Cary’s Black Creek Greenway nearly complete

In the 1990s,  the 2.3-mile Black Creek Greenway — running from Lake Crabtree south to West Dynasty Drive — was the crown jewel of Triangle greenways. Today, the still-popular greenway has expanded to nearly its entire, planned 7-plus-mile length. A crucial 1.4-mile connection earlier this month from Chapel Hill Road at NW Maynard Street to SW Maynard near High House Road means there’s only about a half mile of uncompleted trail, and that stretch is easily circumvented, for now, with sidewalks and neighborhood streets.

To take the trip today, park along Old Reedy Creek Road above Lake Crabtree and head south across the dam. The trail soon drops to follow its namesake creek through a wooded passage for two miles to West Dynasty. Go right along the road — sidewalk or bike lane, your choice— for 0.3 miles, then cross the road where the greenway resumes. After a mile, the trail crosses a busy, divided four-lane NW Maynard Road. This is a dangerous crossing: Proceed with care.

Spend some time at Godbold Park (tennis, anyone?), also home to a dog park and SK8-Cary Skate Park. The trail parallels NW Maynard for a half mile, ducks into a neighborhood for nearly a mile, then pops out onto NW Maynard Road. Go left on the extra-wide sidewalk for 0.2 miles. Eventually, more extra-wide sidewalk will take you another 0.2 miles to High House Road, which you will cross to the southwest to pick up the yet-to-be completed stretch of Black Creek Greenway. Until then: Stay on the sidewalk to High House, cross. Cross again, over what is now SW Maynard Road and continue a little over a third of a mile to Wood Hollow Drive. Go left on Wood Hollow for 0.2 miles, go left on Castalia Drive for another 0.2 miles and pick up the existing greenway, on your right. The remaining 0.7 miles takes you into Bond Park, past the boathouse (snacks!) and to a nifty roundabout kiosk where the Black Creek Greenway cedes to the White Oak Creek Greenway. Total distance: 7.1 miles.

Bond Park’s various amenities makes it a great destination for a greenway trek.

Joe Godfrey, a parks planner with Cary and the town’s chief greenway engineer, says the missing link from SW Maynard Road to Castilla Road should begin construction before long.

The Black Creek Greenway plays a larger role in the overall scheme of the Triangle’s greenway system. For a sense of that, check out this GGNC post from March.

Black Creek Greenway map


View Cary’s Black Creek Greenway in a larger map

4 thoughts on “Cary’s Black Creek Greenway nearly complete”

  1. Joe, have you ever had any explanation of why the Greenway takes that jog along West Dynasty, rather than continuing straight on up/downstream along Black Creek? I know the original trailhead was on Dynasty, at marker 6842. It just seems strange that when the connector from Godbold Park was built, it was not continued across the road. Right of way issues?

    1. Chris,
      I should have mentioned in the post that the stretch you mention is, in fact, the last link in the Black Creek Greenway. Cary does plan to continue the greenway along Black Creek the entire way, but that last little stretch is pricey (it’s steep in through there, requiring some above-and-beyond work) and thus it may be a while before it’s done. But yes, that is part of the plan.

  2. About the NW Maynard crossing you address with “This is a dangerous crossing: Proceed with care.” I agree. You really can’t say that the Black Creek greenway is complete while the crossing here doesn’t even have a striped crosswalk.

    At some point Cary was going to build a tunnel, (Great!) but then they decided it was too complicated, due to storm drains or something, or just too expensive, or something, and decided to build a signaled crosswalk instead (Which would still worlds better than the current crossing.)

    I’ve tried to e-mail Cary Parks & Rec about this, to find out what the current plan is, when it will be built, and what they recommend doing for now to cross over Maynard and continue down the trail. I never got a response. Maybe they know you and will respond if YOU ask them?

    1. I believe a signaled crossing was the plan the last time I talked with Cary, but let me double check and I’ll report back.

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