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 January/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.
Walkin' Through the Winter Pines
Saturday, Jan. 21
1:30–3 p.m.
For all ages, but best for 6 and up
$1 per person
Take a wagon ride to our Longleaf Pine Forest. We'll hike out from the wagon to explore the beauty of the winter woods and observe birds and other signs of wildlife in the Longleaf. Bring a water bottle and binoculars if you have them (we'll have some to borrow as well) and dress warm for the weather. Bring a blanket for the wagon ride. 
Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.

Wetlands are Wonderful
Thursday, Feb. 2
2–3:30 p.m.                                                                                   
For all ages, but best for 6 and up                                                   
$1 per person
In honor of World Wetland Day, explore our pond ecosystem by scooping for critters not readily seen, go on a hike to observe the lake shoreline and play a fun "wetland metaphors" game. Learn how truly wonderful, special and important wetlands are!
Meet at the Cypress Shelter.

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!
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. 
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. Please note: registration is required for this program.

Friday, Feb. 17, 3:30–5:30 pm 

GBBC Harris Lake County Park Walks   FREE!
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. 
Meet at the restroom pavilion. Registration is not required.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m.–noon
Monday, Feb. 20, 10–11 a.m. 

GBBC Evening Adventure
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. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. $1 per person and registration is required.

Sunday, Feb. 19, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

GBBC Majestic Eagles
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. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. $1 per person and registration is required.

Monday, Feb. 20, 10–11 a.m.

GBBC Bird Fun  FREE!
Join us between noon and 3 p.m. for some bird fun! Bring a picnic lunch to start you off. Many bird educational activities, games, crafts and hikes will be available for you to participate. Dress for the weather and come ready to celebrate the birds during the Great Backyard Bird Count. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. Registration is requested for each participant.

Monday, Feb. 20, noon–3 p.m. 

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:

February 13 April 10
March 13 May 8

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.

Valentines For the Birds
Monday, Feb. 13
Create some edible valentines for the birds as we learn how to attract birds to our yards and what things we should provide for our feathered friends this winter.
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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