Harris Lake County Park staff offers a variety of public educational programs for all ages year-round. Visit our calendar of events and sign up for our e-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.
 

 

Nature Totsphoto of kids coloring

 
 Discover the natural world through stories, hands-on nature activities, games, crafts and more.
 
  
 
Ages: 1–3 years with an adult
Time: 10:30–11 a.m.
Fee: $2 per child or 3 programs for $5
Meet at the Cypress Shelter
 
Soar Like an Eagle
Friday, February 13
It is good medicine when you see an Eagle at Harris Lake County Park! We will read a book about eagles and pretend we are eagles, if only for a moment.
 
A Tree is Nice
Friday, March 13
After reading A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry we will take a closer look at trees, touching and sorting gathered tree parts. Each child will color their own tree to take home. 
 
Wiggly Worms
Monday, April 13 (Please note new day of the week)
This hands-on program will introduce children to the thrill of a wiggly worm. Learn about these amazing creatures and how they help aerate the soil and make it rich for plants. Enjoy a gummy worm snack.
 
 

 

photo of kids in leaf hats

 
Get up close with nature! Discover amazing things in the park as we explore nature "hands on" through games, crafts, hikes and more.
 
  
 
Ages: 3–5 years with an adult
Time: 1–2 p.m. (Please note new time)
Fee: $4 per child or 3 programs for $10
Meet at the Cypress Shelter
 
Soar Like an Eagle
Friday, February 13
It is good medicine when you see an eagle at Harris Lake County Park! We will read a book about eagles. As we learn about them, we will see if our "wing span" is close to an eagle's wing span.
 
A Tree is Nice
Friday, March 13
After reading A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry, we will take a closer look at trees and tree parts. Each child will make a wishing tree and learn about the many things made from trees.
 
Wiggly Worms
Monday, April 13 (Please note new day of the week)
This hands-on program will introduce children to the thrill of a wiggly worm. Learn about these amazing creatures and how they help aerate the soil and make it rich for plants. Enjoy a gummy worm snack.
 
 

 
photo of wagon ride and tractor

 
 

 
 
 
 
Winter Wagon Ride
Saturday, February 21
Time: 1–2:30 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Cure that cabin fever with a wagon ride to the far reaches of Harris Lake County Park! Enjoy a scavenger hunt as you journey to the 60-acre Longleaf Pine Restoration Area and Womble family history site. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
 
Geocaching 101
Saturday, February 28
Time: 10 a.m.–noon
Ages: 6 and up
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Do you enjoy discovering new ways to use technology in the great outdoors? If so, geocaching is for you! Geocaching is like a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden boxes called "caches." In this program, we will teach you what geocaching is all about and then search for some geocaches in the park! We will provide GPS units and instruction on how to use them, or you may bring your own unit or smartphone with a geocache app. Class size is limited. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
 
Salamander Search
Saturday, March 21
Time: 1:30–3 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Are you aware of the important role salamanders play in our communities?  They may be living in your neighborhood! Join us as we learn about these elusive amphibians, then head out to search the many temporary wetlands of the park for eggs, larvae and adults. Space is limited to minimize impact on the habitat.  Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
 
Kudzu Garden Globes
Sunday, March 29
Time: 3–4:30 p.m.
Ages: 10 and up
Cost: $5 per family or $3 per individual
Kudzu and wisteria are invasive vines that can take over and cause problems in our native ecosystems. In this program, we will weave these vines together to create unique garden globe art! All materials and examples will be provided. If you wish to light your globe, bring a set of holiday twinkle lights to put inside. Meet at the Cypress Shelter (in case of inclement weather, meet at the park office).
     Make it a day and register for our Spring Photography Hike at 1 p.m. the same day! See Adult Programs below.
 
Senses of Spring
Saturday, April 18
Time: 1:30–3 p.m.
For all ages
Cost: $5 per family
Spring is here! Celebrate all the senses of springtime as we explore what we see, hear, smell, touch and taste this time of year. We will look for new plant growth, listen for birds, smell flowers in bloom and more. Enjoy a leisurely hike through the spring woods. Meet at the Loblolly Shelter.
 

Kids learning about pond

Programs for Kids

 

 
  
Nature Lab: Nature Detective
Wednesday, February 11
Time: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Ages: 6–12
Cost: $16 per child
Your child is invited to spend the afternoon at Harris Lake County Park as they learn how to identify tracks and other signs of wildlife. They will then go on a hike to put their nature detective skills to use and make an animal track to take home. Bring a snack, lunch and a water bottle. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
 
Beginning Fishing Clinic
Sunday, March 22
Time: 5–7 p.m.
Ages: 7–15
Cost: $4 per child
In this introduction to the basic fundamentals of fishing, children will gain the skills needed for a lifetime of fishing enjoyment. We will teach angler safety and courtesy, how to rig a line and tie knots, local fish ID, and pond food chain dynamics. This one-hour clinic will be followed by one hour of fishing. Program is limited to 6 children. Parents may drop off or remain with their children during the program. Meet at the park fishing pond (first gravel lot on right after entering the park).
 
