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Public Programs

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Christina D. Sorensen

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Parks, Recreation and Open Space

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We offer a variety of park programs for all ages - register for one today! Visit our calendar of events, view our February e-newsletter or sign up here to receive our e-newsletters to keep up with what is happening in the parks.
Scroll down or select a program series below to learn more about our offerings:

 For information about our 9th annual Longleaf Festival on Saturday, May 19, please visit our

Family Programs

 Each person attending family programs must be registered through the online system. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
Catchin' Crappie
Saturday, March 24
6–8 p.m.
For ages 7 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult)
$1 per person
Early spring is Crappie time! Kids join us and learn how to catch this very tasty and important fish. Topics covered will include: gear rigging, knot tying, bait selection and tactics to catch crappie. Bring your own pole or use one of ours.
Meet at the fishing pier.
Hooked on Fishing! Special program with NCSU Parks, Recreation and Tourism students!
Sunday, March 25
2–5 p.m.
For all ages
Join our group of NCSU students to learn how to cast, tie and bait your hook, then hopefully catch a fish! There will be opportunities to fish from a canoe, play fishing games, make an origami fish and enjoy a presentation from our NC Wildlife Resources Commission Officer. All experience levels welcome.

We will have poles and bait for you to use, but feel free to bring your own if you have a favorite. Please bring a chair and water bottle. Participants 16 and over must have a current NC fishing license. You may purchase a fishing license here.
Full Moon Hike
Saturday, March 31
7:30–9 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
We'll let the moon light our way and the frogs serenade us as we explore the trails and ponds at Harris for signs of nighttime critters.
Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
Angling Time
Friday, April 6
Two time slots available: 4:30–6 p.m. or 6–7:30 p.m. (choose one)
For all ages
$1 per person
Harris Lake is full of a variety of fish species including largemouth bass, black crappie, sunfish and catfish. Sign up for one of the angling times and park staff will provide instruction, fishing poles and bait. Participants 16 and older must have a NC fishing license in advance. All children must be accompanied by an adult who is also registered in the online system.
Meet at the Fishing Pier.
        4:30–6 p.m.                  6–7:30 p.m.
North Carolina Science Festival   April 1–30, 2018

Join us for our April 2018 programs as part of the NC Science Festival! 
The NC Science Festival is an annual statewide celebration of STEM that occurs every April across North Carolina. During the festival, hundreds of event hosts from all of North Carolina's 100 counties will feature fun, interactive science learning opportunities that promote science, technology, engineering and math and showcase just how exciting these fields can be. For more information on the NC Science Festival and to find events, visit the festival website.
Be sure to check out our events on the American Tobacco Trail too, including the 2018 Statewide Star Party!
Look for this logo next to our participating programs:

Who Eats Who?NC.png
Sunday, April 15
1–2 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Eyes in front, I hunt. Eyes on the side, I hide. This rhyme can be used to remember "who eats who" in nature. We'll explore the roles of different animals in the food chain and the skulls of local wildlife to determine who is the predator and who is prey.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.


Kids Discover Nature Preschool Programs 

Due to unpredictable weather, our preschool programs are taking a break for the months of January and February.
What Do Seeds Do?NC SF.png
Monday, April 16
11 a.m.–noon
For ages 1–7 (*Ages 1–3 may attend only the first half of the program for the story and hands-on activities, if desired.)
$4 per child
Seeds keep plants surviving, they are food for many animals including people, they provide shelter and they are used in crafts. These are just a few of the things "seeds do"!
All children attending must be registered in our online system and must be accompanied by an adult (who does not register).
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.


Citizen Science ThursdayCleaning a Bluebird Box.jpg

Ages: 10 and up
Time: 1:30–3:30 p.m.
FREE but all participants must be registered
through our online system.
 Click on a date below to register:
March 22  FULL!
                                       April 26logo.png 
Volunteer your time with our monitoring and citizen science projects! Tasks will vary depending on what needs attention. Tasks may include: cleaning or repairing habitat boxes or installing new ones, monitoring our current boxes or assisting with other relevant tasks. Come prepared to learn and work as you help manage our natural resources. This volunteer opportunity is free but registration is required so we know who to expect and can plan accordingly.
Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves and a water bottle.
Please print and sign the Volunteer Release and bring to the program.
This release is required for participation.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter unless told otherwise.

 Park staff teaching children

Programs for Kids

Nature Lab: Bird Bonanza
Thursday, March 29 
9 a.m.–1 p.m.
For ages 7–11
$16 per child
What makes a bird a bird? We'll get to know our feathered friends and their adaptations for survival through hands-on activities, games, a bird watching hike and more! Observe some native birds of different kinds up close with our educational mounts. Bring a snack, lunch and full water bottle. Dress for the weather and wear closed-toe shoes.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Wild Edibles WorkshopNCSF.png
Sunday, April 22
1–4 p.m.
For ages 14 and up
$2 per person
It is helpful to have some knowledge of common foods you can eat from the wild. In this workshop we will explore some of the wild edibles easily found in the park, have a taste of already prepared treats and learn how early pioneers and Native Americans used plants to survive.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Check out our public programs at the American Tobacco Trail!
Go to the American Tobacco Trail programs page for details.
We would love your feedback!
Did you attend one of our programs?
Let us know how we did by completing our brief public program evaluation online. 

How to Register for Public Programs 

You can register for public programs online at your convenience and pay for them with a credit/debit card.
To register for one of our public programs, click the Harris Lake icon 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.
Internet Browser Issues?
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 park office at 919-387-4342.
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Interested in a private group program? Please note that you will still need to contact park staff by phone at 919-387-4344 or by email at to schedule school field trips, birthday parties and other group programs.
Are you unable to register online with a credit/debit card? Contact the park office at 919-387-4342 or email us at for assistance.



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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 427.0
Created at 7/5/2012 4:48 PM by Christina D. Sorensen
Last modified at 3/12/2018 3:27 PM by Joanne E. St Clair





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