Lake Johnson Loop Trail

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Trail Distance: 4.2 miles
Time Estimate: 1 hr 40 min
Elevation Gain: 216 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Easy
Parking: Free
Route Type: Loop
Restroom: Yes
Description
The pawesome Lake Johnson Loop Trail, inside pup-friendly Lake Johnson Park in Raleigh, is divided into two parts, East and West, each with its own characteristics and level of use. The trailhead for both loops is at the same place at the Avent Ferry Road parking area near the boat house. Turn right and you'll embark on the West Loop, which is rugged and unpaved with several steep inclines and rocky embankments. Turn left and you'll be on the East Loop, with its paved path and gentler terrain. Parking at the trailhead can be challenging, but with five parking areas throughout the park to choose from, there's surely a spot with your (or your pooch's) name on it!

Whichever route you take first, you'll note the contrasting feel when you pass from one to the other. If you choose not to do the whole lake, you can cross on a sturdy wooden footbridge and head back to the trailhead. Or, you can cross the lake at the end of one loop and form a figure-eight with the other. Furtastic! 

The East Loop can be crowded with people, dogs and strollers, especially on nice weekends, and can feel more like a sidewalk stroll than a hike. The West Loop, however, is hardly ever crowded and the silence and solitude are breathtaking. Benches dot both routes for resting or sharing a snack with your furry bestie. Four picnic shelters line the shore as well. Lake overlooks pop up here and there, most at the end of short peninsulas into small bays and coves with paths leading to them. The headwater creek at the north end of the park produces a pawsome waterfall when it rains, furbulous for a splash for Fido! Bring water to share and clean up bags to ensure a pawrific adventure.

A pawrfect oasis in the city, Johnson Lake and its varying outdoor experiences are what bring locals back again and again to walk its trails! 

Trail Features
Muddy, Rocky, Steep Inclines, Forest, Lake, Easy Incline, Diverse Landscape, Wetland, Urban
Waterfall, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
The marshy wetlands near the north end of the western loop can get very muddy after a rain. Waterproof boots are a must, and perhaps a towel to clean Fido's paws once you've passed this area. The eastern loop is paved and relatively easy, but the west loop is more rugged, with steep hills and a dirt path. West Loop can be avoided by crossing the lake at the wooden pedestrian bridge at Avent Ferry Road.
Address
4601 Avent Ferry Road
Raleigh, NC 27606
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset
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Address
4601 Avent Ferry Road
Raleigh, NC 27606
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset