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. Please download a copy of our Registration Form or call 919-460-3355 to receive one by mail or fax, or for more information.

Jump to:

Family Programs
(Everyone welcome)
Preregistration is required for all programs unless otherwise noted.

Birding with Vernon
1st Saturday of each month (unless otherwise stated), 8:30–10 a.m.
July 4, August 1, September 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
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, beginning on April 1
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. 

Critter Trivia (Family Edition)
Saturday, June 27, 3–5 p.m.
$5/family
Test your animal knowledge while you explore various habitats around Lake Crabtree. Teams will compete for prizes while discovering more about the wildlife found in the North Carolina Piedmont.

Spider Sniffing
Saturday, June 27, 8–10 p.m.
$3/person or $5/family
Do you have a nose for nature? Bring it, a flashlight, and your night vision for a hike 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."

Free Fishing Day
Saturday, July 4, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Meet at the Fishing Platform.

Register in advance to reserve your fishing poles!  Specify 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., or noon on your registration form.  Walk-ups are welcome, but fishing poles are limited!

In celebration of Independence Day, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has declared July 4 to be Free Fishing Day. From 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m., everyone in North Carolina—residents and non-residents alike—can fish in any public body of water without a fishing license. This, of course, includes Lake Crabtree, though keep in mind that fishing at the lake is catch-and-release only. Park staff will have poles for you to borrow at our fishing platform and will be on hand to provide basic instruction if you need it, as well as teaching you how to identify what you've caught.

Hoo’s Eating Hoo?
Sunday, July 19, 6–8 p.m.
$3/person or $5/family
(Ages 5 and up)
Learn about predator and prey relationships by taking a closer look at the eating habits of that mysterious creature of the night, the owl.  Release your inner scientist as you examine an owl pellet.  Then join us on a hike to look for signs of owls, other predators, and their prey.
 
Sunset Canoe Trip
Friday, July 17, 7–9 p.m.
$5/person or $10/canoe
(Canoe can hold 2 adults and 1 child maximum; Ages 5 and up)
Join park staff for an evening paddle on the lake. We'll look for animals active at dusk, learn basic paddling techniques, and see the park from a new perspective. Participants are encouraged to bring drinking water and wear sunscreen.
 
Moth Night
Friday, July 24, 8–10 p.m.
$3/person or $5/family
Did you know there are 15 species of moth for every one species of butterfly in North Carolina? Follow our moth trail and discover the variety of moths that call Lake Crabtree home. We’ll learn about the different types of moths, how they are unique from butterflies, and their importance to the ecosystem.
 
Mapping the Motherload
Saturday, August 15, 9–11 a.m.
$3/person or $5/family
(Ages 7 and up)
Avast all ye hearties...all hands on deck for a treasure hunt at Lake Crabtree! Learn basic orienteering skills and then use those skills to work with the other mateys on your team to see if you can locate the treasure!  Feel free to dress in your finest pirate garb; just be sure to dress for the weather and include insect repellent, sunscreen, and suitable closed-toed shoes for hiking in the woods…aarrrr! 
 
Sunset Canoe Trip
Friday, August 14, 7–9 p.m.
$5/person or $10/canoe
(Canoe can hold 2 adults and 1 child maximum; Ages 5 and up)
Join park staff for an evening paddle on the lake. We'll look for animals active at dusk, learn basic paddling techniques, and see the park from a new perspective. Participants are encouraged to bring drinking water and wear sunscreen.
 
Nature’s Busy Builders
Saturday, August 22, 9–11 a.m.
$3/person or $5/family
Learn all about beavers and the amazing adaptations that help them to change their habitat.  One lucky participant will get to dress up like a beaver to help us learn about these unique features!  Come prepared to go on a hike as we search for beaver activity.
 
