Crowder Hours and Information

view of pond boardwalk from across pond with reflection in water and trees in background

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.

Directions

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.

Park Hours

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.

Find us on Facebook.

Park News

Job Openings

park staff work in park advertising for open jobs


We're looking for a part-time Park Aide focused on Operations and Maintenance, to be based at Historic Yates Mill County Park, with occasional work at Crowder County Park, for 16 plus hours per week.

View the job descriptions and get the required application here:

Now Hiring! – Park Aide Operations

Wake County job application

View the job descriptions and get the required application, and then email your resume and Wake County job application to [email protected] or drop it by the main park office. Feel free to call at 919-662-2850 with any questions.

All available part-time positions with Wake County Parks can be found 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.

People are encouraged to follow current masking and social distancing guidelines when visiting Wake County parks and preserves.

UPDATE AUGUST 2, 2021: 

In an effort to slow the increasing spread of COVID-19, employees and visitors to county buildings are now required to wear face masks, regardless of vaccination status. At Crowder County Park, this means you’ll need to wear a face covering when you visit Crowder County Park, as well as park restrooms.

More details on this new policy can be found at wakegov.com/news/wake-county-reinstates-mask-requirement-county-buildings. Information on COVID-19 vaccination and testing opportunities are available at wakegov.com/covid19.

Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to seeing you at Crowder County Park soon!

Shelter Rentals and Park Use Agreements
Shelter rentals and other park use agreements are available. 

Playgrounds
Playgrounds at parks managed by Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space are open to the public. 

Capacity
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.

Park Centers
Park centers have reopened, but children's play areas inside the park centers at Historic Oak View and Historic Yates Mill county parks will remain closed.

The following restrictions remain in place at Wake County parks and preserves:

  • Major park events are canceled through the end of 2021. 
  • Park programs will be held outdoors with limited participant capacity to allow social distancing and additional safety measures.
  • Special operations, such as boat rentals, group camping and lodge rental, are not available.


In the meantime, be sure to check out our digital programming. It's Wake Parks from Home!

Newsletters

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.

Park Information

Park Rules

Park Rules

  1. Speed limit is 20 mph.
  2. Clean up after your pets.
  3. Keep pets on a 6-foot leash.
  4. 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
  • Littering
  • Firearms
    • 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

Are you a professional or amateur photographer interested in taking photos at Crowder County Park? To ensure that all park visitors have an enjoyable experience, registration is required for photo shoots.

Please follow all Crowder Park Photography Rules.

Questions? Check out our photography FAQs.

 

Picnicking

3 green rocking chairs sit underneath wooden pavilion

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.

Fishing

No fishing allowed

black and white clipart fish with red cross out sign over it

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.

Geocaching

Green plastic bullfrog sitting on top of green plastic lily pad

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

image of pond in the background and wooden railing with sign on it

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

image of eco-explore sign on wooden fence posts

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:

  1. Users must comply with all state and federal regulations governing their use.
  2. 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.
  3. All Model Rocket launches must be approved in advance by the Park Manager.
  4. Use must be for hobby or recreational purposes – commercial use is prohibited without prior approval of Park Manager.
  5. Use for research, natural resource monitoring, or mapping purposes must be approved in advance by the PROS Director or designee.
  6. Use cannot interfere with other park users’ reasonable enjoyment of the park or expectation of privacy. Users cannot conduct surveillance.
  7. Users cannot disturb or degrade the park’s natural resources, including wildlife nesting and breeding.
  8. Users must keep Unmanned Aircraft and Remote Control Vehicles in sight at all times.
  9. Users must be proficient in the safe operation of their equipment.
  10. Users cannot fly over or disturb park programs, events being held at the park, large gathering of people, or moving vehicles.
  11. Users cannot operate Unmanned Aircraft or Remote Control Vehicles within 50 feet of any other park building or structure that could be occupied.
  12. Organized events or groups utilizing Unmanned Aircraft or Remote Control Vehicles must receive written permission from the PROS Director or designee.
  13. Users cannot hold Wake County liable for any damages to or by their equipment while at Wake County park locations.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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

Robin Shelter

View of the parks smallest wooden picnic shelter with picnic tables

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

Tables: 4

Fee: $40

Cardinal Shelter

View of the parks medium sized wooden picnic shelter with picnic tables

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

Tables: 6

Fee: $60

Heron Shelter

View of parks largest sized wooden picnic shelter with picnic tables

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

Tables: 12

Fee: $80

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.

 
Grill Use

  • 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:

  • Open fires

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Tobacco and vapor products

  • Feeding of wildlife

  • Swimming

  • 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

Crowder Pond

View of the pond from the boardwalk in summer with clouds reflecting in the water

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

View of the pond from the wooden pond boardwalk

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

Empty park bench with trails and trees in the background

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.

Observation Deck

Group of aquatic turtles sit on wooden basking platform in middle of pond

The deck is a great place to view the pond and all of the wildlife that call it home.

Open Play Area

image of open play field with volleyball net, with surrounding trees and parking lot

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.

Playgrounds

three different images showing slides and other playground equipment while children play

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.

Park Gardens

Butterfly Garden

Picture of wooden bee box in park pollinator garden

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.

Bird Garden

two birds perch on bird feeder

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.

Shade Garden

orange and white butterfly sits on plant

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.

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