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  • Writer's picturePeter

Shelley Lake - Raleigh, NC


Shelley Lake is one of the places that we refer to as a “Triangle Allstar” - it is a place you’ve heard about repeatedly that is worth a visit.

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We decided to make the trip out to this park we’d heard so much about on a family Sunday Funday recently and had a great time walking a portion of the paved loop around the lake, which in total is a little over 2 miles. Peter’s favorite parts of the trip were the boardwalk and a small sort of crow’s nest balcony you can climb up into just past the boardwalk. To access these, take the path down to the lake and make a left at the fork. There is also a fishing pier if you go right, but we did not check that out ourselves.

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From the boardwalk, we saw lots of wildlife - your typical ducks and geese, but also a copperhead snake in the water.

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As far as the loop, we did not make it around the entire lake, but from what we could see, there was definitely more tree cover when you go left at the fork than when you go right. If you’re not planning to make the whole loop and want more shade, go left.

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Shelley Lake Park has some neat features that are unfortunately closed due to COVID. These include playgrounds and the Sertoma Arts Center, which hosts art classes, workshops, and exhibitions. We’re looking forward to checking that out when it reopens.

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Our last comment about Shelley Lake is that because it is popular, we saw many people walking the loop, especially on a Sunday. Everyone was good about keeping their distance and some people had masks, but you cannot escape people, so if that makes you uneasy, this is not the park for you right now. (And that’s okay!)

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Have you been to Shelley Lake? 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 September 2, 2020.)

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