Are you looking for a peaceful, easy stroll along a river? Or how about a wide, paved walkway where your kids can ride a bike and check out some cute and fun public art? If this is you, we highly recommend a stop by the Clayton River Walk on the Neuse.
To easily access the River Walk, plenty of parking is available at a trail head on Covered Bridge Road. From there, it is just a short walk down to get going on the 4-mile long path that is part of both the larger Mountains-to-Sea Trail that runs across the state of North Carolina, and the East Coast Greenway that runs from Maine to Florida.
While there are trees all along the river, in most places, they don’t actually cover the walkway, so if you’re heading out around noon, do not expect much shade. We visited around 10am and thankfully because the sun was still rising behind the trees, we benefited from some of the shade. Earlier or later in the day is probably best if you are looking for shade.
One of the best parts of the River Walk is that it connects to the Sam’s Branch Greenway, which has a fence with possibly 100 fish painted by local high school students. Make sure you also go all the way to the end of the fish because you do not want to miss the small garden with butterfly benches, bike racks, and sculptures at the end! To get to this public art, when you get down to the river from the parking lot, make a left. You will cross over a bridge with stunning views to get to the other side of the river, and when you come to a right turn on the pathway, you are almost there. We would say the walk is about a mile from the parking lot.
The only thing that may be a downside for some about the River Walk is that we did not see any bathrooms while there.
We did, however, manage to see a few of our favorites - turtles! - along the way, including a box turtle that very opportunely walked right across the pathway as we were passing by.
And a final note, if you’re looking for a bit more adventure or a longer bike ride, the pathway spans 32 miles all the way up to the Falls Lake Dam in Raleigh!
Have you been to the Town of Clayton River Walk? Let us know below!
(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on September 24, 2020.)