Walnut Creek Trail

North Carolina

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Walnut Creek Trail Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Wake
Length: 19.2 miles
Trail end points: Lake Johnson Park and Neuse River Trail
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6585826
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Walnut Creek Trail Description

The Walnut Creek Trails spans more than 19 miles on an east-west route through Raleigh. Only its western end, through Lake Johnson Park, is unpaved.

The trail affords stunning views of Lake Johnson, wildlife viewing (turtles, waterfowl, numerous bird species), a unique stand of big leaf magnolia (in Lake Johnson Park), access to the Walnut Creek Wetland Center, and passage through areas of large loblolly pine. In addition,the trail passes recreational parks, running adjacent to a state farmers' market, amphitheater, and swimming pools.

Increasing its value for both transportation and recreation, the Walnut Creek Trail links to other trails in the area: Rocky Branch, Little Rock, and the Neuse River Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

On its west end, parking is available in Lake Johnson Park (4601 Avent Ferry Road). Mid-trail, you can park in Eliza Pool Park (1600 Fayetteville Street).

Walnut Creek Trail Reviews

Rode this trail today. Started at the Avent lot at Lake Johnson. Unfortunately they are doing some sort of construction there that involves part of the trail so almost immediately we were forced on a detour of about 2 miles of just sidewalks up and around Lake Dam Rd until we could get the trail again. The trail is nicely paved and partially wooded. Very enjoyable to ride. Love the marsh bridges and tunnels. Adds some fun variety to the ride we hadn't experienced on any other trail. Also loved area at Lake Raleigh. Definite photo op!!! My only "complaint" would be that the trail is not well marked when it hits Water Works street and the Rocky Branch trail. We lost the trail on our way out at the water works area and some other bikers helped us get straight and then on the return we somehow ended up on Rocky Branch Trail instead of Walnut Creek. They may merge as one but we didn't know and didn't have extra time to hope they did so we used the traillink map and took a street to get us back to Walnut Creek Trail. Hope to come back and ride again sometime. Had about 5 miles to opposite end but had to turn to head back (time crunch) so missed riding the long marsh bridge which would have loved to have done.

I rode the Walnut Creek Trail in Raleigh, NC today. For an urban trail, it was quite beautiful with relatively few road crossings. Since it is part of a trail network, it was often confusing which way the trail proceeded. I had a particularly hard time finding the starting point from the Lake Johnson trails where I parked. I learned that my Traillink website subscription on my phone would show my GPS location on and a few times near the trail when I made a wrong turn. There was one point where the trail was supposed to be according to the map and GPS where it simply ended. Thanks to the app, I was able to connect to another trail just north of the abrupt ending that quickly connected back to the Walnut Creek Trail.

The trail was 15.5 miles long, but I covered a touch over 34 (out and back) looking for the western end and with the wrong turns. There were also some elevation changes. I wish I had put road tires on the gravel bike. The trail guide said there was 2 miles of gravel, but I found no gravel. I saw a very large doe cross the trail near the NC State Campus, go figure, and 3 fawns once it went back in the woods near Lake Johnson. The underpasses to avoid the highways were treacherous. Crazy 90 degree turns. Glad I was not on the tandem, they would have been very difficult. I give it a 7 gear rating on a 10 gear cassette.

We biked from Worthdale park east to the Neuse river trail. Beautiful well maintained and a little hilly. This section is 5 stars. We then went 4 miles or so west ,after struggling to find the street connection , and it was a little more dated , not quite as wide, and in need of some cleaning but pretty nice. We rated this section a 3+. Well worth a visit.


I stumbled across this trail by accident, while out riding my Trikke, while taking a course at NCSU.

The paved portion now runs about 15 miles. The map here on the Traillink site needs updating.

To see an up-to-date map, go to:


and click on "View Trail Map".

A definite must do for the riding enthusiast. The best way to access this trail on the upper end is to park at the Poole Road access to the Neuse River Trail and ride south a short distance to the trail. After passing under Barwell road and crossing an interesting span over Walnut Creek this trail will lead you through extensive wetlands. The most interesting feature in this section is the 1 3/4 mile continuous boardwalk through the swamp around the Maybrook Subdivision. Worth the trip and an easy ride.

Raleigh's rail trail system is amazing. We stayed downtown and were able to pick up the trails within a few blocks from our hotel. The Rocky Branch Trail is located on Fayetteville St. and the Walnut Creek Trail is on South Wilmington St.
We rode 40 miles, with close to 95% of it being off road. Some of the street connections were difficult to find. However, other cyclists were able to give us directions or lead the way. There is an extensive map available at the visitors' center at the Marriott; however, we didn't find the insets (which are supposed to direct you to the connections) particularly helpful.
If you take the Crabtree Creek Trail, there's a section that becomes dirt and full of roots for about a half mile. It ends at a staircase. At the top of the staircase, if you ride to the left, you'll find the trail again about a quarter mile down the road on the left.
If you take the Rocky Branch Trail, it comes out on Western Blvd. Cross the street to the prison, go left and ride along Western Blvd., keeping Pullen Park on your right. The trail picks up again by the park.
We found fellow cyclists to be very friendly and helpful. We picked up 4 riders along the way. Riding the trails is a great way to see Raleigh and to meet people.

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Neuse River Trail

North Carolina - 29.8 miles

Along the eastern outskirts of Raleigh, the Neuse River Trail follows the river for nearly 30 miles from Falls Lake Dam to the Wake/Johnston County...

Crabtree Creek Trail

North Carolina - 15.9 miles

The Crabtree Creek Trail, in suburban Raleigh, stretches nearly 16 miles along the Crabtree Creek corridor through forested greenways, city parks,...

Mingo Creek Trail

North Carolina - 3.4 miles

Opened in August, 2014, the Mingo Creek Trail connects the town of Knightdale from Mingo Creek Park to the Neuse River Trail, just north of Anderson...


Clayton River Walk

North Carolina - 4 miles

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Little Rock Trail

North Carolina - 1.6 miles

Beginning at E. Martin Street, the Little Rock Trail heads south through Chavis Park, running parallel with Chavis Way. The park features rock...

Rocky Branch Trail (NC)

North Carolina - 3.4 miles

The Rocky Branch Trail offers beautiful views of the Raleigh city skyline, while also passing through the length of the North Carolina State...

Centennial Bikeway Connector

North Carolina - 2.3 miles

The Centennial Bikeway Connector is a shared-use path adjacent to Centennial Parkway in Raleigh. The trail, as its name suggests, links the North...

Sam's Branch Greenway

North Carolina - 1.25 miles

Sam's Branch Greenway is a short, but scenic trail in the town of Clayton, just south of Raleigh. At the Neuse River, it connects to the Clayton River...

Spring Forest Trail

North Carolina - 0.45 miles

The Spring Forest Trail parallels Triangle Town Boulevard from Sumner Boulevard for only 0.5 mile north. Use caution at the crossing on Old Wake...

Reedy Creek Trail

North Carolina - 5 miles

The Reedy Creek Trail links William B. Umstead State Park to Meredith College. Beginning at the edge of Umstead State Park, the trail passes among...

Mine Creek Trail

North Carolina - 6.5 miles

The Mine Creek Trail consists of five distinct segments: Bent Creek (paved), Inman Connector (unpaved), Ironwood (paved), Lake Park (unpaved), Sawmill...

House Creek Greenway Trail

North Carolina - 2.8 miles

The House Creek Greenway Trail is a 2.8-mile-long paved trail that runs from Crabtree Valley Avenue near the intersection with Blue Ridge Road (near...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Support TrailLink and the Trails You Love in 2020!
Get a FREE guidebook when you join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google