Best lakes in Raleigh

Check out the top lakes in Raleigh, reviewed and ranked by the city’s locals
1. Lake Johnson
1. Lake Johnson
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29 local reviews
Lake Johnson, Raleigh
Natural feature
Carrie With Short Suite Stays
Lake Johnson is one of my favorite outdoor spots in all of Raleigh! It's close to downtown (about 3 miles away…
Amanda
Little Miss Lucy & I love heading over to Lake Johnson for an early morning hike. With over 5 miles of trails…
Amanda
Paved 3 mile walking trail. 5 mile hiking trail bordering the lake. Paddle boats and other water activities…
1. Lake Johnson
1. Lake Johnson
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29 local reviews
Lake Johnson, Raleigh
Carrie With Short Suite Stays
Carrie With Short Suite Stays
Lake Johnson is one of my favorite outdoor spots in all of Raleigh! It's close to downtown (about 3 miles away near NC State) and has two…
Amanda
Amanda
Little Miss Lucy & I love heading over to Lake Johnson for an early morning hike. With over 5 miles of trails & kayak rentals at the…
Amanda
Amanda
Paved 3 mile walking trail. 5 mile hiking trail bordering the lake. Paddle boats and other water activities. Large deck with rocking…
2. Jordan Lake
2. Jordan Lake
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20 local reviews
Jordan Lake
Natural featureEstablishment
Sarah
Jordan Lake is a state recreation area with camping, hiking, swimming and boating located about 15 miles south…
Chris And Lauren
There are several places to go hiking, rent kayaks/canoes/paddle boards etc. We have made an afternoon of…
Larry
Jordan Lake is a great place to visit with lots of camping, boating, hiking and biking trails.
2. Jordan Lake
2. Jordan Lake
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20 local reviews
Jordan Lake
Sarah
Sarah
Jordan Lake is a state recreation area with camping, hiking, swimming and boating located about 15 miles south on US 501 South. The Lower…
Chris And Lauren
Chris And Lauren
There are several places to go hiking, rent kayaks/canoes/paddle boards etc. We have made an afternoon of going to Jordan Lake - lots of…
Larry
Larry
Jordan Lake is a great place to visit with lots of camping, boating, hiking and biking trails.
3. Lake Johnson
3. Lake Johnson
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19 local reviews
4601 Avent Ferry Road, Raleigh
Open · Closes 6:00 PM
+1 919-233-2121
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Shavonne
The paved trail is about 3-miles in length around the lake, with hills to challenge your endurance. This is a…
Randy
This park is connected the Raleigh Greenway system and has a paved trail going all around the east side of the…
Carlee
This a great place to exercise, take a walk, or ride bikes along the 3 mile path around the lake. Seasonally…
3. Lake Johnson
3. Lake Johnson
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19 local reviews
4601 Avent Ferry Road, Raleigh
Open · Closes 6:00 PM
+1 919-233-2121
Shavonne
Shavonne
The paved trail is about 3-miles in length around the lake, with hills to challenge your endurance. This is a great place for walking,…
Randy
Randy
This park is connected the Raleigh Greenway system and has a paved trail going all around the east side of the lake. There are paddle…
Carlee
Carlee
This a great place to exercise, take a walk, or ride bikes along the 3 mile path around the lake. Seasonally you can also rent paddle boats…
4. Shelley Lake Park
4. Shelley Lake Park
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14 local reviews
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Honey
Favorite of N. Raleigh walkers, runners, dog walkers, rollerbladers and bikers - trail goes around lake and…
Sarah
Walking, jogging, biking & more. Scenic view, trails, and lake view. Plenty of (but not too many) people out…
Jack
It's less than a mile from the trail in the backyard, 3.3 mile hike around the lake, and just to the left a…
4. Shelley Lake Park
4. Shelley Lake Park
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14 local reviews
Honey
Honey
Favorite of N. Raleigh walkers, runners, dog walkers, rollerbladers and bikers - trail goes around lake and attaches to Greenway multiple…
Sarah
Sarah
Walking, jogging, biking & more. Scenic view, trails, and lake view. Plenty of (but not too many) people out for exercise. Free parking. 2…
Jack
Jack
It's less than a mile from the trail in the backyard, 3.3 mile hike around the lake, and just to the left a bit is a park/playground for…
5. William B. Umstead State Park
5. William B. Umstead State Park
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27 local reviews
8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh
Open · Closes 6:00 PM
(919) 571-4170
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Karen
Fantastic park about 12 miles away. They have a small lake and you can rent paddle boats / canoes. Great…
Joanie
SO close to our house! I very often go three or four times a week for a hike throughout the park. Lakes,…
Lesley
Great hiking options, lakes and scenery. Entrances off of I-40 and Glenwood Ave.
5. William B. Umstead State Park
5. William B. Umstead State Park
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27 local reviews
8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh
Open · Closes 6:00 PM
(919) 571-4170
Karen
Karen
Fantastic park about 12 miles away. They have a small lake and you can rent paddle boats / canoes. Great hiking trails or have a picnic.
Joanie
Joanie
SO close to our house! I very often go three or four times a week for a hike throughout the park. Lakes, trails and nature.
Lesley
Lesley
Great hiking options, lakes and scenery. Entrances off of I-40 and Glenwood Ave.
6. Jordan Lake SRA - Poplar Point
6. Jordan Lake SRA - Poplar Point
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13 local reviews
558 Beaver Creek Rd, Apex
+1 919-362-0586
CampgroundParkLodging
Heather
Trails to hike, lake to swim in, beautiful North Carolina scenery.
