Long referred to as a "city in a park," Raleigh, N.C., offers more than 170 miles of hiking and greenway trails for energizing exploration and the best views of the area's natural scenery. Allow us to take you on a visual tour of local favorites, and if you're feeling inspired, check out dozens more here.


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Sky's the limit at Apex Nature Park! Play a round of disc golf or catch a free concert at the amphitheatre.



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Locals love the scenic Neuse River Greenway Trail (part of the Capital Area Greenway Trail System and a segment on N.C.'s Mountains-to-Sea Trail), with winding boardwalk areas through wetlands, historical sights, agricultural fields and perfect spots for photos.


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Walk, run or hike through William B. Umstead State Park's 22 miles, meandering through the forest.


Bass Lake Park in Holly Springs offers more than hiking trails and water access—take a breather during your activity with an extensive nature library.



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With more than 200 acres to roam, Blue Jay Point County Park is a great option for those who like to be near the water, and the Go Ape treetop adventure is located right at the park. 



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Bring your fishing rod and try your luck at Harris Lake County Park.



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Check out the destination's last remaining gristmill (fully restored and operable) at Historic Yates Mill County Park. Tours are available, and the park includes a 24-acre pond with trails looping around it and beyond.



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Stroll through more than a dozen commissioned works of art at Museum Park at North Carolina Museum of Art.



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The local-favorite Shelley Lake offers up two miles of scenic greenway trails around the lake.


Snap a great Instagram photo (use #visitRaleigh!), then head out on the trail at North Wake Landfill District Park.



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Check out restored farm buildings, a pecan grove and more at E. Carroll Joyner Park in Wake Forest.



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Stroll around the Symphony Lake Greenway next to Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, with beautiful views of the lake and 1.8 miles of paved trail. The greenway also connects to Swift Creek Greenway, which passes through the local-favorite Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve.

Also, get out on the water at local parks with lakes! Check out our guide to kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and more in the Raleigh area here.


Cover image via Visit North Carolina