I’ve said it many times, one of our favorite things about living in the Raleigh area is having access to so many Greenway trails and lakes, and walking the 2-mile Bond Park Lake Trail is a favorite of ours (we have walked it many times).
We enjoy this nature trail as it hugs a picturesque lake, and the trail is a mix of paved and unpaved natural woodland setting – the physical and mental benefits of being by water and surrounded by nature is what we love!
In case you don’t know, Bond Lake is a man-made freshwater lake situated within the Fred G. Bond Metropolitan Park which happens to be the largest municipal park in Cary and one of the largest in all of Wake County.
The 310 acres of recreational space at Bond Park includes the 42-acre lake, small beach area for launching kayaks, a 200-foot boardwalk, 4.2 miles of trails, and a variety of athletic fields becoming like an oasis in the middle of Cary.
How long is the Bond Park Lake Trail?
- Trail Type: Loop
- Distance: 2 miles
- Open Hours: Gates open 7:30 am – sunset (times posted on gates)
- Accessible: year-round.
- Leashed dogs allowed
This is a 2-mile loop trail, moderately trafficked and rated as easy and good for most skill levels with an elevation gain of about 114 ft. The trail is primarily used for walking, running, biking and bird watching!
As mentioned, about half of the trail is paved and good for strollers/bikes.The other half is natural and mulched through the woods with exposed tree roots and a few wooden boardwalks and bridges.
I often see joggers on the trail, and I have biked the full trail twice and the unpaved section does add to the adventure with the exposed tree roots and small inclines – keep in mind this natural section can get muddy and slippery after rainfall – wear appropriate footwear!
The great thing is the trail hugs the perimeter of Bond Lake making it easy to follow and is relatively well signposted. We like to walk this trail anti-clockwise and as long as you keep the lake on the left you’re good!
This lake trail offers lovely glimpses of Bond Lake along the way, plus plenty of shade for the warmer months and brilliant colors in the Fall.
If you want to extend your 2 mile hike, the Bond Park trail is just one of six trails to choose from at Bond Park (there are maps in the main parking lot). Other trails to connect with include:
- Paw Paw Trail
- Pinecone Trail
- Black Creek Trail
- White Oak
- Oxford Hunt Greenways.
- See Bond Park map
Where is the Bond Park Trail?
The Bond Park Boathouse is located at 197 Bond Park Dr, Cary, about 3 miles from Downtown Cary and 16 miles from Downtown Raleigh.
There are several access points, but you can consider the start being at the main Boathouse car park area which is easily accessed off High House Road then onto Bond Park Drive. See times and hours in image below:
Watch our Video of the Bond Park Lake Trail
Press play below to watch this short video of us walking the Bond Park Trail. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more Raleigh videos.
Other Activities at Bond Park
You could easily spend several hours here. The lake provides for boating and fishing access (no charge to fish from shore) whilst bank fishing is allowed from the 200-foot boardwalk and grassy areas of the lake front.
You can rent boats from the Boathouse including pedal boats, kayaks, canoes and sail boats (rentals are first come, first served and may not be reserved in advance). You can also launch your own for a time launch fee of $4.
We also see many people enjoying the small beach area and picnicking on the large grassy areas or the boardwalk – why not pack up a picnic and settle in for a lovely lunch outdoors!
Beach regulations stipulate no wading or swimming and dogs must be on a 6’ leash.
Alternatively, there’s an on-site store at the Boathouse that sells snacks, ice cream, drinks, and more, and there’s a nice deck and screened porch here among the pines that overlooks the lake front area.
Beautiful in the Fall
The best Fall colors in Wake County are typically near the water around lakes, and Bond Lake is no exception.
If you’re looking for an easy and picturesque hike, put the Bond Park Lake Trail on your list of things to do in Raleigh.
Whether you come just for the walk, or get out on the lake and spend a few hours enjoying the space, this park is one of our favorite places in Cary to enjoy being in nature among the tall pine trees with ample grassy areas for sunlight and then shade!
You may also like
- 3 Cool trails in Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, Cary
- A guide to Downtown Cary
- Fenton, Cary – why it’s worth visiting
- More trails in Wake County
What are some of your favorite trails in Wake County?