American Tobacco Trail Public Programs

Photo of a park educator with participants in a geocaching program
Park employee leads a geocaching session

The Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail offers programs covering nature, history and recreational topics. Public programs are open for registration to the general public.

Program Registration & Reminders

Program Registration

Register for any of our programs by using the button below the program listing to be taken to the registration page on our online registration website. You can also use the button below to search all park programs by location, date and more!

Having trouble registering for a program online?

Contact the park office at 919-387-2117 or email us at americantobaccotrail@wakegov.com for assistance.

Important Program Reminders:

  • For Family Programs, every participant must be registered online in advance.
  • "Walk-ups" (those not registered online but show up) may not be able to participate in the program. Register early!
  • Pets are not permitted at programs.
  • If a program has a minimum age, children who do not meet the minimum will not be allowed to participate. Children who do meet the age requirement must have a parent or guardian with them in the program. Age limits are established for safety and program content.

Family Programs

A photo of families listening to an instructor at a Family Program on the American Tobacco Trail

Designed for families to enjoy together, these programs are geared toward all ages, unless a minimum age is specified. For Family Programs, all participants must be registered online in advance.

Preregistration is required. To keep participants and staff as safe as possible, we ask that you:

  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines by sitting at designated seats and/or tables.
  • When possible, avoid sharing supplies with people from different households.
  • Alert staff immediately if you start to feel ill during programming.
     

Participants are encouraged to continue to follow the three W's – Wash your hands often, Wear a face covering, and Wait six feet apart – while participating in park programs.

Nature Detective
Sunday, Aug. 7, 2–3 p.m.

Be a nature detective!  After learning about the different clues animals leave behind, we will walk the trail and look for signs of who has been there. For all ages. Meet at the lower picnic table at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road).

Super Scavengers on the ATT
Saturday, Aug. 13, 3–4 p.m.

Scavengers are part of nature’s clean-up crew and provide a valuable service to the environment. Learn about different types of scavengers, such as vultures, snapping turtles and yellow jackets, to name a few, then test your scavenging skills with a fun game. For all ages. Meet at the lower picnic table at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road).

Night Hike at the ATT
Friday, Sept. 9, 7:30–9 p.m.

We will listen for the sounds of creatures that come out after dark and play some fun games as we hike under an almost full moon! Bring a flashlight and wear closed-toe shoes. For all ages. Meet at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road).

Batty Basics at the ATT (TACO)
Saturday, Sept. 24, 6:30–8 p.m.

For Take a Child Outside (TACO) Week, discover the world of bats and the important role they play in our ecosystem. We’ll dispel some common bat myths as we explore bat behavior and habitats, and see some examples from our nature collection. After reading Bat Loves the Night, we will take a walk along the trail and scan the evening skies in search of these amazing flying mammals! Bring a flashlight and your sense of wonder. For all ages. Meet at the lower picnic table at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road).

Adult & Educator Workshops

Photo of a volunteer educator leading a group of adults in a tree identification program

* We are not offering any Adult & Educator Workshops at this time. Please check the Harris Lake County Park Public Programs page for upcoming virtual opportunities.

The Wake County section of the American Tobacco Trail periodically offers programs and workshops for adults and older teens led by staff or volunteers, most of which are eligible for NC Environmental Education Certification or CEU credits.

Become a Junior Park Explorer!

Junior Park Explorer graphic

Do you like to explore parks and preserves? Do you like winning prizes? Our Junior Park Explorers program is for you! Click here to learn more.

Self-Guided Activities

Graphic for ATT StoryWalk with cover image of The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
NEW! Go For a StoryWalk®

Take a self-guided StoryWalk® at the American Tobacco Trail! A StoryWalk® is a children’s book that is presented page by page along a trail or path. It combines the pleasures of reading a children's book while enjoying nature. Every other month, the New Hill parking area will feature a different illustrated children's book. Interactive activities are included at the bottom of each set of storybook pages to further engage your child as you make your way through the book. StoryWalk® will be available during current park hours. 

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

From Aug. 6-28, we will feature the children's classic The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. It begins at the lower picnic table at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.).

Photo of three GPS units used to locate geocaches during a "Geocaching 101" family program
GPS devices
Geocaching

The hunt is on during this high-tech "treasure" hunting game where park visitors come equipped with GPS devices in search of hidden geocaches! The geocaches located on the American Tobacco Trail are hidden containers that have been approved by park staff and placed on park property for your exploration and enjoyment. Geocaches can be of varied sizes and hidden in easy- to difficult-to-find places. Use GPS devices to help find these hidden containers and then record your find on the paper log provided in the geocache. Some geocaches have little items, such as toys and stickers, that you can collect and replenish as you play, so the activity can be a real "treasure hunt." This activity can be self-guided by getting coordinates from Geocaching.com and bringing your own GPS unit, or you can participate in one of our scheduled “Geocaching 101” public programs.

To learn more about geocaching, here is a short introductory video created by Park Manager Christina Hester.

Placing a Geocache
Geocaching on Wake County Park property is handled on a park-by-park basis. To see if geocaching is allowed and what the approval process is for placing a cache, please contact each park directly.

Geocaching is an accepted recreational activity at the Wake County section of the American Tobacco Trail, though at this time, no additional/new geocaches will be approved until further notice. The park maintains a maximum number of caches on park property. Those wishing to establish a new cache must receive approval from the American Tobacco Trail prior to placing a cache. To obtain the approval you must complete and submit a Geocache Placement Request Form to the park office. Please refer to this form for more information.

Park Special Events

Statewide Star Party

Photo of a program participant using a telescope to observe the night sky assisted by a volunteer at the Statewide Star Party event
Star Party participants look at the stars

In April, the Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail is a host site for the annual Statewide Star Party, a signature event that is part of the NC Science Festival and supported with generous funding from North Carolina Space Grant. This free, family evening program features hands-on activities before the sun goes down, followed by observation of the night sky through telescopes and binoculars on the back field of the White Oak parking area (1305 White Oak Church Road). No preregistration is required!