Exploring the outdoors

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Fall is the perfect time to get outdoors — the leaves are changing color, it’s not too hot outside, and you can still catch the last bit of greenery before the temperatures dip during winter. Scattered throughout Raleigh are a wide range of options for places to go hiking, biking, or even get out on the water.

The City of Raleigh has been continually expanding and improving the Capital Area Greenway system since its inception in 1974. Currently containing over 112 miles of Raleigh’s green spaces and consisting of 28 different trails, Raleigh’s greenway system connects various different parks and lakes. In 2012, a smartphone app was released so that users could more easily discover different parts of the system and navigate the trails effectively.

Two of the parks featured through the greenway system are Lake Johnson and the North Carolina Museum of Art’s park. Lake Johnson provides hiking and biking trails and a variety of boat and paddleboard rentals so that you can enjoy the lake. Fishing is also available. The park at NCMA has its own loop with various art installations alongside it, but it also connects to the greenway trails on either end so that people can take advantage of a longer trail and explore more of the greenery.

William B. Umstead State Park is another fantastic location to explore if you want to get outside. Umstead is also connected to the Greenway System and has three manmade lakes, picnic shelters, and both primitive and cabin campsites available. The beautiful views and variety of activities available will keep you entertained for hours.

Finally, if you haven’t already made a trip to Lake Raleigh on NC State’s Centennial Campus, it’s time to. A retreat from the bustle of the rest of downtown, Lake Raleigh features docks to enjoy the water, a boat ramp for non-motorized boats, a walking trail, and a three-mile exercise course. If you’re looking for a place to get outside and be active, Raleigh has no shortage of options for you to choose from.

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