During the current times of social distancing and “stay-at-home” regulations, many have a feeling of being stuck inside. Luckily for residents of the South Lakes new home community, Fuquay Varina boasts some of the most beautiful outdoor venues, parks, and trails anywhere in the state of North Carolina where you can safely enjoy a walk, run, ride, or just some fresh air with a gorgeous view. One particular spot that locals have known and enjoyed for decades is the Fuquay Environmental Park.

The Fuquay Environmental Park is a true symbol of the type of tight-knit community that embodies this town. The continuous “giving back” to the community by its members for the betterment of all residents is a characteristic making the Fuquay community the unique and friendly place that it has become known to be. In actuality, there may be no community in this area which better defines that type of community that Fuquay Varina. As we move through this post and the history of the Fuquay Environmental Park, you will see how major members of the community truly do give back. Likewise, you will see how generation after generation continues to enjoy, learn, and continue giving back through this landmark.

A Befitting Name is Given to a Park that is Given to the Community

There are many trails to explore at the Fuquay Environmental Park.

The Fuquay Environmental Park is actually the product of two former prominent residents’ generosity. With two separate land donations, the 28 acres that currently hosts the park was received. In addition to the park being on this land, the Fuquay Environmental Park also boasts one of the longest walking trails in the local area.

Getting back to the park’s history, we start with a 20-acre tract of land donated to the Town of Fuquay-Varina in 1992. Former Mayor Alfred Johnson and his wife Carroll Howard Johnson made this generous donation to the town. 

With such generosity shown, the Town decides they also want to give back to the residents. To accomplish this, the goal was to focus on educating residents on the environment. Thus, when the town officials decided upon the park’s official name, they aptly went with the Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Education Park.  

Six years later, and again through the generosity of another prominent Fuquay resident, Horace Tart, the town had the final 8 acres that would compromise the park. This led to the park’s size growing to the 28 acres it is currently. See all of the great features at the Fuquay Environmental Park in our listing shown below.

Features and Amenities at Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Park

  • 2-miles of interpretive walking trails
  • Overlooks
  • Natural Bridges
  • Outdoor Classroom
  • Picnic Pavilion and Tables
  • Restroom Facilities

With Extra Land, the Fuquay Environmental Park Leads Resident to New Trails and A Place to Learn

Once the town had this extra land at their disposal, the Fuquay Environmental Park would come to feature one of the longest walking trails in Fuquay Varina. Stretching two miles, the trail gives you some of the most spectacular natural views in town. Walking along this trail you’ll see natural bridges, overlooks, and of course the gorgeous plant and wildlife.

Along this trail, there is also an outdoor classroom setting, unique at least in this area to the Fuquay Environmental Park. Consequently, for teachers looking to bring a class to the trail, there are also free teaching kits available upon request. Additionally, the Fuquay Environmental Park and trails connect to another town park also, South Park. Both of these are accessible and connect by the trail to another popular outdoor passage, the Jeff Wells Hiking Trail.

Discover the “Wonders of Nature” and Much More

One must truly see the beauty of this park and trails firsthand to appreciate it. An apt description of the overall serenity and charm of the park can be read at the official Town of Fuquay Varina website. There a Triangle resident says the following about the Fuquay Environmental Park.

“Explore the 2-mile nature trail and uncover the natural treasures in Fuquay-Varina,” the site began. “Crossing beautiful overlooks and natural bridges, visitors will find a path of wooded splendor, local flora and fauna, and many species of birds that highlight the everyday wonders of Fuquay-Varina’s nature.”

The Fuquay Environmental Park is just one of many safe, outdoor places you can visit in town. The Fuquay parks all offer beauty and a safe place to enjoy some outdoor fun with the whole family. Likewise, a visit to the parks can break the monotony of the current times. For more information on this and other area parks and trails, visit fuquay-varina.org 

Photo Credits: Town of Fuquay Varina