Neuse River Trail clocks in at 6.46 miles (I have the map to prove it)

For those of you who like to stand on formality, the official opening of the first stretch of the Neuse River Trail is Wednesday at 3 p.m. For those of you who like to stand on accuracy, the trail clocks in at 6.46 miles, not the 8 that I have previously reported.

When it’s completed at the end of next year, Neuse River Trail will run 28 miles, from the base of Falls dam in North Raleigh downstream to the Johnston County line. (There, it will join with 5 miles of about-to-be-completed trail that continues down river into Clayton.) This first 6.5-mile downpayment has, more or less, been open about a month, and people have been using the trail in pieces since the first mile was paved in June. I rode the trail Wednesday and was told by a regular who lives just off the trail that it is being well used.

“Saturday and Sunday afternoons from about 11 to 3 it’s packed,” she said.

As for the distance I’d been reporting, that was based on the original plan, which was to have the trail cross the Neuse at Horseshoe Farm and take in some of the Raleigh nature park. That plan has changed; the greenway will now cross the Neuse just upstream from U.S. 401. As I reported two weeks ago, construction is gearing up at several locations along the Neuse.

For now, I’ll leave you with map of the completed Neuse River Trail to help on your visit and a little slideshow to encourage you to do so.

And perhaps I’ll see you at tomorrow’s dedication.

View Neuse River Trail, Phase 1 in a larger map

8 thoughts on “Neuse River Trail clocks in at 6.46 miles (I have the map to prove it)”

  1. How interesting you just posted this as I rode the Trail for the first time yesterday and thought, I sure rode fast to cover 16 miles. At the trail head it is correct but at any rate this is a wonderful addition to our greenway system. Hate I have to return to work and miss the ribbon cutting Wednesday

    On the trail sign , Abbots Trail seemed to go Durant Nature Park but when I rode, I found no way to figure out the link from Falls River Ave. A enjoyable jaunt but would like to add more mileage. Suggestions?

    1. Hi Anne,
      Abbots Creek is a bit of a mystery (it doesn’t show up on the online Raleigh gway map). But it does look like it should connect. I’ll head over there next week (maybe this week, if I can squeeze it in) with my GPS and see if I can figure out the connection. In the meantime, if anyone is familiar with this passage, feel free to share.

    2. You can’t quite get to Durant Nature Park without leaving the greenway. Even on the greenway map it calls out the “Falls River Connector” which I guess is their way of saying you need to travel on the road for a bit!

      You have a few options to get to Durant Nature Park. Here is what I do: follow Abbotts Creek Trail to the point where it CROSSES Falls River Ave at the nice bridge with the brick sidewalk. Follow Falls River Ave down to Durant Road (you’ll have to go around one traffic circle–be sure to look at the road signs to know which exit to take–especially on the way back!) At Durant Road, go straight across the street and into Durant Road Middle School. Go to the right towards the main parking lot. Once past the lot and just before you get to the athletic fields, you can hop up onto the grass and find an entrance to Simms Branch Trail. This will lead you to the Nature Park if you take a right on Camp Durant Rd (it’s dirt to the left and paved to the right at the crossing). If you keep going on Simms Branch trail it actually dead ends–if you cross the brook at that point you’ll wind up on the “Secret Trail” @ Durant Nature Park, but technically bikes aren’t allowed on that trail, so just turn in on Camp Durant Rd and up the hill to the main entrance.

      If you refer to the greenway map, technically you should take a right onto Durant Road down to Club Trail Road to get to the start of Simms Branch rather than taking the short cut through the school parking lot, but to me it looks like the school parking lot was really the original start of Simms Branch because the mileage marker right when you get on the trail there says “START”!

  2. Hello, I need to know if you are walking/running on the paved trail what side of the trail are you supposed to be on .. The right side like you used driving to the trail or on the left. I say walk on the right if I am wrong please let me know . This may seem silly but there are some a.,&@?, that will run over you !love the trail!

    1. It’s like driving: walk/hike/run/bike/inline skate on the right side of the trail. And if you’re in a group, make sure you leave an outside lane for people coming up behind you and people passing (which I find to be a bigger issue).

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