Location: E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road
Trail Type: Paved
Length: 3 miles of paved trails for walking, bicycling, and in-line skating
Parking: Parking and restrooms are available at this park during normal park hours.
Amenities: Click here for a complete list of Joyner Park's amenities and features
The Wake Forest Parks & Recreation Department received $750,000 in grants for Phase 1 development of E. Carroll Joyner Park, in addition to $3.5 million in bond proceeds. Phase 1 was completed in July 2009, and the park was opened to the public in August. Amidst the beautiful scenery of the park loop three miles of paved trails for walking, bicycling, and in-line skating. Leashed dogs are also welcome to enjoy the trails. A map of trails is posted in the sheltered trailhead kiosk near the parking lot; choose one of the designated loops or create your own. The loop system of paved trails are contained within the Park, but offer access along Harris Rd. and W Oak Avenue.
The Garden Loop
Perfect for a short stroll, this half-mile route takes you around the landscaped center of the park. Enjoy the sounds from the amphitheater and enjoy a grilled meal overlooking the forest. Enter the shady canopy of the pecan grove and watch for busy squirrels in the fall and daffodils in the spring. Gaze over the stone wall at the east meadow where wildflowers grow in abundance. Take a detour and visit the formal gardens.
Field & Garden Loop
This gentle one-mile loop takes you to the highest spot in the park where on a clear day you can see the tall spire of Binkley Chapel (located at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) rising above the tree tops in the distance. As you enter the shade of the pecan grove, let the stone wall be your guide as it leads you along the meadow’s edge to the high spot in the west meadow. Watch for butterflies and rabbits crossing your path between the meadow and forest.
East Meadow Loop
Wrapping around the eastern edge of the park, this 1.4 mile loop provides a first-hand view of the east meadow. Enjoy a great view across the pond as the trail passes over the dam. As you approach a tributary of Richland Creek, look over the bridge sides to see stream life. Pass through the ever changing landscape of the ephemeral creek and admire the magnificent beech tree at the northeastern corner of the property.
West Meadow Loop
The West Meadow Loop circles the farm buildings and allows you an up-close view of the stunning stone wall. Enjoy shaded stretches of the trail through the mixed forest where many species of birds can be observed. The trail follows the western edge of the park offering peek-a-boo views of the pond. Pass through a pine grove before exiting the shelter of the woods into the west meadow.
Circling the perimeter of the property, the park’s longest trail allows you to experience a variety of spectacular views. Pass through the streamside woodlands, along the southern edge of the pecan grove, across the high meadows and through the heavy tree canopy of the mixed forest while sneaking views of the pond. This trail shows you the magnificent natural beauty of E. Carroll Joyner Park.
Cougar Soft Trail
In 2011-2012, Town staff, the Greenways Advisory Board worked with many volunteers, including students from the Wake Forest-Rolesville High School and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, to create a one-half mile soft trail (not paved) connecting the high school to a paved trail within Joyner Park. This trail was made possible by contributions and efforts provided by Progress Energy, Walker family, Munroe family, Home Depot, Taylor Land Consultants, PLLC, The Nau Engineering Group, and Stewart Engineering, Inc. This trail enables students of WF-R HS, the cross-country team and surrounding neighbors to walk to Joyner Park. In 2012, Matthew Brown, a senior from Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, completed much of the work to construct this trail to fulfill requirements for his Eagle Scout Project. As a member of the school’s cross country team, he recognized how valuable the trail connecting the school and park would be for the team’s practice. Citizens living near the school also see the trail as a great way to access the park. Berry Stevens, Greenway Advisory Board member, mentored Matthew in this project and coordinated construction efforts with town staff. On June 5, 2012, in honor of National Trails Day, the Wake Forest Greenways Advisory Board held a dedication ceremony for this soft trail.
The Town of Wake Forest plans to extend the Richland Creek Greenway to connect greenways within the park and beyond.
Pedestrian Bridge to the Cougar Soft Trail
This project includes preliminary engineering, environmental permitting and construction to provide a pedestrian bridge crossing Richland Creek.
- Park open daily from dawn to dusk
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited
- Smoking is limited to parking areas only
- Use of personal grills (gas and/or charcoal) is prohibited