Lake Johnson Waterfront Center

Raleigh Parks has temporarily closed some facilities. For more information, click on the red COVID-19 Alert banner above.

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Programs Boating Personal Boat Launches Site Rentals Picnic Shelters Rentals - Additional Fees

The Waterfront Program Center opened in September 2000. The focus of the center is on water-based outdoor recreation. The Waterfront Program Center offers a variety of paddling, sailing, and fishing programs.



Assistant Park Manager Chris Hill 

For Site Rentals

Lake Johnson Park


Lake Johnson Waterfront Center
4601 Avent Ferry Road
Raleigh, NC 27606




Two kayakers on lake johnson

Registration may be done online at or in person at a staffed City of Raleigh recreation site during regular business hours.

View fishing & nature programs


Boat Rentals

The Waterfront Center is closed. This includes boat rentals. See more Parks COVID-19 information.

Personal Boat Launches

Hours: Daily, starting at 8 a.m. with boats off the water by 7:30 p.m.

  • The lake may close at any point during the day for weather, programs, or safety reasons. If you hear 3 horn blasts, return to the Waterfront Program Center immediately and exit the water.
  • Lake Johnson allows privately owned, car-top boats to be launched with a small fee during the Waterfront Program Center's operating hours. No Trailers.
  • Gas-powered motors are not allowed. Paddles or electric trolling motors only.
  • Boats may only be launched from the Waterfront Program Center beach.
  • Launch fees are to be paid before accessing the lake.
  • Launch Fees: City Resident - $4 day, Non Resident - $6 day, and Senior (62+) - $2 day (Free through August 7, 2020)

Site Rentals

919-233-2121 |

To begin the rental process, please complete the Rental Inquiry Form and submit it to the site’s Rental Coordinator at Submission does not guarantee reservation.

Large room with wood floors, conference tables and lakefront view out windows

Waterfront Program Conference Room

  • $75/hour (2-hour minimum)
  • Max Capacity: 76 people
  • Dimensions: 23' x 35'
  • This spacious room features a beautiful vaulted ceiling with a panoramic view of the lake.


  • $30/hour 
  • Expand your indoor rental to include this covered deck area adding an outdoor component to your rental that is protected from the elements.
  • Dimensions: 20’ x 20’
Wedding guests seated on the deck on lake johnson parks

Verandah and Deck

  • $60/hour
  • Expand your indoor rental to include most of the deck at the center, ideal for outdoor games like cornhole.

Picnic Shelters

Group hosting a party with balloons and food at a picnic shelter at Lake Johnson

Small Shelter

  • $10/hour (2-hour minimum)
  • Max Capacity: 15 people
  • Shelter 1: Parking lot adjacent 
  • Shelter 2: Approximately 150 yards from parking lot

Medium Shelter

  • $12/hour (2-hour minimum)
  • Max Capacity: 30 people
  • Shelter 4: Approximately 100 yards from parking lot

Shelter Rules

  • Alcohol is not permitted at any shelter
  • Shelters and grills are to be used on a “first-come, first serve” basis unless rented
  • All shelters and grills are closed at sunset and should be vacated at that time.

View other shelter locations

Rentals - Additional Fees

Fee Information

Required Fee

  • $15 non-refundable application fee
  • $40 Setup/Cleanup fee
  • $100 Refundable Damage Deposit Fee
Optional - After Hours Fee
  • Fee applies only to hours outside normal operational hours
  • A portion of the rental most occur during normal operational hours and may end by 10 p.m.
Optional - Alcohol Permit Fee
  • Alcohol only permitted with approved permit. Permit only allows for consumption of beer, wine, and champagne. No spirits or liquors.
  • Consumption of alcohol only permitted in rented spaces.
  • Alcohol permit must be submitted and paid for at least 21 business days prior to event for approval. Submission does not guarantee approval of permit.