A Guide to Parks in Apex NC

I'm very excited to kick off a new series on my blog all about the amazing parks in the Raleigh area. We mostly picked this area to move to because of all of the outdoor activities and parks that are around. I decided the best way to get to know my new city is by visiting as many as possible and sharing them with all of you! If you're visiting North Carolina or even planning a move (in which case, let's me be friends!) I hope these posts will be helpful for you.


We're going to start off with parks in Apex, NC. This is a small town just outside of Raleigh and was named one of the best small towns in the country- the town motto is "The Peak of Good Living". It's easy to see why- you have access to everything in the triangle area, as well as the joys of small town living! This is exactly why we chose to move here instead of the actual city, and you just can't beat the easy access to tons of parks from every activity imaginable. Let's get into a quick overview of all of the parks:

parks in apex nc

And now that we know where all of the parks are, let's start with reviews of the bigger parks, and then get to the neighborhood parks.


Apex Community Park

apex community park

I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance of this park, so I have the most experience with this one and come here pretty much every day! There are two entrances- one is off of Laura Duncan and will take you to baseball fields, tennis courts, pavilions, and playgrounds. The other is on the opposite side of the lake off of Lake Pine with bathrooms and direct trail access. The path around the lake is paved and just over two miles- perfect for a morning run or walk with your dog! There are also tons of dirt trails - including some with exercise equipment, as well as picnic tables and benches to view the lake. There is also a small beach boat launch a short walk from the main parking lot. I even recently found out there's a Ninja Warrior-type playground with all kinds of amazing equipment for kids to practice skills.

paddleboarding apex nc

Parking - 3.5/5. A few different lots and tons of spots, but gets pretty busy and filled up

Amenities - 5/5. Kayak launch, flushing bathrooms, playground, trails, fishing dock, running path, and more!

Connectivity - 3.5/5. Roads around are bike friendly, but there are no greenways nearby. There's a Starbucks right by the entrance along with some fast food restaurants and local pubs



Apex Jaycee Park

apex jaycee park

Apex Jaycee is on the smaller side, with a baseball field and soccer field on each end and a playground in the middle. The real draw here (at least for me) is the greenway that goes to Kelly Road Park about 2 miles away (which I'll talk about below). It runs through a few neighborhoods and is mostly flat- perfect for an easy run. There are a few creek crossings so there's lots to look at while you're running, biking, or walking. If you visit on the weekend, make sure you stop by Utica Bakery- a remodeled camper that sells amazing baked goods.

greenway trail apex

Parking - 
4/5. Multiple (small) lots and was completely empty when I went!

Amenities - 2/5. Small playground and some ball fields

Connectivity - 5/5. Greenway connects to a ton of neighborhoods and is less than a mile from downtown Apex



Hunter Street Park

Hunter Street Park is one of the most unique parks in Apex, with the highlight being a huge and well-used skate park. There is also a really beautiful baseball field and huge multiuse turf field, as well as a covered playground (this is how I really knew I was in the south!). Across the parking lot is a dog park which requires a membership (also valid at the Nature Park down below), and a paved path that goes around the entire complex. This park is right down the street from Apex's main street, so it's a great place to stroll around after having dinner or drinks.


Parking -
3.5/5. Multiple small lots and street parking, but I can tell it gets pretty full during peak hours

Amenities - 4/5. Skate park, dog park, fields, playground, walking trail, pavilion

Connectivity - 5/5. Right down the street from downtown and beside the Town Hall/Community Center



Kelly Road Park

I heard a lot about how amazing the playground is at this park, and I have to admit it would have been my dream growing up! There were lots of different brightly-painted play areas, including separate areas for younger kids and older kids. There are also a ton of courts and fields for sports, a huge picnic pavilion, and access to a greenway (the same one that connects to Apex Jaycee). 

Parking - 4/5. Not a huge lot but was able to find parking with no problem

Amenities - 4/5. Amazing playground, fields, courts, shelters, and access to greenway

Connectivity - 5/5. Greenway connects to a bunch of areas and is within walking/biking distance of a lot of businesses



Nature Park

apex nature park

The Apex Nature Park is the furthest away from town, but also has tons of things to do! I went there for a short hike, but there are a few different loops you can piece together for a nice, flat but beautiful walk in the woods. There are also a lot of events here, like movies and music in the park in the summertime and concerts. I also went to an outdoor yoga class here which was a great, shaded spot for a summertime class. To round it out, there are dog parks (which again requires registration), a disc golf course, a playground, pickleball courts and fields.


Parking - 5/5. Lots of parking lots in different sections with tons of spots

Amenities - 4/5. Paved paths, trails, disc golf, playground, dog park, and more!

Connectivity - 0/5. Not much to do around and roads aren't bike friendly



Salem Pond Park

salem park pond

If you're looking for a short and easy walk (bonus points if you bring your dog!) this is the park for you. There are two small ponds which were filled with cute little turtles, and a paved path that goes around them. There's also a really nice playground with some fun looking equipment, a professional-looking soccer field, and a small shopping center just off the main path.

apex walking trail

Parking - 2/5. Just a small lot, not sure how busy this park gets but not a ton of spaces

Amenities - 2/5. Short path, playground, and soccer field. 

Connectivity - 1.5/5. Not much to do around and roads aren't bike friendly, but coffee shop and other small stores are just steps away


Now let's get into the neighborhood parks! These are all smaller parks that are all over Apex. Most don't have a big lot to park in, and are mostly for people in that neighborhood. They're all open to the general public though, so if you're in the area stop by!


Clairmont

1.5 acres - picnic shelter, grill, playground and basketball court with lots of tree cover. Plenty of street parking in front.


Kelly Glen


2 acres- Small playground, grill, and shelter. At the end of a cul-de-sac so no parking around.


Seagroves Farm

11 acres- Walking trail, pond with fishing pier, restroom, playground, and field. Small parking lot.


Sue Helton

1/4 acre- gazebo, shelter, grill, and playground. Reminds me of Gilmore Girls! Some street parking.


West Street


1.3 acres - Cute little park just outside of downtown with a basketball court, small playground and shelter. Street parking available.



What are your favorite features in a park?

Which of these would you visit first?

Where should I visit next?

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