Back in August, we had just finished up a visit to Historic Yates Mill, and decided instead of going straight home, why not drive around a bit to see what we could find? This is how we stumbled upon Raleigh Parks’ Lake Wheeler, which has turned into one of our favorite “off season” hidden gems.
While we’ve never been to Lake Wheeler at the peak of a non-COVID summer, we’d imagine it is pretty popular. There’s usually boat rentals, plenty of dock room, space to launch your own boats, fishing, a conference space, a large deck and verandah, and shelter and volleyball court rentals.
This, of course, all shuts down in the winter, which makes this the perfect spot to visit right now.
If you go all the way to the very back of the park, there is a small playground that we usually have to ourselves. On the other side of the parking lot, you can find a workout/obstacle course.
There is plenty of shoreline access to the lake for kids to throw rocks, make mud castles, and decipher animal tracks. (No swimming or wading permitted in the lake, though.) There is a dock a little ways further down (which you can see in the distance in the last photo here) that has good fencing so the kiddos don’t take an unexpected dive into the lake.
We even noticed what looked like a few trails that we’re looking forward to exploring in the future.
I know for us, we’ve been being extra cautious due to COVID, and we love this spot because we can get some playground time, enjoy some peaceful time by the water, and not really have to see anyone else. Oh, and the bathrooms are open and immaculate.
Have you been to Lake Wheeler? Let us know in the comments!
(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on January 14, 2021.)