by over 10 different species of lemurs. Come out with your friends and be sure to bring a camera on your private tour. Don't forget you have to call ahead to reserve your spot!

Tour Duke Lemur Center & Ponder Animal Antiquities
$12   .  Duke Lemur Center   .  Durham
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Explore the Magic Wings Butterfly House at Museum of Life and Science
Photo by @museumoflifeandscience

Explore the Magic Wings Butterfly House

Walk through a rainforest as you're surrounded by 1000 tropical butterflies. You'll experience the beauty of nature in one of the largest butterfly houses in the world.

Explore the Magic Wings Butterfly House
$15+   .  Museum of Life and Science   .  Durham
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Local Escape: Bask in the Glory of the Eno at Eno River State Park
Photo by @kristenwhite74

Bask in the Glory of the Eno +351 fire icon

Minutes from Durham and Chapel Hill, the Eno River State Park offers secluded wilderness trails with the serenity and sounds of the river. Take a break from civilization and march into the wild.

Local Escape: Bask in the Glory of the Eno
Free   .  Eno River State Park   .  Durham
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7,000 Acres of Beauty: The Duke Forest at Duke Forest
Photo by @mtbader

Wander Around 7,000 Acres of Beauty at The Duke Forest

Clocking in at nearly twice the size of the Eno River State Park, the Duke Forest is an amazing local gem that usually overshadowed by the more recognized state parks but has plenty to offer.

7,000 Acres of Beauty: The Duke Forest
Free   .  Duke Forest   .  Durham
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Run the Al Buehler Trail at Al Buehler Trail
Photo by @Triangle Explorer

Run the Al Buehler Trail

The Al Buehler Trail is the perfect place to escape from the chaos of work—one loop on the 2.91 mile wooded trail will put a smile on even the most stressed out face.

Run the Al Buehler Trail
Free   .  Al Buehler Trail   .  Durham
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See What the Buzz Is All About at American Tobacco Campus Offices
Photo by @AmericanTobaccoHistoricDistrict.com

See What the Buzz Is All About at the American Tobacco Campus

Love them or fear them, bees are some very important bzzzness for everyone. Check out this beehive right in the middle of American Tobacco Campus.

See What the Buzz Is All About
Free   .  American Tobacco Campus Offices   .  Durham
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Tour Carolina Tiger Rescue at Carolina Tiger Rescue
Photo by @kittiesx2x2

Tour Carolina Tiger Rescue

This tour allows you to get so close to a tiger that you'll have to hold yourself back from trying to pet it.

Tour Carolina Tiger Rescue
$18+   .  Carolina Tiger Rescue   .  Pittsboro
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Bike or Run the American Tobacco Trail at American Tobacco Trail
Photo by @bomblawbster

Bike or Run the American Tobacco Trail

This extraordinary 22-mile course will take you on a tour of NC nature across forests, highways and counties while you give yourself the work out of a lifetime.

Bike or Run the American Tobacco Trail
Free   .  American Tobacco Trail   .  Durham
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Take Your Pooch to the Dog Park at Durham Parks and Recreation
Photo by @poodle.louie

Take Your Pooch to the Dog Park

Go outside with your furry best friend in tow! Durham offers great outdoor spaces for your dog to safely run wild and socialize with other pups.

Take Your Pooch to the Dog Park
$17+   .  Durham Parks and Recreation   .  Durham
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Explore West Point on the Eno at West Point on the Eno
Photo by @ Durham Parks & Recreation

Explore West Point on the Eno

West Point on the Eno is a smaller park located inside the gorgeous Eno natural area. Inside you'll find lush lawns, access to the river, a dam and an old timey mill!

Explore West Point on the Eno
Free   .  West Point on the Eno   .  Durham
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Herndon Hills Farm at Herndon Hills Farm
Photo by @calmcradlephoto

Enjoy an Outdoor Adventure at Herndon Hills Farm

Head over to Herndon Hills Farm for a day of outdoor adventure, picking blueberries and exploring their fields.

Herndon Hills Farm
Free   .  Herndon Hills Farm   .  Durham
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Chapel Hill & Beyond

Absorb the Beauty of NC Botanical Garden at North Carolina Botanical Garden
Photo by @melbelle0401

Absorb the Beauty of NC Botanical Garden

Whether you're looking to hike the nature trails or discover what's in bloom, The North Carolina Botanical Garden will delight.

Absorb the Beauty of NC Botanical Garden
Free   .  North Carolina Botanical Garden   .  Chapel Hill
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Get In Touch With Nature at Honeysuckle Tea House at The Honeysuckle Tea House
Photo by @LISAELLISANDCOMPANY

Get In Touch With Nature at Honeysuckle Tea House

A local paradise for naturalists, Honeysuckle Tea House invites you to rediscover all the wonderful things nature can do for your body and mind.

Get In Touch With Nature at Honeysuckle Tea House
$   .  The Honeysuckle Tea House   .  Chapel Hill
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Stroll Through Coker Arboretum  at Coker Arboretum
Photo by @dawnacrawford

Stroll Through Coker Arboretum

Stop and smell the flowers, or check out many of the other botanical discoveries in the Coker Arboretum.

Stroll Through Coker Arboretum
Free   .  Coker Arboretum   .  Chapel Hill
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Catch a View That'll Take Your Breath Away at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
Photo by @sarah_woody

Catch a View That'll Take Your Breath Away at the Mt. Occoneechee Trails

High points, scenic views, and trails—oh my! Mt. Occoneechee has them all, plus rare and significant species in the many supported habitats. Nature awaits!

Catch a View That'll Take Your Breath Away
Free   .  Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area   .  Hillsborough
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Build Your Own Bike at The ReCYCLEry at The ReCYCLEry NC
Photo by @bonluxcandles

Build Your Own Bike at The ReCYCLEry

Places like The ReCYCLEry represent everything good in the world: teaching invaluable skills in a fun, rewarding environment at no cost to the pupil. Come learn the art of bicycle building and repair!

Build Your Own Bike at The ReCYCLEry
Free   .  The ReCYCLEry NC   .  Carrboro
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Stroll Down Riverwalk in Hillsborough at Gold Park
Photo by @clkallday

Stroll Down Riverwalk in Hillsborough

As one of the only urban parts of the Mountains to Sea trail, Riverwalk is pretty cool. Go for a jog, ride your bike, or just enjoy a nature walk on the greenway.

Stroll Down Riverwalk in Hillsborough
Free   .  Gold Park   .  Hillsborough
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Wind Down Bolin Creek Trail at Chapel Hill Community Center
Photo by @awhosmon

Wind Down Bolin Creek Trail

Bolin Creek Trail isn't far removed from the center of Chapel Hill, but it provides a nice escape from the bustle of campus. Wind through the woods on the 1.5 mile paved trail.

Wind Down Bolin Creek Trail
Free   .  Chapel Hill Community Center   .  Chapel Hill
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Goat Cuddles at 1870 Farm
Photo by @1870farm

Get all the Goat Cuddles at 1870 Farm

Finally, there is an opportunity for pure, unbridled goat cuddles. Warm up with the cutest cuddlers ever?

Weekly
Goat Cuddles
$10   .  1870 Farm   .  Chapel Hill
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Content Writer at Offline Media, lover of dogs, outdoors, and food trucks.
35+ Ways to Escape to the Outdoors in the Triangle
35+ Ways to Escape to the Outdoors in the Triangle