Don’t Miss Bond Lake Walk at Fred G Bond Metro Park, Cary

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.

Walking the 2-mile Bond Park Lake Trail is a favorite activity of ours (we have walked it many times).

Bond Park Lake Trail
Bond Park Lake Trail

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.

A person standing next to a body of water
Bond Lake

The 310 acres of recreational space at Fred G Bond Metro 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.

About The Fred G Bond Metro Park

Fred G Bond Metro Park is a sprawling park located in Cary, North Carolina.

The park covers 310 acres of land and is made up of dense woodland, vast open spaces, scenic trails, and lakes.

Although most people come to visit Bond Lake, there are several lakes in the park, including Rainbow Lake, Myers Lake West and Myers Lake East, and Thaler.

It was named after a former Cary Town Council member, Fred G. Bond Jr, who served on the coucil for 18 years and was mayor from 1971-1983.

The park opened in May 1985 and cost $7 million to build.

How long is the Bond Park Lake Trail?

  • Trail Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.1 mi (3.3 km)
  • 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.

a woman walking on a board walk in a forest

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!

A body of water surrounded by trees

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. 

A person standing next to a body of water

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?

A large body of water surrounded by trees
Bond Lake

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 Rd 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 Fred G Bond Metro Park

A small boat in a body of water

You could easily spend several hours here. The park is a 310-acre facility, with a lake at it heart.

As well as walking the Bond Park Lake Trail, you can also check out the following attractions and things to do…

Boating and Fishing

The lake itself provides opportunities for boating and fishing access (no charge to fish from shore) whilst bank fishing is allowed from the 200-foot boardwalk, docks, and grassy areas of the lake front. 

You can find boat rentals from the Boathouse including paddle boats, kayaks, canoes and sail boats (rentals are first come, first served and may not be reserved in advance).

You can also purchase bait from the boat house, and you can also launch your own for a time launch fee of $4.

Have a picnic

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.

There are also picnic shelters, and an athletic field where you can picnic out on the lawn.

A body of water surrounded by trees
Bond Lake, Cary, NC

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. 

A person sitting on a bench

Visit the Amphitheater

If you’re looking for something to do on a warm summer’s day, then head over to the amphitheater which often has open air concerts in the warm summer months.

They range from orchestras and classical music concerts to jazz bands.

Take The Kids to Lazy Daze Playground

If you’re looking for some things to do in Fred G Metro Bond Park with kids then check out the Lazy Daze Playground, which is a huge outdoor jungle gym and climbing frame in the middle of the park.

The playground allows children to climb, play and explore in the central point of the park surrounded by beautiful woodland.

Visit Bond Park Community Center

The Bond Park Community Center is a space where residents and visitors can enjoy sports facilities, such as basketball, badminton and volleyball, as well as rent rooms for support group meetings.

The Cary Senior Center and the Bond Park Challenge Course, an outdoor learning facility, are also located in the park boundaries.

Go Orienteering

Orienteering in Bond Park is a fun and unique way to enjoy the natural setting of the park.

There are a variety of trails set out, but all of them have a point-to-point route with control points.

If you download the Bond basic map, you can go orienteering at your own time and pace without joining a group.

Bond Lake Disc Golf Course

Bond Lake Disc Golf Course is an 18-hole disc golf course surrounded by serene woods and features challenging terrain that will excite both amateur and professional players alike.

You can rent discs at the park’s boathouse or bring your own equipment for a round of disc golf.

Facilities at Fred G Bond Metro Park

Fred G Bond Metro Park offers a wide range of facilities to make a visit more comfortable.

There are multiple picnic shelters located throughout the park, with picnic tables so you don’t need to bring a blanket.

Most of the trails are paved walking paths, which means it’s accessible for those with strollers or wheelchairs.

There are bathrooms near the boathouse.

When is the best time to visit Bond Park Lake?

The best time to visit Bond Park and Bond Lake is the Autumn.

Fall colors in Wake County are typically near the water around lakes, and Bond Lake is no exception.

Bond Lake, Cary, NC
Bond Lake, Cary, NC

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! 

FAQs About Visiting Fred G Bond Metro Park NC

Here is what people usually ask us about visiting Fred G Bond Metro Park…

How much does it cost to enter Fred G Bond Metro Park?

It’s free admission to the park, you only need to pay for boat rentals if you plan to do any boating.

What wildlife live in Fred G Bond Metro Park?

Aside from ducks swimming in the lake, you can also find Canada Geese, Beavers, Hermit thrushes, pine warblers, and yellow bellied sapsuckers, red shouldered hawks and several other species of birds. There are even said to be sightings of bald eagles.

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What are some of your favorite trails in Wake County? Let us know in the comments.

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