This first photo is one we actually took the week we moved to the Triangle because we thought the scene with the bridge was so stunning. It took us years to find out this is actually the beginning of the Lake Betz Nature Trail, a small nature trail in the Research Triangle Park. We’re fairly confident that we can call this place a hidden gem because this is the only outdoor adventure we’ve ever taken in our 3 years in the Triangle (including pre-Peter!) where we saw absolutely NO ONE ELSE.
One thing we think has led to this trail being a hidden gem is that there is no official parking lot and no trailhead signs. We ended up parking at the RTP Volleyball League South Sand Courts and crossing Louis Stephens Drive to begin the trail. (Swipe left to see a map of the area for a clearer picture of where to park.) Also, if you’re into mountain biking, a trail for that begins at the volleyball courts.
One thing we loved about Lake Betz was all the wildlife, specifically tons of birds. When we looked up Lake Betz, we read on the Wake Audubon website that this area has some fantastic birding, and that definitely turned out to be true. Also, across from the lake is swampy area with our favorite: turtles!
We also noticed on the swamp side that there were lots of blackberry brambles. Nothing looked read to pick yet, but maybe in a few weeks.
Our other recommendations for this location include:
1. Apply sunblock. There is no shade or cover anywhere along the trail.
2. Don’t bring a stroller. Learn from our mistake. The trail starts out as paved on Louis Stephens, but quickly turns to gravel once you make it around the corner to the lake.
3. Once you make it to the end of the trail at Kit Creek Road, there are not sidewalks for you to a big loop back to where you parked. Again, learn from our mistake. It is best to just turn around and go back the way you came.
Let us know if you make it out to Lake Betz! We always love to hear about your experiences at local parks and trails. Have a great weekend, everyone!
(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on June 12, 2020.)