That blocked passage under Aviation Parkway is a bit of a sore spot, albeit an understandable one. Beyond Aviation Parkway is a vast wetland that expands a half mile or more, depending upon the lake level. Exploring through this maze of reed grass is a blast — or at least it was until wildlife officials discovered a nesting bald eagle and restricted access to the area, for breeding reasons. So, until these nesting eagles kick their young-uns out of the nest, the area is restricted.
The lake is popular with beginners because of its shallow depth — 5 feet on average, 12 feet at its deepest — which is something of a psychological issue for some. It also boasts a big rental fleet of kayaks, canoes and sailboats, with rentals available April through mid-October. You can launch your own paddle boat as well, for $2 from a boat access at the end of the road into the park.
Access: At the end of the park road; $2 car-top fee.
Getting there from downtown Raleigh
Distance: 20 minutes from downtown Raleigh
Time to complete: 1 to 3 hours
Address: 1400 Aviation Parkway