Play Local · Uncategorized

21 Days Outdoors – Oak View County Park

Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about the great outdoors in the Triangle – parks, trails and green spaces under blue skies. So brush up on your trail etiquette, lace up those shoes, slather on the sunscreen and join us for some fresh air and fun times.

Historic Oak View County Park on Raleigh’s eastern edge is another example of an historic agricultural site preserved by concerned Wake County citizens. At one time Oak View was a working farm producing cotton on over 900 acres. Over several decades and multiple changes in ownership, the remaining lands and buildings were headed for demolition in the early 1980s. Thankfully, an appeal made by Wake County Historical Society convinced the Wake County Board of Commissioners to see Oak View in a different light. 

Today visitors to the farm park can stroll brick walkways around the park that lead from building to building, across open green spaces, by the pecan orchard and around a pond. To accompany your exploration of the livestock barn, main farmhouse, plank kitchen and kitchen garden there is a free audio tour available via cell phone. As you’ll learn cotton was the primary crop at the farm and an extensive exhibit in the cotton gin house details the farming cycle of cotton and the process of ginning the cotton harvest. Once you’ve complete the building tour, you may be enticed to venture off those brick paths by a small herd of cute Nubian goats (very friendly goats that seem to love head scratches as much as my dog enjoys them). 

Another significant feature at Oak View is the large pecan grove, the largest in Wake County, planted about 100 years ago. In November each year the park opens the pecan grove to the public, allowing each participant to fill a small bag of nuts. On the first Saturday in October plan a visit to the park to join the old time county fair. This special event includes live music, animals, agricultural displays, heritage craft displays, re-enactors and a quilt auction, along with other activities. Then in December the park rings in the holiday season with carriage rides, warm cider and a special visit from ol’ Saint Nick. But don’t wait for the fall to visit Historic Oak View County Park. Green spaces under blue skies with friendly goats make Summer a perfect time to visit too.

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