Capital Area Greenway Crabtree Trail in Full Blaze

Capitol Area Greenway – Trail 07 Report 2: Fall update on Crabtree Trail 1.0 miles & Crabtree Oak Park Trail


For those visiting Raleigh and new residents of Raleigh should be aware of the wonderful park system and the “Capitol Area Greenway.”

The “Capitol Area Greenway” is a project in process. Started in March 1974 by the city council of Raleigh it has a master plan to make sure that there is open space for residents throughout the city. It is being built one trail, one park and one community area at a time.

Today the city boasts more than 50 miles of trails connecting many of the more than 3000 acres of city park land. These trails create wonderful off road access to many parts of the city for bikers, hikers and runners.

Crabtree Valley Trail – Report 2 (and part of Crabtree Oak Park Trail)

*for details on the trails see the articles:
Capitol Area Greenway – Crabtree Valley Trail 07 Report 1:
Raleigh Greenway: Crabtree Oak Park Trail

Today I parked beside Crabtree Mall in the part of the lot near the post office. During the midday this part of the parking lot is usually only sparsely used.

This trip I was just after a brisk walk of about forty minutes to an hour.

The sun was shining brightly though because of a “High” weather front the temperature was not excessively warm. Unlike August when the sun would toast every living thing unprotected by shade, September is proving a lot more moderate.

I am not a professional bird watcher. I can barely tell a canary from a cardinal. Today would definitely have been a time when a bird watcher would have just loved this trail.

Some of the cover has thinned a little due to the August heat, resulting in many perches being revealed to the world.

There were several small bird species on display.

A few larger birds flitted into and out of the greenway trail area during my noontime journey.

As I walk quickly along the trail I could hear a chorus of birds singing out different melodies in order to mystify my. Given my innate ignorance about just about everything, I was clueless to begin with.
I am sure those more attuned to the melodies and calls would have quickly discerned who was talking to whom and what it might be about.

This was also a great day for the bug lovers among us. Sure enough there were bugs of every variety, well almost anyway. Like birds, I know one or two common names and the rest are just beyond me.

For those who study bugs and pollinators in particular this would be a very fine trail to follow this time of year. There were Monarch Butterflies which are the total extent of my bug knowledge just about. There were orange colored butterflies; white winged butterflies; yellow winged butterflies; big huge wasps with red on them; medium sized wasps with white stripes; tiny wasps all in black; big bumble bees the size of a walnut; regular size bees of some variety; ants (black and red); fly of various sizes from huge to tiny; caterpillars; centipedes; grasshoppers and others.

Whether you are an entomologist (I think that’s the right term) or have a child studying science in school this trail could be for you.

The reason for the bugs is all the flowers. And the reason for the birds is all the seeds produced this time of year.

And the flowers are not to be sneezed at, unless you have an allergy to some of them like goldenrod. There are flowers all along the trail in patches with single colors and groupings of contrasting colors.

There are tall yellow flowers that remind me of “Jerusalem” artichoke. There are medium sized yellow flowers that are more Black Susan or Daisy like. Then there are smaller yellow flowers that look like they have been beaten with a weed whacker.

Then there are the blue and purple flowers. Some are small, hidden in the grass, just giving a small brilliant glimpse of blue. Others are tall thin wires of green adorned in small purple or blue bits of color.

Hanging back a bit from these flowers are occasional patches of the orange flowers that look like little lanterns hanging from their thin wiry trellises.

In the midst of these fsplashes of color, small patches of white flowers appear as though they had wandered into the wrong forest side patch.

Some experienced gardener or just someone who enjoys God’s beauty might find this a very good time of year to follow this path of color. The flowers sometimes stand alone to show off there particular traits. In other parts of the trail they mingle together, perhaps in an effort to confuse the eye.

The bees and butterflies seem to locate the ones that provide the most sustenance while bypassing the laggards. The birds seem well practiced at selecting the berries that will help them keep there youthful figure. That is with the exception of some of the robins that look like there getting ready to be the bird’s Santa Clause.

After completing the trail along a babbling Crabtree Creek, I returned to the Crabtree Valley Mall to enjoy a pleasant meal in what has to be one of the best food courts around. There are so many choices of foods, drinks and deserts it is baffling.

And if you want a real sit down type meal they have several full scale restaurants in the mall itself.

If you live in or are visiting Raleigh this is one trail that you might enjoy whether you enjoy walking, hiking, running, skating (roller), biking, scooter riding (motor less), bird watching, bug hunting, photography (one of my favorites), dog walking or gardening.

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