A day at Crowder County Park provides a variety of educational and recreational activities for all ages. Park staff offer interpretive, hands-on programs for all ages and interests, as well as outreach programs for organized community groups. Crowder Park opened in 1998 to serve nearby communities. The park's 33 acres offer a closeness with nature along with the accessibility of maintained trails.
Park entrance is free.
Crowder County Park is located at 4709 Ten Ten Road in Apex.
The park is located off Ten Ten Road, just east of the intersection with Holly Springs Road.
8 a.m. to sunset
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day
Park office: No set hours. Call to set up a time to meet.
We are now hiring!
You can find the job description for the Park Aide of Operations position here.
COVID-19 Service Update
The health and safety of our visitors and staff remain the top priorities for Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. As Wake County follows the state's phased approach to lift COVID-19 restrictions, we are also working to safely reopen park services in phases over the coming months.
Shelter Rentals and Park Use Agreements
As of October 1, 2020, shelter rentals and other park use agreements are available.
Playgrounds at parks managed by Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space are open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to maintain physical distance, wear masks or cloth face coverings, and wash or sanitize their hands often. Capacity limits are posted near each playground.
Measures to limit the number of people allowed in the park at one time remain in place. If a gate is closed or cones are blocking the entrance, that means the park has reached capacity. Parks that are run by towns or cities may be operating differently – please reach out to them directly before visiting their parks.
Help Continue to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Wake County park and preserve visitors must comply with guidelines set forth by the State of North Carolina, including gathering with no more than 50 people, maintaining physical distance of at least six feet from any other person, and wearing a mask or cloth face covering when social distancing is not possible.
The following restrictions will remain in place at Wake County parks and preserves through at least June 30:
- Park centers are closed.
- Park programs and events are canceled.
- Special operations, such as boat rentals, group camping and lodge rental, are not available.
As a reminder, 24/7 digital programming is available at our parks from home pages.
Find out everything happening in the park for the month! Subscribe to get monthly newsletters delivered straight to your email. Find out about programs, specific closing times and current park projects.
- Speed limit is 20 mph.
- Clean up after your pets.
- Keep pets on a 6-foot leash.
- Park only in designated areas. No parking on roadsides or outside park gates.
The following are prohibited:
- Open fires
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Tobacco and vapor products
- Hunting and fishing
- Feeding of wildlife
- Swimming, wading, and boating
- Collection or release of any animal, plant, or mineral material
- Amplified music
- This does not prohibit concealed handgun permit holders from legally carrying a concealed handgun in accordance with N.C.G.S. 14-415.11.
- Overnight parking and camping
- ATVs and other motorized vehicles
Photography at Crowder Park
There are opportunities to have an enjoyable picnic at the park without the need to reserve a shelter. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Also check out our Eagle Scout picnic area – a gravel pad with two picnic tables and small grill located between the Robin Shelter and Lower Pavilion. Remember, the same rules apply for using the picnic tables as for the shelters.
No fishing allowed
Please note that we do not allow fishing anywhere at Crowder County Park due to the smaller size of our pond and the massive number of turtles.
If you are looking to fish, check out the Wake County Parks listed below. All state fishing rules and regulations are enforced and required. Make sure to look over individual park rules regarding fishing.
The hunt is on during this high-tech "treasure" hunting activity! Use GPS devices to find hidden containers within the park. This activity is self-guided by getting coordinates from Geocaching.com and bringing your own GPS unit. Those wishing to establish a new cache must receive approval prior to placing a cache. To obtain the approval, you must complete and submit a Geocache Placement Form to the park office.
Park Picks: Selfie Stations
Make sure to check out our new #ParkPicks sign at our observation deck on the pond trail! STOP and SNAP a selfie and SHARE it with us using the hashtag #ParkPicks. We can't wait to see your selfies!
ecoExplore Hot Spot
Crowder County Park is now an official ecoExplore hotspot! You can help scientists collect data, and you can earn badges and even prizes! This program is a wonderful and fun initiative of the NC Arboretum that not only helps nature but helps you become an expert naturalist!
