New Hope Church Road Trailhead Park - Cary, NC
Most of the parks Peter has posted about are ones we have already been to and loved, but recently, we wanted to check out a place that was completely new to us. We busted out our Town of Cary Bike & Hike map and decided to go to the first park on the list, which was New Hope Church Road Trailhead Park. Below are the Park Points and Peter's Perspective, but you can always find more videos of this park (and all our park visits!) in the Highlights of Peter's Instagram.
Location: 2575 New Hope Church Road, Cary, NC 27519
Stroller friendly? Yes, there are paved paths and access to both the American Tobacco Trail and the Panther Creek Greenway, which are both paved at this location as well.
Toddler friendly? We would not recommend this park for toddlers. There is not much for them to do at the park, there are a number of inclines and sloping hills, and the stretch of the American Tobacco Trail that is by the park falls off sharply on both sides of the trail. We would not say never being a toddler here, as there is one open field where they could run around, but they should still be watched there because it starts to slope quickly.
Bathrooms? Yes. Adequate size with 2 stalls. Clean, well stocked. Large fan, no air conditioning.
Changing table? Yes, by the sinks.
Water fountain? Yes, three actually, which was interesting for a park that was this small. We did see many runners and bikers in the time we were there, though, and this was mid-day during the middle of the week, so it is likely this is a busy park and the fountains get used. All three were very clean and had areas to fill up a water bottle. Two even had dog bowls next to them.
Benches/tables? Yes, 2 pavilions with many picnic tables.
Covered areas? Yes, there are 2 covered pavilions with picnic tables. One is small and houses the bathrooms. The other is large and has a grill.
Parking? A good amount. Also, across the street is another parking lot (gravel, not paved) that has access to the American Tobacco Trail.
Greenway access? Yes, access to both the Panther Creek Greenway and the American Tobacco Trail.
Jungle gyms? None.
Other cool information: There are spots in the parking lot for horse trailer parking if you want to bring your horse to go on the trails. • Many areas to lock up a bicycle - bring your own lock. • A free station with tools to help you fix your bike. • This park is in Chatham County - did not know that Cary extended out of Wake County!
As we mentioned in the introduction to this post, we opened our Cary Bike & Hike map to find a new park and thought, "Might as well start with #1!" We did notice that the park was a trailhead park, so we weren't sure if it would just be a jumping off point for a trail or greenway, or if there would be a larger park with multiple amenities, but we were game to check it out.
When we got to the park, we discovered that it essentially was a jumping off point for the American Tobacco trail, and there weren't your traditional kids amenities like playgrounds. However, there was a small field for kids to run in and a large pavilion with a grill. While we would not recommend this park for little kids who need to run around and play, this would be a great park to have a family get together where you could grill up some food and play a little football on the field. However, make sure to keep an eye on little ones because the field area drops off fairly suddenly.
Throughout the park, there were a few interesting rusty sculptures in the shape of very tall people that Peter found very interesting and you can see in some of our photos.
Even though there wasn't much in the way of playgrounds, we decided to take a walk on the American Tobacco Trail. This, however, was short-lived because the fencing on the sides of the trail is very minimal and the trail itself falls off VERY steeply. I tried to let Peter walk the trail himself, but he would dash over to the fence and could have easily fallen through if he had not been grabbed. The executive decision was made at that point to head back to the park. Even more than the lack of a playground, this aspect of the American Tobacco Trail is why we highly do not recommend this park for toddlers.
Overall, if you are looking for a quiet place where you can get access to the American Tobacco Trail to either begin a walk, run, bike, and even a horse ride (there's parking for horse trailers!), this park would be a great place for you.