Raleigh, N.C. — Every time I bike or walk on Raleigh's greenway, I am grateful that my taxes support (in part) such an accessible luxury.
The Capital Area Greenway comprises more than 100 miles over 28 trails – short, long, paved, dirt, downtown and suburban.
For a reluctant exerciser, access to the greenway is almost enough to quash any excuse. For me, this well-maintained and safe trail system offers a sanctuary from both pounding music and pressure of a commercial gym and an escape from a hustle-bustle work life. I am lucky enough to be within a couple miles of greenway trails both at work and at home. Check the map: I bet you are too!
By later this year, additional construction will connect Shelley Lake and Falls Lake and will complete the link between the Neuse River Trail at the far eastern edge of the city and the Crabtree Creek Trail which runs north and west to North Hills Park.
There are busy segments, like the loop around Lake Johnson, where families and pets make a quick 2.8 mile circuit. And there are remote trails where you can be surrounded by silence within steps of a parking lot, like the segment of the Neuse River Trail south of Poole Road.
There are many ways to get started. The city publishes a map, Wake County offers a printable "pocket guide" to parks and trails, but I have found the RGreenway app to be invaluable while I am on the move. The app uses your location to suggest the nearest trail and parking area, then allows you to route along the greenway to a select destination. It offers audible directions and tracks your cumulative mileage. You'll also find local weather conditions.