On their website you can search different hotspots and view challenges in which you can participate.
Metal Detecting and Magnet Fishing
Wake County Parks, Recreation & Open Space has a "No Collection" policy that does not allow visitors to take things (natural or manmade) from the parks. Our parks contain both historically significant structures and documented cemeteries that should not be disturbed.
Metal detectors and magnet fishing may be used to look for an item you have specifically lost, but not to "treasure hunt" in general. The Park Manager must be notified and grant permission in advance of using a metal detector or magnet fishing to search for a personal lost item.
Drones/RC Vehicles/Model Rockets
The use of Unmanned Aircraft, Remote Control Vehicles and Model Rockets is allowed subject to the following regulations:
- Users must comply with all state and federal regulations governing their use.
- FAA regulations restrict drone use within five miles of an airport. The Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail, Crowder District Park, Historic Oak View County Park, Historic Yates Mill County Park, Lake Crabtree County Park, and Robertson Millpond Preserve are all within five miles of an airport, so Unmanned Aircraft use is prohibited unless the user has notified the airport operator and the air traffic control tower (if one is present). The FAA’s B4UFLY app can provide assistance in determining which airports require notification at which park locations.
- All Model Rocket launches must be approved in advance by the Park Manager.
- Use must be for hobby or recreational purposes – commercial use is prohibited without prior approval of Park Manager.
- Use for research, natural resource monitoring, or mapping purposes must be approved in advance by the PROS Director or designee.
- Use cannot interfere with other park users’ reasonable enjoyment of the park or expectation of privacy. Users cannot conduct surveillance.
- Users cannot disturb or degrade the park’s natural resources, including wildlife nesting and breeding.
- Users must keep Unmanned Aircraft and Remote Control Vehicles in sight at all times.
- Users must be proficient in the safe operation of their equipment.
- Users cannot fly over or disturb park programs, events being held at the park, large gathering of people, or moving vehicles.
- Users cannot operate Unmanned Aircraft or Remote Control Vehicles within 50 feet of any other park building or structure that could be occupied.
- Organized events or groups utilizing Unmanned Aircraft or Remote Control Vehicles must receive written permission from the PROS Director or designee.
- Users cannot hold Wake County liable for any damages to or by their equipment while at Wake County park locations.
- Retrieval of lost or broken Unmanned Aircraft, Remote Control Vehicles, or Model Rockets is the sole responsibility of the owner. Owner must receive approval from park staff before entering any part of the park not generally available to park visitors, or before using any extraordinary methods or equipment, for retrieval.
- Some parks may establish designated operational zones and/or designated exclusion zones for the use Unmanned Aircraft and/or Remote Control Vehicles. Users are responsible for determining if any such zones are in place. Enforcement
- Any user of an Unmanned Aircraft or Remote Control Vehicle that fails to comply with this policy will be reported to Wake County Security and/or law enforcement officials.
Picnic Shelter and Rentals
The Robin Shelter is the smallest shelter in the park. It is located near the lower parking lot, across from the large playfield and volleyball court. It is equipped with one large charcoal grill and a gravel pad for gas cookers. There is a small playground next to the shelter, and restroom facilities are located at the Lower Pavilion. This shelter is closest to the boardwalk and great for turtle watching.
Capacity: 25 persons
The Cardinal Shelter is the medium-sized shelter located near the upper parking lot beside the large playground. It is equipped with one large charcoal grill and a gravel pad for gas cookers. This shelter is closest to the largest playground in the park, and restroom facilities are located in the Upper Pavilion. The Cardinal Shelter also has one electrical outlet.
Capacity: 50 persons
The Heron Shelter is the largest shelter in the park. It is located near the lower parking lot. The closest restroom facility is located at the Lower Pavilion. This shelter offers the best view of the pond and has a small green space and a playground nearby. It is equipped with one large charcoal grill and a gravel pad for gas cookers. The Heron Shelter has two electrical outlets as well as lighting.
Capacity: 100 persons
Shelter Rules and Guidelines
Wake County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space – Shelter Rules
Shelters can be reserved from 9 a.m. until park closing time. Contact park staff for closing time updates.
