Situated on 96 acres south of Centennial Campus, Lake Raleigh Woods serves a variety of purposes for students, faculty and the general public. This hallowed space is now more accessible with the addition of two miles of hiking trails. Coordinated by Dr. Tommy Holden, professor of outdoor leadership for Health and Exercise Studies, the project also designed, created and installed new signage along the trails and at trailhead kiosks.
Trail counters were also installed to monitor and assess visitor usage patterns as part of the project. From their placement in December 2022 through May 2023, the counters have captured 5,666 users along the new hiking trails. This data reflects Lake Raleigh Woods’ popularity as a recreation destination.
Efforts to enhance the Lake Raleigh area are ongoing. An additional trail is planned for the project, which was initially postponed due to nesting eagles. A community-led plan coordinated by NC State’s Real Estate and Development Office is also looking for feedback on how Lake Raleigh can support university programming, research and wellness. Campus and community members are invited to share their thoughts through this survey.
The Lake Raleigh Woods project highlights the ability for individuals to reimagine our environment, revitalize public spaces and foster deeper connections between nature and people. The NC State Sustainability Fund is accepting applications now to turn your ideas into reality.