RALEIGH, N.C. — It’s that time of year again. We stuff ourselves with good food and quality time with family and friends (albeit sometimes stressful time). For some, the day after Thanksgiving, commonly called Black Friday, starts very early where lines build outside of tech and department stores.
However, in the last few years, a trend to spend Black Friday outside has been on the rise, thanks to outdoor gear company REI. #OptOutside began as a day that REI gave their employees off, despite it being the busiest shopping day of the year. Now a nationwide effort, #OptOutside encourages everyone to spend the day outside exploring nature.
To help guide your #OptOutside day this year, we’ve compiled a list of the best places near Raleigh to explore. We also have a few honorable mentions. Get exploring!
Now a public park and event space, the land that Dix Park sits on has hosted many ventures, including a plantation and hospital. The park has 308 acres of open space, tree groves and more. If you need a spacious dog park near the city, look no further!
The park is currently being revitalized with help from our own Mickey Fearn, a professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.
With more than 300 acres of paved and unpaved trails, a swimming pool and a lake that offers fishing, boating, and kayak rentals, what more do you need?
If you’re looking for a nice stroll, check out the Lake Johnson Trail on AllTrails.
Wetlands, trails and learning, oh my! The park and its education center were born from a 1990s grassroots effort to combat environmental injustices. Because of its dedication to increasing human interaction with nature, the park has plenty of family-friendly activities and programs.
Visit the center to check out the equipment you’ll need to explore the outdoors like binoculars, boots and aquatic/insect nets.
This Raleigh treasure has more than 20 miles of hiking trails, ranging from short strolls to longer hikes in the woods. Have a horse? Don’t reign in your excitement. This park has more than 13 miles of multi-use trails.
We couldn’t leave these other excellent choices out. Click the links to explore more options for your perfect #OptOutside day.
—Berkeley Bryant, N.C. State University