Phaneendra
Beautiful park and lake. Fun place to hangout and have a picnic.
Jason
Nearby lake for boating and other water sports
6. Jordan Lake SRA - Poplar Point
6. Jordan Lake SRA - Poplar Point
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13 local reviews
558 Beaver Creek Rd, Apex
+1 919-362-0586
Heather
Heather
Trails to hike, lake to swim in, beautiful North Carolina scenery.
Phaneendra
Phaneendra
Beautiful park and lake. Fun place to hangout and have a picnic.
Jason
Jason
Nearby lake for boating and other water sports
7. Lake Crabtree County Park
7. Lake Crabtree County Park
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7 local reviews
1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville
Open · Closes 5:30 PM
+1 919-460-3390
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Nic And Rach
Lake, picnic area, canoeing, board paddling and many more ...
Annie
Lake, boating, bike trails
Mila
Nice lake and trails
7. Lake Crabtree County Park
7. Lake Crabtree County Park
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7 local reviews
1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville
Open · Closes 5:30 PM
+1 919-460-3390
Nic And Rach
Nic And Rach
Lake, picnic area, canoeing, board paddling and many more ...
Annie
Annie
Lake, boating, bike trails
Mila
Mila
Nice lake and trails
8. Falls Lake State Recreation Area
8. Falls Lake State Recreation Area
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17 local reviews
13304 Creedmoor Road, Wake Forest
Open · Closes 8:00 PM
+1 919-676-1027
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Linda & Hugh
We are very close to the Falls Lake State Recreation Area which covers 5,035 acres along the shores of…
Michael
Awesome lake to enjoy sports, rent a boat, go fishing, and more!
Paola
Great Lake with sand shore for swimming and canoeing.
8. Falls Lake State Recreation Area
8. Falls Lake State Recreation Area
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17 local reviews
13304 Creedmoor Road, Wake Forest
Open · Closes 8:00 PM
+1 919-676-1027
Linda & Hugh
Linda & Hugh
We are very close to the Falls Lake State Recreation Area which covers 5,035 acres along the shores of 12,410-acre Falls Lake.
Michael
Michael
Awesome lake to enjoy sports, rent a boat, go fishing, and more!
Paola
Paola
Great Lake with sand shore for swimming and canoeing.
9. William B. Umstead State Park
9. William B. Umstead State Park
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19 local reviews
8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh
Open · Closes 6:00 PM
+1 919-571-4170
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Dasa
State park right in town! Great trails, and a lake where you can rent small boats. There is another entrance…
Carlee
Such a great state park to go for a walk in the woods or around the lake. Tons of short or long nature trails…
Amanda
Fantastic Hiking & Mountain Bike trails. I normally go to Lake Johnson, but love mixing it up with a hike over…
9. William B. Umstead State Park
9. William B. Umstead State Park
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19 local reviews
8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh
Open · Closes 6:00 PM
+1 919-571-4170
Dasa
Dasa
State park right in town! Great trails, and a lake where you can rent small boats. There is another entrance to more trails off of the…
Carlee
Carlee
Such a great state park to go for a walk in the woods or around the lake. Tons of short or long nature trails. Picnic tables for BBQ's.
Amanda
Amanda
Fantastic Hiking & Mountain Bike trails. I normally go to Lake Johnson, but love mixing it up with a hike over at Umstead.
10. Apex Community Park, Lake Trail Entrance
10. Apex Community Park, Lake Trail Entrance
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3 local reviews
1808 Lake Pine Dr, Cary
Open · Closes 8:00 PM
(919) 249-3402
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Stephen
Beautiful walk around the lake just minutes from our house
Andrew
Two mile walking/biking trail around Apex Lake.
10. Apex Community Park, Lake Trail Entrance
10. Apex Community Park, Lake Trail Entrance
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3 local reviews
1808 Lake Pine Dr, Cary
Open · Closes 8:00 PM
(919) 249-3402
Stephen
Stephen
Beautiful walk around the lake just minutes from our house
Andrew
Andrew
Two mile walking/biking trail around Apex Lake.
11. Lake Wheeler Park
11. Lake Wheeler Park
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6 local reviews
ParkPoint of interestEstablishment
Lindsay
This park is about 5-10 minutes from my house. We kayak on the lake sometimes, but we prefer the river. I walk…
Randy
Close and a good size lake to boat, fish, swim, picnic.
Ashley
Lake with water activities and trail.
11. Lake Wheeler Park
11. Lake Wheeler Park
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6 local reviews
Lindsay
Lindsay
This park is about 5-10 minutes from my house. We kayak on the lake sometimes, but we prefer the river. I walk my dogs here frequently. They…
Randy
Randy
Close and a good size lake to boat, fish, swim, picnic.
Ashley
Ashley
Lake with water activities and trail.
12. Blue Jay Point County Park
12. Blue Jay Point County Park
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3 local reviews
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd, Raleigh
(919) 870-4330
ParkLocal government officePoint of interest
Cynthia
This park has trails that lead to great little hiding spots along the lake. Park also has bathrooms & small…
David
236 acre educational park on the other side of Falls Lake. Features “Go Ape” a high ropes course in the forest…
12. Blue Jay Point County Park
12. Blue Jay Point County Park
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3 local reviews
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd, Raleigh
(919) 870-4330
Cynthia
Cynthia
This park has trails that lead to great little hiding spots along the lake. Park also has bathrooms & small playground
David
David
236 acre educational park on the other side of Falls Lake. Features “Go Ape” a high ropes course in the forest canopy.