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Nature Parks, Preserves, and Programs

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Nature Connection Nature Parks and Preserves Nature Programs for Groups Annual Reports

Raleigh Parks operates several nature preserves which provide programming and access to the outdoors for everyone to enjoy!

Nature Connection

lake at Durant Nature Preserve

To continue our mission of connecting you to our parks and nature preserves, enjoy these nature-themed activities, how-to videos, and educational tidbits about our native flora and fauna. ​​​​​​

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Nature Connection Videos

Nature Parks and Preserves

View of lush green trail at Annie Louise Wilkerson Nature Preserve

Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve Park

157 acres of land along Falls Lake gifted to create its first designated nature preserve. 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.

View of the lake and dock at Durant Nature Preserve

Durant Nature Preserve

237-acre park with hardwood and pine forests, wildflowers and ferns, wetlands, and two lakes. A variety of habitats in the park provide wonderful wildlife viewing. Waterfowl, turtles, and fish can be seen at both lakes. Evidence of many mammals can be found along the creek banks and trails.

Open Field at Horseshoe Farm Park

Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve

Carved out by the meandering Neuse River, the 146-acre Preserve sits on a U-shaped jewel of land in northeastern Wake County.  Exceptional natural resources include wetlands, hardwood forests, grasslands, and abundant wildlife.  Excellent birdwatching is available all year.  A restored farmhouse is home to nature education programs and interpretation of the land’s rich cultural heritage.  The site, awarded a SITES certification for sustainable design, features solar lighting, compost restrooms, and landscape features protecting wetlands.

The outside deck with rocking chairs

Walnut Creek Wetland Park

A "green" built facility is within a 59-acre park boasts a variety of songbirds and hummingbirds, as well as raptors including red shouldered hawks, barred owls, and even the occasional bald eagle. Waterfowl including great blue herons, wood ducks, and geese are regularly sighted. Mammal visitors include deer, foxes, groundhogs, beaver, and more. A rich variety of reptiles and amphibians make their homes here as well.

Nature Programs for Groups

Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Nature Programs offer a variety of group programs at several parks around the City. These programs are hands-on and curriculum based for school groups, preschools, homeschools and other groups.

More about our Group Nature Programs

Annual Reports

Connecting people to nature today to preserve nature for people tomorrow.
Check out our Annual Reports



Kristi Moyer, Nature Preserves Program Director


Phone: 919-996-4788

Lead Department:
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Service Categories:
Parks ProgramsParks



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