Science Alliance
TuesdayFriday, April 14–17
Times: 4–6 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday
           2–4 p.m. Friday (Traditional school early release day)
Cost: FREE!                     
Be part of the NC Science Festival and celebrate science at our all new four-day "Science Alliance" event at Harris Lake County Park! Each afternoon we will have different natural resource professionals as our guest scientists to engage you in fun hands-on activities and presentations. These experts in their fields will speak to you about topics ranging from forestry and wildlife to entomology, gardening and careers in science. Come out for two or more days to win some cool prizes! You will be given a pass to keep track of how many days you attend. Topics and presenters will be updated as we confirm our guests.
 
 

 

Adult Programs and Workshops

Lookin' at Lichen
Hosted by the Wake Audubon Society
Saturday, March 21 (Rain Date: Saturday, March 28)
Time: 9–11 a.m.
Ages: 14 and up
Cost: FREE!
On a walk in the woods lichen are all around us, but there is much more than meets the eye with these fascinating organisms. Join local lichen experts on a hike through Harris Lake County Park to observe lichen, including some rare and unusual species that have been found here. Wear good walking shoes and bring your own hand lens or magnifying glass (we will have some available to borrow, as well). Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
 
Spring Photography Hike
Sunday, March 29
Time: 1–2:30 p.m.
Ages: 14 and up
Cost: $3 per person
Bring your camera and join us for outdoor nature photography in the park! We will focus on capturing the change in seasons by photographing newly emerging spring growth and hopefully some local wildlife. Park staff will accompany you and serve as an interpretive guide to the flora and fauna you see and photograph. All photography skill levels are welcome. Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
     Make it a day and register for Kudzu Garden Globes at 3 p.m. following the Photography Hike! See Family Programs above.


 Great Backyard Bird Count

February 13–16
 
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that encourages bird watchers of all ages and skill levels to count birds and report their results online to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The data collected gives useful information to scientists, which enables them to better evaluate fluctuations in bird populations.
 
Visit birdsource.org to learn more. Check out our flier and visit the main GBBC page for more information about upcoming Wake County GBBC programs.
 

photo of red-shouldered hawk

 
Harris Lake County Park encourages you to participate by joining us for our counts and other programs and events. 
 
All programs listed below are FREE and open to all ages to help you learn more about birds!
 
Whether you're an avid birder or a beginner who wants to learn more about local birds, the GBBC is for you!
   
 
 
Registration is requested for these programs:
   
 
Friday, February 13
  • Bird Walk: 8:30–10 a.m. We will walk along the shore and into the woods to identify a variety of birds in the various habitats at Harris Lake County Park. Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
  • Introduction to Birdwatching and GBBC: 3:30–5:30 p.m.  As we introduce you to the rewarding hobby of birdwatching, we will hike along the trails to learn identification tips and how you can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count on your own over the 4 day event. Meet at the Longleaf Shelter.
 
Saturday, February 14
  • Bird Walk: 8:30–10 a.m. We will walk along the shore and into the woods to identify a variety of birds in the various habitats at Harris Lake County Park. Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
  • Birdapalooza: 1–4 p.m. Fly by and enjoy a variety of fun, educational and interactive bird-themed activities, including games, crafts, hikes, scavenger hunts, and more! Enjoy a cup of shade grown coffee and learn why it helps the birds. Meet in our Educational Gardens near the Restroom Pavilion.
  • Owl Prowl: 6–7 p.m. Owls are actively calling to claim their territory at this time of year. Learn about the different owls that live in our area, their amazing adaptations and how to identify them by sight and sound. We will hike along the trails in hopes of hearing one of these nocturnal birds of prey. Meet at the Cypress Shelter.
 
Sunday, February 15
  • Bird Walk: 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. We will walk along the shore and into the woods to identify a variety of birds in the various habitats at Harris Lake County Park. Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
 
Monday, February 16
  • Bird Walk: 911 a.m. We will walk into the woods to identify a variety of birds in the various habitats at Harris Lake County Park. Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.
  • Shoreline Bird Walk: 24 p.m. We will walk along the shore of Harris Lake to identify a variety of birds that live on and around the lake. Meet at the Restroom Pavilion.

 


Sunday, March 22
Time: noon–3 p.m.
Ages: 6 and up
   
 
 
  
Help keep Harris Lake clean! Volunteers are needed to help collect trash along New Hill Holleman Road to prevent litter from reaching Harris Lake (minimum age 10) or inside the park along the shore (minimum age 6). After an introduction and assignments, we will begin our Big Sweep! All volunteers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, dress for the weather and bring a water bottle and your own gloves (if you prefer). We will provide park gloves and trash bags. Volunteers collecting along the road will be given an orange vest to wear.
 
Please register in advance by calling the park office at 919-387-4342.
Meet in front of the Park Office. 
 
photo of trash collected
PLEASE NOTE:
All participants must sign the Wake County Volunteer Release. 
Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. If you are coming with a group, the release must be signed by parents
prior to the event.
 
For questions, contact Erin Latimer
at 919-387-4341.
 
 
 

 

 How to Register

 For more information and to check program availability, contact the park at 919-387-4342 or email us at harris.lake@wakegov.com.

To register, complete and sign the PROS Program Registration Form and return it with payment by mail or bring it by the park office.

 

Please Note: Payment and a completed, signed registration form must be received to confirm your spot in our programs. Registration must be received at least two days prior to the program date. If the minimum number of registered participants is not met, the program will be canceled. All payments must be made using cash, check or money order (made out to "Wake County Parks") – park staff do not currently have the ability to take credit cards.

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