Watch on Wetlands
Saturday, September 12, 9–11 a.m.
$3/person or $5/family
(Ages 5 and up)
Be prepared to get muddy as we study the vital role that wetland ecosystems play. We’ll net some macroinvertebrates, learn how to identify them, and about their value in the aquatic environment.  We’ll also look at other flora and fauna that inhabit a wetland.
Tremendous Trees
Monday, September 28, 9–11 a.m.
FREE (In celebration of Take A Child Outside Week)
Join us for a study of trees in the various stages of their life cycle.  Learn how to identify trees and go on a hike to practice your tree ID skills. 
 
Spider Safari
Wednesday, September 30, 4–6 p.m.
FREE (In celebration of Take A Child Outside Week)
Turn your arachnophobia into arachnophilia! Discover how amazing spiders are, and turn your fear into appreciation.  We will search the park for webs and the spiders that made them.  Learn about the variety of spiders found in North Carolina, how to identify them, and how they help us and the environment.\
 
 

Adult Programs
(Adults only)
 

Critter Trivia (Adult Edition)
Sunday, June 28, 2–4 p.m.
$2/person
Compete as a team or dare to go solo! Test your knowledge of North Carolina wildlife and the habitats of the Piedmont. Teams will compete for prizes and the title of "Ultimate Nature Nerd"!

Rain Barrel Workshop
Wednesday, July 8, 6–7 p.m.
$45 per barrel (Checks must be made out to Agni Institute)
Make your own rain barrel! Participants in this workshop will take home a fully functional 55-gallon rain barrel. Retail price for a similar barrel is usually $109 or more. Limit two participants per barrel. Ages 12–15 must be accompanied by an adult. All tools and supplies are included. Space is limited, so register early!
 
 
Full Moon Paddle
Friday, July 31, 8–10 p.m.
Ages 13 and up
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight, and enjoy this evening's rare blue moon! Reserve a canoe or kayak from the park or launch your own. This is the first time the lake is open after hours, so make sure to be a part of this unique experience. Preregistration is required. Be sure to specify the type of boat you want to reserve on your registration form. Limit of two people for tandem boats. Choose from the following options:
Private canoe or kayak:  $5    
Solo kayak rental:  $15    
Tandem canoe or kayak rental:  $20    
 
Full Moon Paddle
Saturday, August 29, 8–10 p.m.
Ages 13 and up
Paddle Lake Crabtree by moonlight! Reserve a canoe or kayak from the park or launch your own. The lake is open after hours, so make sure to be a part of this unique experience. Preregistration is required. Be sure to specify the type of boat you want to reserve on your registration form. Limit of two people for tandem boats. Choose from the following options:
Private canoe or kayak:  $5    
Solo kayak rental:  $15    
Tandem canoe or kayak rental:  $20    

 

(back to top)

 

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. Cost is $4 per child, or sign up for three programs for $10. Preregistration is required. Ages 2–5.

 

"Henry the Impatient Heron" by Donna Love
Wednesday, July 1
Henry the Heron just can't stand still! He is driving his family crazy and chasing away all of the food. Will Henry learn the importance of being still and learn the art of heron camouflage? After the story, we'll walk along the lake in search of herons and play a camouflage game.

 
"Are You a Dragonfly?" by Judy Allen
Wednesday, August 5
Discover the amazing life cycle of dragonflies. Learn about their connection to water, their incredible hunting abilities, and how they help humans. After the story we'll look for dragonflies by the lake and make a dragonfly magnet.
 
"Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing Trees" by Jim Arnosky
Wednesday, September 2
Join Crinkleroot on a walk through the forest. He will tell you how to identify trees, and explain why they are important to wildlife. Learn why Crinkleroot considers trees to be his friends. After the story, we’ll take a walk and learn how to match up leaves to their trees. Make a leaf art project to take home.
 

 (back to top)

 

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. Cost is $8 per child. Preregistration is required.

Beezzz
Monday, June 29, 1–3 p.m.
If you miss out on Lake Crabtree's Pollinator Festival, or just want a more focused look at bees, this is the program for you! We'll discuss bee conservation, the wide range of bee species, and the differences between them. Come learn how to make your yard or garden friendly to these important pollinators, and how to build houses for native bees.

 
Stupendous Soil
Tuesday, September 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!
 
(back to top)