North Carolina Museum of Art Blue Loop

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Trail Distance: 1 mile
Time Estimate: 45 min +
Elevation Gain: 180 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Parking: Free
Route Type: Loop
Restroom: Yes
Description

The Blue Loop is the centerpiece of the North Carolina Museum of Art Park's trail system. This one-mile loop trail starts just outside of the museum parking lot on Blue Ridge Road and winds through open field and forest past some of the museum's most striking outdoor art pieces. This unique trail is a puptastic find for people who love both dogs and art—it's like being able to take your dog with you to an outdoor art museum!

You'll see your first sculpture as you leave the parking lot. Mark di Suvero's 30-foot-tall red steel scupture, "Ulalu," sits between parking lots P2 and P3. On the other side of the elliptical lawn at the park's entrance, you'll spot another monumental work by di Suvero, "No Fuss." Continuing clockwise on the trail, you'll pass "Collapse" by South African artist Ledelle Moe, which looks like the legs of a giant that's fallen into a deep slumber. Soon afterward, you'll encounter one of the park's most iconic works, Thomas Sayre's "Gyre Rings."

As you approach the eastern end of the loop, you'll see "Lowe's Pavilion," a work of sculptural architecture that serves as an outdoor classroom for the museum on warm days. The metal structure was designed to be semi-transparent like a dragonfly's wing. Depending on the time of day, it sometimes seems to disappear into the land and sky around it.

Near the pavilion, you'll encounter a crossroads where you can head further into the field via the Yellow Trail. If you continue on the Blue Loop, you'll pass "Crossroads/Trickster I" by Martha Jackson-Jarvis, a unique tube of brick, glass, and carnelian that sits on its end like an upturned cigar. As you follow the Blue Loop from trail to forest, you can take a short detour on a loop trail to see works located deeper in the woods, including Chris Drury's, "Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky." Inside this sod-roofed stone hut, you'll see an image of the sky projected onto the floor through a small aperture in the ceiling.

If you want to add some more exercise to your art walk, note that the Blue Loop intersects with the Reedy Creek Trail, a five-mile trail that connects the museum to Umstead State Park and other local sites.

If you want to treat your pup to some fresh air and exercise while treating yourself to a day at the museum, don't hesitate to visit the Blue Loop Trail at the North Carolina Museum of Art!

Trail Features
Forest, Grassland, Urban
Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
Make sure to consult a trail map and plan your route if you want to extend your walk along any of the trails that intersect with the Blue Loop.
Address
1900 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
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
1900 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC 27607
Hours
Mon Sunrise - Sunset
Tue Sunrise - Sunset
Wed Sunrise - Sunset
Thu Sunrise - Sunset
Fri Sunrise - Sunset
Sat Sunrise - Sunset
Sun Sunrise - Sunset