Pond surrounded by lush green trees

Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park

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Overview Programs Amenities Site Rentals Trails Hours

Year 2006 | Acres 157.6

The City of Raleigh received an amazing gift of 157 acres of land along Falls Lake to create its first designated nature preserve in February 2006. Dr. Annie Louise Wilkerson, a renowned Raleigh doctor with many pioneering achievements in her 53-year career in medicine, stipulated in her will that the park be maintained as a "nature preserve park" used for the primary purpose of nature and wildlife education.




Bryan England, Preserve Manager
Bonnie Eamick, Assistant Manager


Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC 27614




The outside of the park office

At the park office you can find hands-on displays designed especially for children, Free nature craft activity changed monthly, Free loaner equipment: Explorer backpacks for children, Eagle Optics binoculars for adults, kites and other nature play items. Staff is available whenever park is open to answer your nature questions. 

View Park Rules


An instructor giving a lesson on Astronomy

We are all about helping groups and individuals foster a connection with the natural world through programs like bird watching, astronomy nights, nature play, and art classes. We offer public, group, and self-guided programs. 

Find out more about nature programs


Explorer backpack kits are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis whenever the park is open.

The park offers a number of features to help you get the most of out nature including: electric car charging stations, exhibits and displays, free loaner equipment (binoculars, kites, etc.), nature play areas, hiking and wildlife watching, native plant gardens and comfort station (restrooms, water fountain, etc.). The Annie Louise Wilkerson Education Center is open to the public with exhibits, fun activities, live animals, and a new Nature Library.

Learn more about these amenities

Site Rentals

Request your rental online using RecLink or contact Bryan England.

Take note: Requests will be subject to staff approval. Upon approval, payment will be required to confirm the reservation. Your reservation is not finalized until you receive confirmation of your payment.

Education Center

The former home of Dr. Wilkerson has been fully renovated for conversion into a nature park research center. It includes a multi-purpose room, a science/wet lab, an exhibit space, a reception area and a catering kitchen, pedestrian walkways and outdoor teaching space.

Dr. Annie’s will specifies that the park property be used only for nature study, wildlife education and/or conservation research. We do not host parties, weddings or similar events.

Picnic Shelter

Groups with the mission or purpose of nature study, wildlife education or conservation research may rent the shelter for educational programs when the park staff is not using it. The shelter is not rented for parties, weddings, and similar events.

  • Capacity: 60
  • $12/hr (2-hr. minimum)
  • Access to electricity


Two of the many scenic trails

Three loop trails have been created on the 157-acre property. In addition, the Mountains-to-Sea Connector links the preserve’s trails with the Mountain-to-Sea Trail that follows the south shore of Falls Lake.

  • The Epps Forest Loop (0.66 mi) winds through an oak-hickory forest. A tree identification brochure is keyed to common trees along the trail.
  • The Hidden Rocks Trail (0.93 mi) features rock outcrops; a geologic guide describes the rocks and their history.
  • The Pond Loop (0.57 mi) meanders through meadows and around a one-acre farm pond. Visitors can use our turtle brochure to identify turtles in and around the pond.

Download Trail Map


Call Preserve at 919-996-6764 to confirm hours during City Holidays.

10 a.m. to Dusk
10 a.m. to Dusk
10 a.m. to Dusk
10 a.m. to Dusk
10 a.m. to Dusk
1 p.m. to Dusk