Turnipseed Hours & Information

Photo of guests with children and dogs walking down preserve trail

Preserve Hours

PEAK SEASON summer hours from April 1st until August 31st :
Monday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–Sunset

OFF-PEAK SEASON winter hours from September 1st until March 31st :
Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m.–Sunset

The preserve is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Preserve Information

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.

Park Centers

In an effort to slow the increasing spread of COVID-19, employees and visitors to county buildings will be required to wear face masks starting Monday, Aug. 2, regardless of vaccination status. This means that you’ll need to wear a mask in park centers, restrooms, and other buildings. Children's play areas inside the park centers at Historic Oak View and Historic Yates Mill county parks will remain closed.

Shelter Rentals and Park Use Agreements

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.


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.

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!


Preserve Rules

Tips & Rules for a Safe, Pleasant Visit

Please come prepared! There are no restroom facilities or drinking water at the preserve.

Safety and enjoyment go hand in hand. The following rules are in place to ensure a safe, pleasant visit and also to protect the preserve:

  1. Clean up after your pets.
  2. Keep pets on a 6-foot leash.
  3. Open fires are not allowed. 
  4. Park only in designated areas.
    (No parking on roadsides or outside preserve gates)
    • Open fires
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Tobacco and vapor products
    • Hunting
    • Feeding of wildlife
    • Swimming, wading, and boating
    • Collection or release of any animal, plant, or mineral items
    • Amplified music
    • Littering
    • Firearms
      1. 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

Please report unauthorized use to the police (911) and to Wake County Security, 919-856-7007.

Hiking and Walking Mileage

Turnipseed has two miles of ADA accessible, fine gravel screened trails. The 1-mile gravel road into park can also be used as a trail. There are many combinations of the loops and trails you can make to get the distance you want! More single-track hiking trails are planned for the future.

Lupine Loop: 0.4 miles

Boulder Trail: 0.6 miles

Meadow trail: 0.5 miles

Gin Branch Creek trail: 0.5 miles

Park entrance road (Hunt Valley Trail): 2.0 miles up and back

You are welcome to walk or bike this gravel road!


The geocaches located at the preserve are hidden containers of varying sizes that have been approved by preserve staff and placed for your exploration and enjoyment. Use GPS devices to find these hidden containers and then record your find on the paper log provided in the geocache. This activity is self-guided by getting coordinates from Geocaching.com and bringing your own GPS unit or phone.

Placing a Geocache
Geocaching on Wake County Park property is handled on a park-by-park basis. Geocaching is an accepted recreational activity at Turnipseed Nature Preserve, with approval prior to placement. To obtain the approval you must complete and submit a Geocache Form to [email protected]

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

Due to the increasing use of Unmanned Aircraft, Remote Control Vehicles and Model Rockets, Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) has developed a policy to protect park resources and ensure an enjoyable experience for all park visitors. Please review the policy for additional details.

Where did the name Turnipseed come from?

The name for the preserve came from Turnipseed Road, which runs along the south side of the preserve. The road was previously known as the Wendell-Raleigh Road and the Burned Mill Road.

If you have pictures or information about the history or the wildlife, please contact us at [email protected]

Take Our Survey

Please take our survey to let us know about your experience at Turnipseed Nature Preserve!