Sometimes, work can feel a little stifling. There’s the long lines at the coffee machine, the endless hustle and bustle of due dates and presentations, and don’t forget the copious amount of work glaring at you from your desk.  Need a quick escape? Quicker than the break room down the hall? Well, just look outside your window.

Raleigh and its surrounding areas have an abundance of outdoor activities to get you going and de-stressed all at the same time. Hiking, biking, and nature trails are scattered all over the place and are just as, if not more, accessible as any gym!

Let the fresh air fill your lungs as you explore William B. Umstead State Park. Located just near the airport, it’s the perfect place to forget about work and stress! It boasts 19 miles of easy to moderate hiking trails, 11 long miles of bike trials, and even campgrounds if you want to make a weekend of it! Or if water, a pole, and the great outdoors is your idea of relaxation, fishing and picnicking are also popular attractions at the park.

Lake Crabtree County Park cannot be left out when describing the beauty of Raleigh and its surrounding areas. Located in nearby Morrisville, the park offers 215 acres of woods adjacent to Lake Crabtree.  So pack up a lunch, bring the family or close friends, and spend the day hiking, biking, or even boating at the park. The only problem you’ll have is gathering up everyone to leave, there’s just so much to do and see!

Falls Lake Trail may also spark your interest as it is the longest continuous trail in the area.  Though only used for hiking, this 23-mile trail will be sure to get your heart pumping and adrenaline flowing. This trail will soon be a part of the Mountains to Sea trail that will someday cross the ENTIRE state of North Carolina. So if you’re feeling up to a challenge, try this trail out!

Life is just too short not to enjoy. Leave your work world behind and go outside and experience life in leisure mode in one of Raleigh’s many outdoor recreation parks. Your mind and your body will thank you later.