It’s been a cold, dreary winter this year in Raleigh, and it sometimes seems like warm weather won’t ever be back. But just like all seasons, spring will come — in fact, it’s just around the corner! Before spring arrives, it’s a good idea to plan a few weekend activities for you and the family to make sure you’re getting out and soaking in the sunshine.
One of the best ways the whole family can enjoy the outdoors is with a bike ride. Raleigh is the perfect place for people of all ages to enjoy a bicycle ride, whether they’re 5 for 50.
Here are four of the best places for safe bike riding in Raleigh this spring:
1. Neuse River Greenway Trail
Neuse River Greenway Trail is a beautiful park that offers views of some of the most stunning landscapes in Raleigh. There are 27.5 miles of paved trail, which cuts through woods, wetlands and open fields as it follows the Neuse River.
The Neuse River Greenway Trail is a part of the Capital Area Greenway System and is also a segment of the long-distance Mountain-to-Sea Trail, which runs from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. The wide-paved trail and relatively flat terrain make it a perfect destination for families.
2. Shelley Lake Park
For a shorter circuit, be sure to check out Shelley Lake Park. This park offers two miles of paved trails around the lake. You and your family can enjoy the scenery while you ride your bikes around this generally flat trail.
While you’re at Shelley Lake Park, be sure to check out everything else that’s available. There are basketball courts, playgrounds, and art center and more. It’s a great location to go for a bike ride, have a picnic and enjoy the spring weather!
3. Durant Nature Preserve
If you have older kids or are looking for a challenging bike ride for yourself, Durant Nature Preserve is a great choice. There are five miles of trails throughout the park, and some of them are designated for mountain biking. These are dirt trails, so make sure you have the right bike for the job!
If you are bringing younger kids to the Preserve, there are a lot of other activities to enjoy. There is a bird garden, a butterfly garden, a nature play garden and more. You and your kids can learn all about the wildlife in Durant Nature Preserve, then have a picnic at one of the many provided tables!
4. Downtown Raleigh
Since 2009, Raleigh has been creating bicycle lanes throughout the city. Now, there are over 28 miles of bike lanes and shared lane markings throughout the city. There’s even a bike-share program to help locals get around the city! If you have older kids who know how to ride a bike safely, riding through the City of Raleigh is a great weekend activity.
There are tons of things to do in Raleigh that you can enjoy while you’re riding a bike. History, art and science museums can be found all over the city, as are fantastic restaurants. If you are riding with friends or family who are of age, Raleigh has some of the best breweries in the country (just be sure to not ride your bike if you get inebriated). The possibilities are endless!