We offer a variety of park programs for all ages – register for one today! Visit our calendar of events, view our program e-newsletter or sign up here 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, group and outreach programs. Fees still apply for camps and shelter rentals.
Scroll down or select a program series below to learn more about our offerings:
Each person attending family programs must be registered through the online system. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.


Oh, Deer
Sunday, Jan. 26
2–3 p.m.
Free for all ages
Deer are a common sight in the park and perhaps in your own backyard. You’ll get to see a fawn mount and deer skull up close, learn some interesting facts about these beautiful animals and make your own set of antlers.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Geocaching 101
Saturday, Feb. 1
1:30–3 p.m.
Free for ages 6 and up
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), then hike to find real geocaches hidden in the park! Be prepared to be walking on and off the trail. Register early as class size is limited.
Meet at the platform in the Educational Garden near the restroom.

Kids Discover Nature: Busy Beavers
Tuesday, Feb. 11
11 a.m.–noon
Free for ages 1–6 with accompanying adult (only the child is registered but adult must attend)
Beavers are busy animals, always building or repairing their homes. See our beaver mount and learn about all the special adaptations a beaver has to live. We will read Beaver at Long Pond by William George. Dress for outdoor fun.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)

Participate in the 23rd annual Great Backyard 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.

The following programs are offered at Harris Lake County Park for this exciting event!
See the American Tobacco Trail 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.

Introduction to Bird Watching and the GBBC 
Friday, Feb. 14
4–5:30 p.m.
Free for all ages (best for ages 4+)
Discover tips and techniques to identify birds as we introduce you to the rewarding hobby of bird watching through fun activities. Learn how to participate in the GBBC and hike along the shoreline to practice your new skills as we count the birds.
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter.

GBBC Evening Adventure
Sunday, Feb. 16
6–7:30 p.m.
Free for all ages – children should be able to observe quietly
Owls are actively calling to claim or protect their territory this time of year. Other birds are settling down for the night. Walk with us along the trails and ponds to discover birds and other cool nature out at dusk. Bring a flashlight.
Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.

GBBC Breakfast with the Birds
Monday, Feb. 17
8–10 a.m.
Free for ages 8 and up
Be an early bird and enjoy a muffin and coffee or hot chocolate to start out our program. We will then stroll through the different habitats of the park to identify and record a variety of birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Bring your binoculars and dress for the weather.
Meet at the tables on the deck of the restroom building.

GBBC Bird Bingo
Monday, Feb. 17
2–3 p.m.
Free for all ages (best for ages 4+)
Help park staff add to our Great Backyard Bird Count data as we walk around the park playing a fun bird bingo game!
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Leap with the Frogs!
Saturday, Feb. 29
11 a.m.–noon
Free for all ages
Once every four years, we get an extra day in the year – February 29! We’ll celebrate Leap Day by learning all about some of our amphibian friends for whom every day is leap day – the frogs of Harris Lake County Park! See some live frogs up close and play a fun active game that will have you leapin’ for joy!
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Secretive Salamanders at Harris Lake County Park

Saturday, March 7
2–3 p.m.
Free for all ages
Harris Lake County Park is home to several species of salamanders. Join us as we learn about these elusive amphibians and see some up close.
Meet in the Educational Garden at the picnic tables.

Kids Discover Nature: A Tree is Nice
Tuesday, March 10
11 a.m.–noon
Free for ages 1–6 with accompanying adult (only the child is registered but the adult must attend)
As we celebrate NC Arbor Day this month, we will learn how important trees are for us and wildlife. We will read Janice May Udry’s A Tree is Nice and walk around to look at different trees around the shelter. Dress for outdoor fun.
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Signs of Spring
Saturday, March 21
2–3 p.m.
Free for all ages
Spring is a magical time of year with birds returning, wildflowers in bloom and wildlife enjoying the warmer weather. Join us on a leisurely hike to discover what's new in nature. There should be some great photo opportunities so bring your camera just in case! Meet at the platform in the Educational Garden.

Fishing for Beginners
Saturday, March 28
1:30–3 p.m.
Free for ages 7 and up (children must have a registered accompanying adult)
Learn about a cherished outdoor pastime. This program will cover fishing basics such as how to prepare a rod and reel, bait a hook, cast your line and how to handle the fish you catch. Fish identification and common fish species that can be found in the pond will be discussed. Instruction will be followed by an opportunity to fish in the pond. Fishing poles and bait will be provided or you may bring your own.
Meet at the Fishing Pond (first gravel lot on your right after you enter the park).


Ages: 10 and up
Time: 1:30–3:30 p.m.
FREE, but all participants must be registered
through our online system. 

 Assist with our habitat box monitoring. Tasks will vary depending on what needs attention and may include: cleaning or repairing habitat boxes or installing new ones, monitoring our current boxes or assisting with other natural resource tasks.
Come prepared to learn and work – dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, bring work gloves and a water bottle.
Children ages 10–14 must have an adult registered with them.

Meet at the Cypress Shelter unless told otherwise.

Check out our public programs at the American Tobacco Trail!
Go to the American Tobacco Trail programs page for details.

How to Register for Public Programs

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 jackie.trickel@wakegov.com to schedule school field trips, birthday parties and other group programs.
Having trouble registering for a program online?
Contact the park office at 919-387-4342 or email us at
harris.lake@wakegov.com for assistance.