floodplain.jpgWhether you are a child or an adult, Lake Crabtree has a program for you! All scheduled programs have space limitations and, therefore, require registration prior to the program.

To register in person, by mail or fax, please download a copy of our Registration Form or call 919-460-3355 for more information.

​To register online, click on the registration buttons to the right of each program.
 

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Family Programs
(Everyone welcome)
Preregistration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted.  All participants must be registered.

 
Birding with Vernon
1st Saturday of each month (unless otherwise stated), 8:30–10 a.m.
October 1, November 5 
FREE; No preregistration required
Meet at the Waterwise Garden (first parking lot on right)
Join our bird enthusiast, Vernon, for an easy walk while looking and listening for our feathered friends. Discover different types of birds and their habitats.​
 
 

Crabtree Casters
September 7 & 21, 6:30–8 p.m.
FREE

Whether you already enjoy fishing or would like to learn how to fish, this program is for you! Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Bring your own poles or borrow one of ours through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All participants 16 years and older must have a valid NC fishing license to participate. Fishing is catch and release only. All children must be accompanied by an adult. If the accompanying adult does not have a license, kids can be covered by the instructor's fishing license.
                                                                                                             
 
 
Spider Sniffing
Saturday, September 24, 7:30–9:30 p.m.
FREE
Do you have a nose for nature? Bring it, a flashlight, and your night vision for a walk around the Old Beech Nature Trail. Meet with park staff at dusk to learn what those bumps in the night really are and discover the secret art of "spider sniffing". This program is FREE in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week. All participants must register.
 
Mysterious Mushrooms
Monday, September 26, 10 a.m.–noon
FREE
Discover the amazing world of mushrooms and learn about these organisms that are neither plant nor animal. Learn how to identify some of the more common types of fungi in our area and discover the important role they play in our ecosystem. We will even go on a mushroom hunt! This program is FREE in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week. All participants must register.
 
Nature at Night
Wednesday, September 28, 7–8:30 p.m.
FREE
Experience the sights and sounds of sunset and beyond. Learn more about the park's nocturnal animals and test your night vision. Come prepared with a flashlight and a sense of adventure! This program is FREE in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week. All participants must register.
 
Brown-headed Nuthatch Nestbox Workshop
Saturday, November 5, 10:30 a.m.–noon
Learn all about the brown-headed nuthatch and why this species needs our help. Participants will make a nestbox from a kit to take home at the end of the program. Installation instructions will be provided, along with all of the information you need to find the perfect spot for your new nestbox.
 
Only one person needs to register per nestbox (other participants can be added during the registration process). Nestboxes are $11 each, and cash payment must be received at the beginning of the program. Call 919-460-2723 if you have any questions.
 
Telling Trails
Saturday, November 5, 2–4 p.m.
FREE
Ever wonder what animal made those tracks you came across while wandering in the wilderness? Expand your hiking experience by learning how to identify animal tracks, scat, and other signs that they leave behind. Join us for an eye-opening hike and make an animal track to take home. All participants must register. Ages 5 and up.
 
Intermediate Orienteering
Sunday, November 13, 1–4 p.m.
FREE
Leave your GPS at home and learn how to find your way using only a compass and a map. We will cover the basics of orienteering, including reading bearings, calculating your stride, and more. Use your new skills to navigate through the woods on our 1-mile orienteering course. All participants must register. Ages 7 and up.
 
Nature in Winter
Sunday, December 4, 1–3 p.m.
FREE
Hibernate, migrate, or adapt? Different life forms have various strategies for dealing with the lean months of winter. Discover how the animals of Lake Crabtree survive the darkest, coldest season. All participants must register. Ages 5 and up.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insect Song Workshop
Saturday, October 29, 9 a.m.–noon
FREE
Summer brings a symphony of singing insects, including crickets, katydids, and cicadas. Many of these insects sing well into the fall. Learn how to distinguish between the different groups of Orthopterans, and learn the songs of some of our common species. We'll spend some time trying to catch insects around the park and test our new ID skills. Ages 16 and up.
 
 
 
Winter Waterfowl Workshop
Saturday, December 17, 9 a.m.–noon
FREE
Lake Crabtree is a birding hotspot, and a great place to observe both common and uncommon winter waterfowl. Learn how to identify various species by looking at field markings, behaviors, and more. We will spend a lot of time observing waterfowl on the lake, so dress warmly! Ages 18 and up.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Storytime for Tots
Discover nature, beginning with a story, followed by outdoor, hands-on nature exploration. Each program will end with a fun activity or craft to take home. Come prepared to actively participate with your child. First Wednesday of each month. Programs run from 1–2 p.m. at the Beech Shelter. Free. Preregistration is required. Ages 2–5.

 

Eww! Critter Litter
Wednesday, October 5, 1–2 p.m.
Learn all about "scat" as we explore the signs various animals leave behind. We will discover what scat tells us about an animal, and why scientists and trackers study it. Go on a Scat Safari and play a matching game. Get a sneak peek at some of the activities at this year's Creepy Crabtree event!

 

 

Miss Spider's Tea Party
Wednesday, November 2, 1–2 p.m.
Miss Spider wonders why none of the insects want to come to her tea party. They run away in fear each time she invites them. Learn all about spiders and see some of the species that live at Lake Crabtree up close. Make a spider to take home and play spider "hangman".
 

 

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Homeschool and Track-out Programs 

These programs are open to students 6–12 years old. Each lesson meets at the Beech Shelter, unless otherwise noted. Free. Preregistration is required.

 

 

Orienteering
Wednesday, October 12, 9–11 a.m.
Leave your GPS at home and learn how to find your way using only a compass and a map. We'll cover the basics of orienteering. There will be a focus on map reading for younger kids, while older participants will have a chance to test their new skills on our orienteering course.
 
 
Stupendous Soils
Tuesday, November 15, 1–3 p.m.
What makes soil more than just dirt? Be prepared to get your hands dirty as you examine this amazing substance that is vital to our survival! Analyze soil samples and sow your own seeds that you can take home and watch grow!

 

 

 
Big Sweep
Saturday, October 1, 9 a.m.–noon
Join volunteers around the globe and help clean the world's waterways. Teams will pick up trash along the shore of Lake Crabtree and its connecting creeks. Gloves, bags and other supplies are provided by the park. We'll raffle off prizes and learn why it's important to educate others about litter. Individuals and groups are welcome. Make a difference in your community! Preregistration is required. Call 919-460-3355 for more information.
 
Creepy Crabtree
Saturday, October 22, 2–6 p.m.
FREE
Mark your calendars! Our annual Halloween event, Creepy Crabtree, will return in October! This free park wide event will investigate the darker side of nature. Join the freakish festivities, featuring scary scavenger hunts, creepy crafts and gruesome games. Wear a costume if you like. Come anytime, no signup necessary.
 
 
 
                                                                              LCCP Adventure Backpack Bin image for website.jpg
                         
Visit Lake Crabtree's Adventure Backpack Bin on the garden side of the manager's office for some educational fun! You can participate in a citizen science project, go on a scavenger hunt, or do some birdwatching! All of the information and tools you need are provided. Just show up anytime during park hours, sign out a backpack at the bin, and begin your adventure! Junior Naturalists can earn one Lake Crabtree credit by participating in one of the activities and answering the corresponding question sheet. Please be sure to take our short survey when you have completed your activity.
 

 

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