The Walnut Creek Trail is a 15-mile-long multi-use trail that is part of Raleigh's Capital Area Greenway trail system. You can start this point-to-point trail at many different access points, but one of the best is where it begins in Lake Johnson Park where ample free parking, bathrooms, and many other amenities are available. If you only have time for a quick walk, you can stick to the two miles of the Walnut Creek Trail located within the park, which connect to two more miles of trails that loop around the lake.
In Lake Johnson Park and beyond, the Walnut Creek Trail crosses bridges and boardwalks past many scenic features. Along much of the trail, you'll enjoy the sounds of running water and the shade of beautiful, mature trees. Wildlife species you might spot include waterfowl, turtles, and deer. Some parts of the trail are more urban than others, and it crosses many
streets, so make sure you keep your dog on a leash and cross carefully.
You'll also need to bring your own waste bags and water.
About 1.5 miles from the eastern border of Lake Johnson Park, the Walnut Creek Trail passes through the North Carolina State Centennial Campus and along the shores of Lake Raleigh. It continues through several more urban sections and parks before it ends at its intersection with the Neuse River Trail. The last few miles of the trail are some of its most scenic, with long boardwalk sections through wetlands and natural areas.
The long paved trail is popular with cyclists, who can cover its full length in a couple of hours, so be on the lookout for people on bikes. The trail is also popular with joggers and dog walkers, who usually stick to limited sections of the trail, as it would take a full day to walk it from end to end. If you're using the trail as a point-to-point trail, note that it intersects with other trails, including the Neuse River, Rocky Branch, Reedy Creek and House Creek Trails, which lead to other pawsome places in Raleigh, like the North Carolina Museum of Art and the massive William B. Umstead State Park.
You and your pup can use the Walnut Creek Trail as a pedestrian superhighway to get from one dog-friendly location to another, or just as a beautiful place to enjoy a creekside walk. Make sure to include it on your next adventure in Raleigh!