The Neuse River Greenway Trail is a pawsome scenic multi-use greenway and one of the top dog-friendly trails in Raleigh. The 27.5-mile trail is the longest paved greenway in the region and is part of the even more epic Capital Greenway system. It intersects with two other major trails, the Crabtree Creek Trail and the Walnut Creek Trail, which connect it with many other trails, parks, and city features to the west, including the North Carolina Museum of Art and Umstead State Park.
It would take over 15 hours to walk the entire trail, so most people traveling it on foot pick a specific section of the trail to do an out-and-back walk. A great place to start your journey is where the trail begins at the Falls Lake Dam, where you'll find free parking, human bathrooms, and other park amenities. You'll need to bring your own waste bags and water.
You'll find the next interesting trail feature about six miles from the Falls Lake Dam trailhead. Two miles of the Neuse River Trail pass through the Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve, a gorgeous wildlife sanctuary. As with many sections of the trail, the two miles of the Neuse River Greenway that traverse the farm preserve include scenic elevated boardwalk sections. You can park for free in the preserve's main parking area, where you'll also find human bathroom facilities.
South of the Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve at Louisburg Road, you'll pass over one of the trail's majestic suspension bridges. Steel towers rise and hold aloft an elevated wooden footpath that spans several hundred feet. The trail's other major suspension bridge is near the Abington Lane parking lot at the trail's halfway point. The Milburnie Dam makes for another pleasant scene near this parking area and access point.
The trail crosses the Neuse River seven times over other scenic bridges and boardwalks. As you and your pup enjoy your pleasant walk through wetlands and forests, you're likely to spot local wildlife like deer and waterfowl. The trail is also a great place to see wildflowers bloom. Vast fields of crimson clover (trifolium incarnatum) along the trail's far southern segment make for a remarkable sight in May and June. The trail ends at the Wake County Line, just past Mial Plantation Road.
If you and your dog need a dose of nature's beauty, make sure to head to the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh.