We offer a variety of public educational programs for all ages – register for one today! Visit our calendar of events, view our program e-newsletter or sign up to receive our
e-newsletters to keep up with what is happening in the parks.
Important Updates
As of Jan. 1, 2019, there is no charge for all Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space public programs.

Upcoming Programs

Night Hike on the American Tobacco Trail
Friday, Jan. 24
5:30–7 p.m.
Free for all ages
Take a hike after dark and enjoy the sights and sounds of a quiet night along the American Tobacco Trail. We will walk to the Beaver Creek bridge and back (about one mile total).
Meet at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road) near the restrooms.

Advanced Winter Tree ID
Saturday, Jan. 25
10 a.m.–noon
Free for ages 12 and up
It’s one thing to identify trees when you have leaves, flowers and fruit, but attempting ID in the winter is an entirely different skill. We will use bark, structure, location and whatever we can find on the forest floor to identify trees in the winter. This is an advanced class taught by an NC Forest Service Ranger. Bring a pocket magnifying lens if you have one, binoculars and, of course, your favorite tree book! Dress for the weather and bring a water bottle. This program is eligible for Criteria II or III credit toward the NC Environmental Education Certification.
Meet at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road) near the restrooms.

Wetlands are Wonderful 
Sunday, Feb. 2
10–11:30 a.m.
Free for ages 5 and up
To celebrate World Wetland Day, we'll visit the picturesque Beaver Creek wetland. Through a hands-on activity, you'll learn the importance of wetlands to both people and animals. See some wetland critter mounts up close and learn how they are adapted to this amazing area. Bring a camera to capture the beautiful scenery, binoculars, a full water bottle, dress for the weather and wear good walking shoes. We will walk a total of one mile.

Meet at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road) at the lower picnic table.

Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
Participate in the 23rd annual Great Backyard Bird Count from February 14 - 17, 2020. Bird watchers of all ages are encouraged to count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are across the globe.

Join us for the following program at the American Tobacco Trail for this exciting event, and check out the Harris Lake County Park page for additional GBBC programs!
Registration is required for all GBBC participants through our online system. Dress for the weather, bring water, binoculars and bird ID book if you have them.

GBBC Sweetheart Bird Walk Along the ATT
Friday, Feb. 14
8:30–10:30 a.m.
Free for ages 10 and up
As part of the GBBC, come join us for a sweetheart walk on the ATT to see our wintering birds and animals already getting ready for spring with an eye for “love”. We will find bird pairs staying together throughout the winter, salamanders laying eggs in ephemeral pools, and waterfowl feeding to gain strength for a return to their nesting grounds. Birders extraordinaire Larry Zoller and Mike Maier will help us identify the birds we see and hear on this hike to the Beaver Creek bridge and back (total distance of 1 mile). Birders of all skill levels are welcome!

Meet near the restrooms at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd., Apex).

Salamander Search on the American Tobacco Trail
Sunday, March 8
1:30–3 p.m.
Free for all ages
Salamanders are the most secretive of all amphibians and this just makes them all the more fascinating! Join us as we learn about their interesting life cycle and see some up close as we search the vernal pools along the Trail for eggs & larvae.  

Meet at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road) at the lower picnic table.

Geocaching 101 on the American Tobacco Trail
Sunday, March 29
1:30–3 p.m.
Free for ages 6 and up (all participants must be registered in the online system)
Geocaching is a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden “caches.” We will learn how to use traditional GPS units and the Geocaching App (by Groundspeak) and then find real geocaches hidden along the trail. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle as we will be walking about a mile. Register early as class size is limited.
Meet at the White Oak parking area (1305 White Oak Church Road) at the picnic tables.

Our staff also offers public programs at Harris Lake County Park.
Check out the Harris Lake programs page for details.

How to Register for Public Programs

 Register for any of our programs by using the American Tobacco Trail button next to the program to be taken to the registration page on our online registration website, or use the button below to search for programs by location, age, date and more!
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Internet Explorer works best when registering or searching via our program calendar.


The most common registration questions are answered on our FAQ page.
If you still need further assistance after visiting that page or if you have a question about a program, please call the Harris Lake County Park office at 919-387-4342.
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Having trouble registering for a program online?
Contact the Harris Lake County Park office at 919-387-4342 or email us at harris.lake@wakegov.com for assistance.