Tag Archives: Lake Johnson

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

It’s gonna be one summery weekend, with temperatures in the 90s throughout most of our adventuring region. Our recommendations for this weekend are with the heat in mind.

Stream Safari, Saturday, 2 p.m., Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap. Water — clear, cool water — is a key component of this event, in which water bugs, water quality and staying cool are the focus. If you’re one of those folks who’ve always meant to visit Stone Mountain (but haven’t), here’s a good opportunity. And since Stone Mountain is likely a drive for many of you, we suggest also paying a visit to the park’s namesake, a 600-foot granite dome, via the 4.5-mile Stone Mountain Loop Trail (which also visits a 200-foot waterfall).   Learn more about the hike here, the park here. read more

90 Second Escape: Southern Snowy Trails

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.

Today’s 90-Second Escape: Southern Snowy Trail’s

For a lot of us, the weather outside is never too frightful to discourage a delightful romp. Such was the case with last week’s snow storm, which wreaked havoc during its debut, but laid the groundwork for several days of rare snowy adventure in the Piedmont of North Carolina.

Today’s 90 Second Escape begins with a trail run at Lake Johnson during the storm’s opening moments on Wednesday, to its last hurrah on Sunday, on a GetHiking! Triangle hike at Umstead State Park, before temperatures in the 60s erase the last traces of white.

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90 Second Escape: Late Spring at Lake Johnson

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.

Today’s 90-Second Escape: Late Spring at Lake Johnson

If you live in North Carolina, you likely experienced one of the most memorable Memorial Days, weatherwise, you can recall. Temperatures in the 70s, low humidity, cloudless skies. For all three days. Better weather you won’t find in these parts outside of mid-fall. Hopefully, you were able to take advantage.

Today, back-to-work day for many of us, was a little more seasonal. High in the mid-80s, higher humidity. Sunny skies, but with a late afternoon threat of rain. Summer weather has begun. If you’d forgotten what that’s like, we spent a few minutes with a video camera at Raleigh’s Lake Johnson. The good news? It may not be Memorial Day weekend weather, but not too bad all the same.

Enjoy this preview to summer.

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Raleigh’s Neuse River Trail: Another 3.5 miles by August, 16.1 miles by November

Come next summer, you should be able to start here, below Falls Lake dam on the Neuse River Trail ...

Three and a half miles of the Neuse River Trail is expected to open in August, another 8.7 miles in October and 7.0 more miles in November; coupled with the 6.5 miles opened last fall, the 28-mile greenway running along its namesake river from Falls Lake south to the Wake County line will be more than 90 percent done, at 26 miles. The entire trail, according to Raleigh greenway planner Vic Lebsock, should be done by mid-July 2013.

“We’re under construction, everything appears on target,” Lebsock said last week. “We don’t expect there will be delays of more than 30 days on any of [the sections].”

The Neuse River Trail is part of $35 million in Raleigh greenway construction currently underway that will add about 42 miles of pavement within two years.

The first 6.5-mile stretch of the Neuse River Trail, from the Falls Lake dam south to the WRAL Soccer Complex, opened last fall. When completed, it will link with 5 miles of greenway in Johnston County extending into Clayton. The resulting 33-mile greenway will be the longest in the state.

In August, 3.5 miles of Neuse River greenway will open between Anderson Point Park and Skycrest Drive to the north. (This stretch has existed since the 1990s as a gravel path.) In November, Lebsock says the 7.0-mile stretch from Skycrest north to U.S. 401 will open. Unfortunately, there’s a 1.2-mile gap between the north end of this trail and the first 6.5 miles of trail that opened in the fall, and that is the last stretch expected to open, next July.

Also expected to open in October is the 5.7-mile stretch from Auburn Knightdale Road south to the Wake County Line. That stretch will connected with the Johnston County greenway, creating a nearly 11-mile run into Clayton. North from Auburn Knightdale Road, the connection to Anderson Point will be made in two phases: a 3.0-mile run up to Poole Road that will open in October and the remaining 1.2 miles north from Poole Road, expected to open in February 2013. At that point, there will be 25.5 miles of continuous greenway uninterrupted by street crossings, from U.S. 401 south to Clayton.

What makes the eventual 33-mile run from Falls dam to Clayton all the more alluring is the fact there will be no street crossings to contend with. A series of bridges over the Neuse and smaller tributaries and passages under roads crossing the river will make for the longest unimpeded multi-use paved trail in the state.

The Neuse River Trail becomes even more significant as connections are made at Crabtree Creek and Walnut Creek.

  • Walnut Creek: A stretch of connecting trail between existing greenway at Worthdale Park and New Hope Road to the east is expected to be begin construction within a month, the stretch from New Hope to the Neuse by mid-summer. The entire stretch should be done within a year, creating a 14-mile run along Walnut Creek from Lake Johnson to the Neuse River (pending completion, too, of connecting greenway through N.C. State’s Centennial Campus).
  • Crabtree Creek: Currently, the Crabtree Creek Trail follows its namesake creek from just shy of Ebenezer Church Road downstream to Milburnie Road, a distance of 11 miles. The remaining 4.6 miles from Milburnie to the Neuse River Trail should go out to bid this fall, with completion targeted for late 2013 or early 2014. That connection, plus the nearing completion of the House Creek Greenway, would make it possible to take greenway from the Neuse Trail on the east side of Raleigh through Umstead State Park, into Cary and nearly to the American Tobacco Trail. Construction on the last remaining link of the ATT — a pedestrian bridge over I-40 and a little more than a mile of connecting greenway — is set to begin this summer after prolonged delays. When completed, the 22-mile ATT will link western Wake County with downtown Durham.

Unrelated to the Neuse River Trail and its east/west connectors, the 5.67-mile Honeycutt Trail is scheduled to go to bid in May, begin construction mid-summer. That trail will link existing greenway heading north from the Crabtree Creek Trail and around Shelley Lake north to the Mountains-to-Sea trail along the south shore of Falls Lake.

The Growing Greenway
View Raleigh Greenways in a larger map

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A week’s worth of Triangle greenways

Thursday, April 12: House Creek Greenway to Open June 25 (read: Memorial Day).

Monday, April 16:

90 Second Escape: The Triangle’s Growing Greenway System. read more

90 Second Escape: The Triangle’s Growing Greenway System

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.

Today’s 90-Second Escape: The Triangle’s Growing Greenways.

Today, we kick off a week of greenway coverage with a 90-Second Escape, this time in slideshow form. Today’s escape focuses on the $35 million in greenway construction projects working in Raleigh, and how those projects will drastically alter the face of Raleigh’s — and the Triangle’s — greenway network.

Also this week:

Tuesday: A construction update on Raleigh’s Neuse River Trail and other major greenway projects.

Wednesday: After the aforementioned projects are completed and the core of Raleigh’s greenway system is in place, then what? A conversation with Raleigh greenway planner Vic Lebsock.

Thursday: Weekend plans — with a focus on greenways.

Friday: The big picture: A look at how the Triangle’s greenway network will look in less than two years.

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