Harris Lake County Park staff offers a variety of public educational programs for all ages year-round. Visit our calendar of events, check out our February e-newsletter and sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date!

Scroll down or select a program series below to learn more about our offerings:

Our staff also offers public programs at the American Tobacco Trail! 
Check out the ATT programs page for details.
We would love your feedback!
Did you attend one of our programs? Let us know how we did!
Complete our brief public program evaluation online.

Online Public Program Registration
You can register for public programs online at your convenience
and pay for them with a credit/debit card.
Register for any of our programs by clicking the Harris Lake icon next to the program, or click the one below to search for programs by location, age, date and more!
Learn more under How to Register.


Families roasting marshmallows

Each person attending family programs must be registered through the online system. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Great Backyard Bird Count 
Friday, Feb. 17–Monday, Feb. 20

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that encourages birdwatchers of all ages and skill levels to count birds and report their results online to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are. 
Click here for more information about the Great Backyard Bird Count. 

Harris Lake County Park is offering programs all four days of the event. Be sure to check out the American Tobacco Trail offerings as well!

Introduction to Bird Watching and the GBBC  FREE!
Friday, Feb. 17, 3:30–5:30 pm 
Learn some tips and techniques to identify birds as we introduce you to the rewarding hobby of birdwatching through fun activities. Learn how to participate in the GBBC and hike along the shoreline to practice your new skills and help us count the birds. 
For all ages. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. 
Registration is required for all participants. Space is limited.

GBBC Harris Lake County Park Walks   FREE!
Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m.–noon
Monday, Feb. 20, 10–11 a.m. 
Help park staff add to our Great Backyard Bird Count as we walk along the trails and shore to identify birds in the various habitats of the park. Bing binoculars if you have them and dress warmly. For all ages, but best for 4 and up.
Meet at the Restroom Pavilion. Registration is not required.

GBBC Evening Adventure
Sunday, Feb. 19, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Owls are actively calling to claim their territory at 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. For all ages. Children must be able to observe quietly. 
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. $1 per person and registration is required.

GBBC Majestic Eagles
Monday, Feb. 20, 10–11 a.m.
In honor of Presidents' Day and the GBBC, enjoy a morning at the park learning about our national symbol – the majestic bald eagle! Discover eagle habits and history, compare your arm span to that of an eagle and create an eagle craft. We'll conclude the program with a hike to the fishing pier to look for eagles soaring high over Harris Lake. Dress for the weather and bring your own binoculars or borrow ours. We will have a spotting scope at the pier. For ages 5 and up. Children 7 and over may attend without an adult - adults are welcome to attend our shoreline bird walk during the program. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. $1 per person and registration is required.

GBBC Bird Fun  FREE!
Monday, Feb. 20, noon–3 p.m. 
Join us between 12 and 3 for some Bird Fun Activities! Come ready to celebrate the birds during the Great Backyard Bird Count. Many bird-themed educational activities, games and crafts will be available. Sign up at the event to participate in a bird walk at either 1 or 2 p.m. Optional - bring your own picnic lunch to expand your experience. 
For all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. Registration is requested for each participant.

Salamanders at Harris Lake County Park
Sunday, March 5
2–3 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
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 at the Loblolly Shelter. All participants must be registered online.   

Family Orienteering
Sunday, March 12
1–3 p.m.
For all ages
$1 per person
Learn how to navigate using a compass. When you think you are ready, we'll send you off on an orienteering course that takes you around the day-use area of the park. This family activity is perfect for beginners. We will have compasses, or you may bring your own. Meet at the Cypress Shelter. All participants must be registered online. 

Preschool children at program

Preschool Programs

Programs meet at the Cypress Shelter.
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Nature Tots: Seasonal Discoveries
Ages: 1–3 years with an adult
Time: 10–10:30 a.m.
Cost: $2 per child
 Discover the season and what is out and about in the park through a story, interactive activities and more. Dress warm for outdoor fun in nature! Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
Click on a date below (all Mondays) to register online:

March 13    April 10    May 8    June 5
Kids Discover Nature
Ages: 3–7 years with an adult
Time: 11 a.m.noon
Cost: $4 per child
Young kids will discover nature with an adult in this series.
Our monthly nature themes will be brought to life through stories,
games, crafts, hikes, snacks and other hands-on activities.

Catch the Wind 
Monday, March 13
March is a windy month. Learn what wind is and how wildlife use the wind to survive. Try some hands-on wind activities and take home a wind craft. Dress warm for outdoor fun in nature! Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

Frogs Are Fun
Monday, April 10
Explore the pond to look for and catch some frogs. Learn why they sing and how they grow. Make a froggy craft. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.


Park staff teaching children

Programs for Kids




 Adult workshop in park shelter


 Programs and Workshops for Teens and Adults

Winter Bird Walk
Saturday, Feb. 25
9–11 a.m.
For ages 14 and up
Join birding expert Lucas Bobay on a leisurely hike through different habitats at the park in search of winter birds with a focus on waterfowl. This is a great opportunity to observe species which are not found in our area year round. Wear good walking shoes and bring a water bottle, your own binoculars and field guide, or borrow ours.
This program qualifies for Criteria II or III credit towards the NC Environmental Education Certification.
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter.


Wood duck eggs in nest box

Citizen Science Thursday  


Ages: 8 and up
Time: 1:30–3:30 p.m.
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 and assisting with other tasks as needed. Come prepared to learn and work as you contribute to our citizen science projects. This volunteer opportunity is free but registration is required so we know who to expect and can plan accordingly.
Dress for the weather in layers, bring a water bottle and work gloves and 
wear sturdy shoes.

Meet at the Cypress Shelter unless told otherwise.
Click on one of the dates below to register online:



 How to Register for Public Programs

Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space has launched one of our
most requested features – an online registration system.
You can now sign up for a public program online
and pay for it with a credit/debit card!
To register for one of our public programs, click the link by that program
to be taken to the registration page on our online registration website.
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.
*  *  *
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.
Are you unable to register online with a credit/debit card? Contact the park office
at 919-387-4342 or email us at harris.lake@wakegov.com for assistance.

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