Welcome to Wanderlust Wednesday! This month, in the spirit of Parks and Recreation Month, I’ve been covering national parks, state parks, parks in other countries, and finally, a park that’s close to home. At the end of each month for Wanderlust Wednesday, I’ll be doing a local edition, focusing on a location close to where I live, which for now means in North Carolina in the United States.
A few months ago, we had a friend visiting who has been here multiple times, and I was trying to come up with new places to go that she hadn’t yet seen. I’m always happy to have guests in town who want to explore because they broaden my knowledge of the area. Despite having lived in the Raleigh area for four years now, I hadn’t yet visited Yates Mill County Park, the last operable water-powered gristmill in Wake County.
It’s so picturesque! And it’s a perfect spot for a sweltering summer day, when you don’t want to walk too far, but you do want to get outside and enjoy nature.
No more than a half-mile walk from the nature center to the mill and back, this short trail is doable for just about anyone. Not only is it scenic, it’s full of history about what life was like before Raleigh-Durham became a metropolitan center. The visitor center does guided tours, and hosts regular educational talks on history and nature.
If you’re ever in or near Raleigh, it’s a fun thing to do for an hour or two. Plus it’s free!