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 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.


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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.

Big Sweep
Sunday, April 2
Noon–3 p.m.
For ages 6 and up
Free Volunteer Opportunity
Help keep Harris Lake clean! Volunteers are needed to help collect trash along the lake shore and along New Hill Holleman Road, preventing litter from reaching Harris Lake. Minimum age for shoreline cleanup is age 6; minimum age for roadside cleanup is age 10. All volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes or boots, bring a filled water bottle and your own work gloves. We have loaner gloves if needed. Hat, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended. Dress for the weather. We will provide trash bags for all and orange vests for the roadside crew. All volunteers must sign the Wake County Volunteer ReleaseVolunteers under age 16 must be with a guardian or an adult group sponsor. Meet at the Park Office for introduction and assignments.

Microscope Discoveries This program is part of the NC Science Festival!
Friday, April 7
4–6 p.m.
For all ages but better suited for ages 6 and up
Free for the NC Science Festival
Explore the fascinating world of tiny things found in nature! In this up-close experience, peer more deeply into pond water and at plants, soil, feathers and more. A variety of microscopes will be available to try! Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. All participants must be registered online as space is limited.
Longleaf Festival
Saturday, May 20
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
For all ages
Longleaf Festival celebrates the longleaf pine ecosystem. At this free festival you will learn about the life of the longleaf pine, how it is managed with fire, its history and the wildlife and plants that depend on its natural habitat. Visit with over 30 agencies and organizations with interactive exhibits, see live birds of prey, reptiles and amphibians up close, get a ticket to ride the "Longleaf Express" to our 60-acre restored Longleaf Forest, enjoy games and crafts and much more! No registration is required for this event.
For the most up-to-date information, check our Longleaf Festival page.

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:

    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.

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


Fishing for Beginners
Saturday, April 15
10 a.m.–noon
For ages 7–12
$4 per child
Participants will hear about a cherished outdoor pastime. The program will cover fishing basics such as how to prepare a rod and reel, tie a lure, bait a hook, cast your line and how to handle a fish. 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 shed at the Fishing Pond (park in the first gravel lot on your right after you enter the park). All participants must be registered online. 
Limited to 6 children. Parents may drop off or remain with their children during the program.  

 Adult workshop in park shelter


 Programs and Workshops for Teens and Adults

The Science of Fire       This program is part of the NC Science Festival!
Thursday, April 20
3–6 p.m.
For ages 16 and up
Free for the NC Science Festival
Fire is an important management tool for our Longleaf Pine forest at Harris Lake County Park. It depends on fire to be a healthy ecosystem. Learn how prescribed fires are conducted, what equipment is used, fire safety and the value for wildlife. We will travel by wagon to our Longleaf area and if conditions permit, we will conduct a demonstration burn in a small contained area. Space is limited in this program. 
Meet at the Longleaf Shelter. All participants must be registered online. 

Wood duck eggs in nest box

Citizen Science Thursday  


Ages: 10 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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