Exploring Cary’s Greenways: White Oak Creek Greenway

When Mike and I moved to Cary, NC at the end of November, we were excited to explore the area Greenways, wide paved pathways that snake all over the area. Although we still enjoy exploring new trails, we’ve been searching for a solid 5 or 6 mile loop. One of my early exploration runs on the White Oak Creek Greenway turned into our go-to 6 mile route with a slight modification.
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This Greenway entrance from Davis Drive is a bit hidden; I felt like I discovered some secret, especially since the trail was pretty empty. Turning off the busy Davis Drive (though with wide wide sidewalks on both sides) onto Waldo Rood Blvd, I referenced my handy RGreenway app to see how to access White Oak. Crossing to MacArthur Drive and running along narrow neighborhood sidewalks, I spotted the large Greenway pillar marking the trail entrance, about 1.5 miles from our apartment.
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The scenic trail starts out winding behind houses and an elementary school. There are a couple of pretty wooden bridges to cross over before the woods open up to a large neighborhood park with a playground. The trail then goes through a tunnel under Cary Parkway (nice not to have to cross busy roads!) and becomes wooded again until reaching Fred Bond Lake.

Approaching Bond Park

Approaching Bond Park


Fred Bond Park is a large 310 acre park in Cary, with a big parking lot, pavilions, amphitheater, athletic fields, ropes course and even a boathouse. Despite being on a weekday during the day, there were quite a few people around, walking and jogging, and little kids playing. I referenced the large Greenway map by the pavilions to decide on my plan since I was only a little over 2 miles into the run.

Options:
– Run on Oxxford Hunt Greenway for 1.3 miles and then turn around.
– Run on Black Creek Greenway and turn around (goes for about 6 miles and then connects with other Greenways so could go for a long time)
– Run around the lake trail, looping back to White Oak Greenway.

I decided to check out the lake and run around the Bond Lake Trail. I soon realized why this trail wasn’t on my RGreenway app. It wasn’t paved or even packed down well. This was a hiking trail. I ran/walked most of it, careful not to twist an ankle. The trail was gorgeous though with beautiful views of Bond Lake.

Lake Trail at Bond Lake

Lake Trail at Bond Lake

Not the trail I was expecting!

Not the trail I was expecting!


Once I had looped back to the paved Greenway trail, I felt like I was flying. I ended up running a little farther than planned – 6.79. This won’t be a regular running route since I don’t want to include the Lake Trail on my runs (unless I have trail running shoes).
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A few weeks later, Mike and I decided to figure out a loop route, rather than an out and back, incorporating the White Oak Greenway. We ran up High House, rather than Davis to access the Greenway from another access point about 2 miles from our apartment, which is very visible at a major intersection.
Entrance to Black Creek off High House

Entrance to Black Creek off High House


We got on Black Creek Greenway, which, according to my app, goes towards Bond Park where it joins with White Oak Creek Greenway. Not a Greenway, High House is a busy and hilly road but has a nice wide sidewalk. I’d caution runners to be extra careful when crossing entrances to parking lots, etc. because cars don’t seem that used to looking out for runners (we almost got hit!). We ran behind houses for a short ways until we hit the familiar Bond Park, though new to Mike, and joined up with White Oak Greenway. The loop was about 6.22 miles and could be a good go-to route for us.
Nice signage on Cary Greenways

Nice signage on Cary Greenways

When in DC, I loved running to the Lincoln Memorial and back for many reasons but it was a good landmark to turn around at, making it just over 6 miles roundtrip. I didn’t have to think about where to turn around or pay attention to my distance; I’d just go out and do it. It’s good to have a couple of go-to routes that you don’t need to think about or plan ahead of time.
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2 comments

  1. Glad you’re enjoying our greenways and trails! Be sure to check out our new Bike and Hike app by searching BikeHIkeCary in the app store and let us know what you think. We’d love your feedback.

    1. I’ll check out the Bike and Hike app and let you know what I think! Thanks for the tip! Love the Cary trails and greenways! Wonderfully maintained and marked. 🙂

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