Reservations and Cancellation
Keep group sizes within the listed maximum capacity of your selected shelter.
Cancellations can only be made by contacting the park office.
Cancellations more than two weeks before the scheduled date will result in a full refund.
Cancellations less than two weeks before the scheduled date will not be refunded.
No cancellations due to weather. Staff may reschedule in the event of severe weather conditions.
Outside Materials and Activities
Fields, volleyball areas and playgrounds are first come, first served and cannot be reserved for exclusive use as part of a shelter reservation.
Park in designated areas.
Do not block entrance/egress to parking lots or access to parking spaces.
Parking is not reserved as part of a shelter rental without prior authorization by park staff.
Recreational equipment such as tents, play structures, inflatables and pools are not permitted.
No water balloons, confetti, glitter, silly string or helium balloon releases. These are difficult to completely clean up and pose a hazard to wildlife.
No additional directional signage.
Do not use sidewalk chalk under the shelter or on the surrounding concrete pad.
Use only charcoal in grills.
Leave charcoal in the grill when finished – staff will remove.
Do not pour water or liquids over coals or grill surfaces. This damages the grill coating.
All grills, cookers and fryers must be used on gravel grill pads (if provided) or asphalt, with approval.
Do not leave grills unattended.
Ensure grease from grills and cookers does not drip on the ground.
Cleanup, Trash and Recycling
Leave shelter and all areas of the park free of litter.
Pay attention to small items such as straw wrappers, balloons, candy from pinatas, Easter eggs, etc.
All trash must be contained in a trash can or bagged and tied. Additional bags can be found in the trash cans or from staff in the park office, if open.
Do not dispose of liquids or ice in trash bags.
Return shelter tables to their original positions.
Remove all tape from the tables and shelter. Do not use tacks, nails or staples to decorate.
Plastic bottles, glass containers and aluminum cans are the only items accepted in the recycling bins. No plastic cups, bags, tablecloths, utensils, etc. Do not place trash or food in the recycling bin.
Allow adequate time to finish your activities and clean up before the park closes.
Selected Park Rules
The following are prohibited:
Tobacco and vapor products
Feeding of wildlife
Collection or release of any animal, plant or mineral material
Amplified music or PA systems
Overnight parking and camping
ATVs and other motorized vehicles
Please contact park staff with any questions or concerns. We hope that you enjoy your shelter rental!
Walking Trails and Features
The park was built around Crowder Pond to provide both an aquatic habitat for animals and for use by the educational staff to provide hands-on water quality educational programs.
Inner Loop Trail/Pond Trail
The inner loop trail circles Crowder Pond. This trail takes you across the boardwalk. This loop also includes the observation deck near the dam. This trail is approximately 3/10 of a mile in length.
Outer Loop Trail
The paved trail leading around the edge of the park runs about 8/10 of a mile. It makes a wonderful scenic tour as you go by the bird garden, prairie garden and the shade garden near the Heron Shelter.
The deck is a great place to view the pond and all of the wildlife that call it home.
Open Play Area
The open play area includes a baseball backstop, a sand volleyball court and a general play area. It is open to all and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Crowder has three different playgrounds for all ages! Some of the features include a rock wall, spinners, slides, musical instruments, play panels such as tic-tac-toe, lookout towers and monkey bars. Please note: There are no swings.
The butterfly garden is located just outside the park office. The garden is made up of many different species of plants attractive to butterflies – both the adult and larval stage. If you enjoy spotting butterflies on your travels, this garden is an excellent place to start.
Crowder's bird garden is located along the outer loop trail toward across from the office. Bird feeders have been installed to attract birds into viewing range; however, most birds are still cautious around people.
Located next to the Heron Shelter is the shade garden. The garden includes two raised beds lined with stone, filled with shade-tolerant plants such as hostas and ferns. Jasmine grows over the arbor and provides a great spot to take a picture or two.
Give us your feedback!
We'd love to get your feedback on your visits to our Wake County parks.
We hope you will use this survey to share your thoughts and suggestions.Take Our Survey!