Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cary Greenway System

The fall is coming and, hurricanes and earthquakes aside, it is a great opportunity to get outside again. Walking is such good exercise for parents (especially if pushing a tot in a stroller) but also a great way to get your children out and enjoying nature.

We've talked about Woodcroft trails and the American Tobacco Trail. Let's talk for a moment about the Cary Greenway System. I see little posts marking the Greenway all over the Triangle. But where does it go, what's it like?

The Cary Greenway System is a massive project that runs throughout all of Cary, parts of Apex, RTP and Raleigh, and also infiltrates a small piece of Chatham County. This map here (also see links below) shows the system in its entirety. You can see that there is much still to come with parts of the greenway that have not yet been built. For the walking greenways, the longest and largest finished trails are as follows:

- White Oak Greenway (3.86 miles) that runs from Davis Drive to Green Level Church Road. This starts in Bond Park and passes Davis Drive Park and Town of Cary neighborhood park. Note that there is a small section not yet complete if you want to do the entire path. Once you hit MacArthur Drive, you have about .6 miles of no path so you will have to navigate street crossings to pick up the greenway again. However, click on the link above to get full details of how to do this. It's not difficult.

- Davis Drive Multi Use Trail (3.29 miles) that runs from Davis Drive Park to Morrisville Carpenter Road. This is not too far from the White Oak Greenway, actually.

- Black Creek Greenway (3.8 miles) that runs from Chapel Hill Road to Old Reedy Creek Road. From this Greenway you can get to an observation deck over Lake Crabtree, North Cary Park, Umstead State Park (although you do have to leave Greenway to get there), Lake Crabtree County Park mountain bike trails (although, again, you have to leave Greenway to get there). The Greenway take a little "break" and resumes again in Godbold Park, which that has SK-8 Cary and the town's only Dog Park, yet is only 0.3 miles here. The town is still working on Black Creek Greenway and it is projected to eventually run all the way to Bond Park.

However, these are just the details for the longest trails. All throughout the area you can see and catch 0.5 -1 mile trails. You can get significant details from the Town of Cary on the following greenway trails:

Annie Jones Greenway (1.5 miles), Annie Jones Park to Lake Pine Drive
Higgins Greenway (0.5 miles unpaved), SW Maynard to Danforth Drive
Hinshaw Greenway (1.6 miles), Marla Dorrel Park to MacDonald Woods Park to Greenwood Circle
Oxford Hunt Greenway (1.21 miles), West Chatham Street to Bond Park
Pirates Cove Greenway (0.74 miles), Greenwood Circle to Glengarry Drive
Swift Greek Greenway (1.03 miles), Kildaire Farm Road to Regency Parkway (which we walked part of from Ritter Park)
Symphony Lake Greenway (1.33 miles) which is at Regency Park and makes a loop

And yes, there are even more paths out there. And part of the Cary Greenway System actually intersects and uses some of the American Tobacco Trail. Check out the maps for full details. Also on that map you can see the bike route system, which is more expansive than the Greenway.

Note that as the Greenway is in various states of construction so, too, the paths will have various states of ground cover. Most of the Greenway is paved. The links we have provided above state in detail if paths are not. And the parts of the Greenway I have personally walked have been ambling and easy.

Wherever you are in Cary, though, this expansive Greenway system is bound to be close to you or at least coming soon. Use the links below to plan your walk, and enjoy!

Town of Cary Greenway System
Town of Cary's website for information:
http://www.townofcary.org/Departments/Parks__Recreation___Cultural_Resources/Parks_and_Greenways/Greenways.htm

Town of Cary map of the Greenway system:
http://www.townofcary.org/Assets/Planning+Department/Planning+Department+PDFs/bicycleplan/bicyclemap.pdf

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