Raleigh Greenway’s Durant Trail is a pleasant treat on the hottest day
Secret stream flows by the deer in the middle of a drought
The Durant Trail on Raleigh’s Greenway map can be easily overlooked. The wonderful little trail is perfect for families.
The trail that runs along the northern perimeter of Raleigh, NC’s Durant Park is an exceptional place for family walks, short runs and practicing riding a bike or roller skating.
This is one of the trails that the city has extended with little fanfare. In addition to extending the trail, they have defined a connecting path from this trail to Falls River Trail on the north side of Durant Road. This trail lies on the South side of Durant Road.
This nice trail usually has an abundance of shade. It is well marked as to the distance from the start at Attington Drive to a bit more than a quarter mile from the end at Cub Dr.
The trail is long and flat from one end to the other. It has a smooth, well paved surface. Though it crosses two streets, most of the trail is clear of any dangers. This makes it an ideal trail if you have a new bike rider in the family. Unlike trails such as Shelley Lake Loop, there are no hills to create an out of control situation.
This is also an excellent trail for older people and folks with strollers. In addition to the flat surface of the trail, it has another attribute to make life pleasant. It has nicely spaced benches approximately every ¼ mile for its entire distance. The benches are located in areas frequented by birds. All the benches were in good repair as of the end of August 2007.
For folks, particularly bikers and runners, who need extra distance, the trail connects to the Falls River Trail via two connector trails (essentially paved sidewalks) on the Cub Trail end of the trail. These connectors follow Cub Drive to Durant Rd.; go east on Durant Rd. to Falls River Ave., then follow Falls River Ave. until it intersects with the Falls River Trail.
The drought that has been plaguing the region since the beginning of 2007 can be seen in some part along the trail. As most of the trail follows a stream that still has flowing water in it, only trees that are far from the stream seem to be showing the effects. The trail itself, however, is strewn with dead brown leaves as even the hardiest of trees attempts to survive by cutting back on the number of leaves it nourishes.
On this trip down the trail I saw people biking, walking dogs, pushing strollers and generally enjoying themselves. One thing I saw that I thought was sort of cute was a young mother with the family dog and her young son. I observed them as they ran passed me with the young lad leading; he was followed by the dog attempting to keep up with the bike. Just behind was mom being pulled along as she tried to jog or run to keep up.
On my return trip back down the trail, I came by the mom pulling the bike up away from a pool of water. Her child was knee deep in the water with the dog happily swimming in a deep pool along the ‘Secret Stream’. I always love it when I see families build beautiful memories.
Though I did not see many birds this day, the trail is usually frequented by a good variety of species. On this day it was pretty hot. The birds, except for blackbirds, vultures and a blue jay, apparently were resting till it cooled down a bit.
Though there is still way too much kudzu along the trail, someone has cut a lot of the vines near Camp Durant Road. The trees that were shaded by the vine show how the shade was just sapping the life right out of them. Unlike native vines, kudzu kills the trees by taking ALL the sun. Numerous local vines have lived with the trees in mutually beneficial relationships for years.