Lake Johnson Loop

Raleigh , North Carolina 27627

Lake Johnson Loop

Lake Johnson Loop Professional Review and Guide

"This is a sizable circuit hike around a big lake at a big Raleigh city park. Popular with hikers, joggers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, a paved path follows the shoreline undulations of the east half of the lake, while a natural surface path leads you around the quieter west half of the impoundment. Be prepared for plenty of views and aquatic scenery at this urban oasis.

Fingerlings stocked in the spring grow to 14 inches in their first year and to 20 inches by the end of their second summer. Nothing fancy is required at Lake John. The damselfly hatch in June and July is a highlight of fly angling, and an olive damselfly nymph fished just above the weeds and slowly pulled toward shore has proved to be deadly during this time. Trolling with spoons, casting brightly colored spinners from the bank or a float tube, casting nymphs and dry flies to cruising fish, or dropping Woolly Buggers to the bottom all seem to work. Prime bait-fishing time is at night—best with a night crawler below a bubble or bobber, which works particularly well in spring and summer. In the fall a Zonker or Muddler Minnow on a sink-tip fly line draws big fish to the angler."

More Lake Johnson Loop Professional Reviews and Guides

"This hike begins with an easy wooded walk around the western side of Lake Johnson, then strikes out on a paved path to tour the eastern side. The last leg of the hike is a rugged footpath that closely follows the lakeside and features excellent views. The park’s interconnecting trails make it easy to choose alternate routes to suit any hiker.

The 5.5 miles of paved and unpaved trails at Lake Johnson Park are an opportunity for beginners and experienced hikers alike to enjoy nature. The diversity of the trails is this park’s most striking characteristic."

"This walk lets you sample the Lake Johnson Greenway, a popular greenway and park, which is part of the Walnut Creek Greenway. As a matter of fact, if you walk on a weekend, expect crowds; the picnic areas, boating, fishing, biking, and hiking opportunities entice many visitors on pretty weekend afternoons. In spite of the potential crowds, when you walk along the greenway that encompasses Lake Johnson you can feel completely alone.

The tall pines that surround the lake sway gently in the breeze that ripples the surface of the lake. You can look out on the lake from several vantage points along the trail and not see another soul. If you enjoy picnicking, pack your lunch to take with you on this walk. Several areas on the trail provide scenic places to enjoy your meal. Special attractions: Lake Johnson, lakeshore walking with good views of the lake and wildlife."

"This is another excellent in-town Raleigh ride, one that can be linked with Centennial Campus via greenways and a short bit of road riding. Ridden in either direction, you get a decent warm-up before hitting the root extravaganza waiting in the woods. Beginners can try a bit of the track, with an easy bailout option if the learning curve proves too steep or painful, because the greenway is always circling just uphill of the singletrack. Intermediate riders will push the limits of their slow-speed balance and navigation skills, and even more advanced folks will be pressed by some of the dicey root moves and the big stream crossing.

When in doubt at any trail branching, pick the track that runs closest to the lakeshore. The point on the backside of the lake looks over the breeding grounds of some gorgeous geese, swans, herons, kingfishers, and a variety of ducks. And I guess to be fair, I should mention the proliferation of turtles sunning along the walkway and lakeside sections, for those of you who like your critters cold-blooded. Tread: 2.4 miles of singletrack; 1.3 miles of doubletrack; 1.2 miles of paved greenway."

Lake Johnson Loop Reviews

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Nice trail for walking and afterwards there are kayaks for rent as well as fishing.
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East loop is wide, paved and very pleasnt. West loop is more challenging but requires fording a couple of small streams and peters out in several places.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
2.5- 3.5 hours
Lake Johnson Park, 4601 Avent Ferry Rd., Raleigh, NC 27606; (919) 233-2121;
Local Contacts
Lake Johnson Park Trail Guide
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018