Posts made in April, 2013

Modern Society Interview – Heather Grant

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Community, events | 0 comments

A little dark, but Heather nailed the interview. First take. No edits.

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What Makes Lake Johnson so Cool?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Community, Recreational Activities | 0 comments

After a dreary Easter weekend, Monday’s weather had Raleigh residents filing outside in droves. Part of the Raleigh Is Cool team spent part of the day at one venue sure to give us our outdoorsy fix – Lake Johnson.

Lake Johnson is neatly tucked away in west Raleigh and is, in my humble opinion, the perfect mix – just enough scenery, just enough activities, not too big, and not too small.  Here’s a short list of what we think makes Lake J the “Baby Bear’s Porridge” of the Raleigh parks.

  • Water. Sarah and I specifically are slightly more beach girls than city girls. Lake J’s aquatic setting helps give us our water fix when the beach is too far away. With over 150 acres of water, Lake Johnson Park is one of those places where it doesn’t matter if you are running beside it, playing in it, or admiring the serenity of it –the lake itself just has an uncanny way of drawing the hustle and bustle out of your head and reminding you to slow down for a second.  And unlike other lake parks in Raleigh, Lake J offers several water activities to participate in (see #2).
  • Stuff to do. Sometimes I am just DYING to escape to a park or some scenic place to relax. But then when I finally drag myself there, the productive side of my brain goes, “Now what?” Not that the park requires you to arrive with a to-do list, but if you sympathize with me, the park is not without activities to fill your time. You can choose between two running trails – the paved trail is 3.5 and the unpaved is a little over 2 (according to our calculations).  Or you could combine them in one large loop for a mega run/walk/hike. Our trio took on the unpaved, hilly, very stumpy trail which (my aching thighs tell me) was an excellent workout. Still pumping with adrenaline, we also opted for a little pedal boating. The park offers all kinds of water activities from Jon boats for fishing to Kayaks. They rent by the half hour or hour. See the full list of offerings here along with the very affordable price list and reasonable operating hours. There are also boat launches available from sun up to sun down. Not into water sports? The park offers several shelters throughout (which are perfect for a big picnic or potluck), as well as other organized activities like Yoga by the lake.
  • Accessibility. There’s nothing more frustrating than needing to get away and breathe, and not having the time to do it. Being located with relatively easy access to 440 and 40, near NC State, and downtown, Lake Johnson is one of those places it’s easy to escape to even if you can only carve out an hour or two in your busy schedule. Also, it’s rare that a park can offer ample parking, but the folks that organized parking for Lake Johnson truly did the best they could with what they had, without taking away from the trails or scenery. There are two lots available off of Avent Ferry road – one near the main park facilities and one off of the paved trail.

The things that make a spot like this special can’t necessarily be explained, but hopefully, for your sake, I have at least piqued your interest.  Lake Johnson has a little something for everyone, and I can honestly say that each time I leave, I take with me perspective, peace of mind, and gratitude for what this little corner of the earth offers. In the next couple of weeks as the temperature climbs, treat yourself and escape here for a little bit. And tell the young man operating the pedal boats that Will and his friends say hello!



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