East Raleigh’s Hidden Gem: Historic Oak View County Park

Back of the Main house at Historic Oak View County Park in Raleigh, NC
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Hey everyone!  I’m back from a bit of a hiatus from writing! My family and I took a week-long vacation to Holden Beach, NC, and it was marvelous, but I’ve also missed writing about my Eastern Wake gems! So, to kick off my next writing streak with a bang, I thought I would highlight one of my family’s favorite parks, Historic Oak View County Park.

Historic Oak View County Park’s Location and Accessibility

Historic Oak View County Park is a park owned and operated by Wake County, where the municipalities of Raleigh, Knightdale, Wendell, Rolesville, and Zebulon are all located (hence my site name 😉 ).  You can find Historic Oak View County Park on the east side of Raleigh at 4028 Carya Drive.  This park is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Knightdale, approximately 8 miles away.  

Park Features and Highlights

When you enter this tucked-away gem, you’re greeted by some beautiful picnic shelters, rolling pecan groves, mature trees, a visitor’s center, historic buildings, and a grassy fenced area.  

Pecan Groves at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

My children’s absolute favorite thing to do while we are here is to feed the goats.  You can bring carrots or apples for a snack for goats that are enclosed in a white rail fence.  The goats are gentle when fed but always seem eager and grateful for our snack.  Look at their cute faces!  

Feeding the Goats at Historic Oak View County Park in Raleigh, NC

If you’re looking for some other places where you might be able to find goats to pet and feed, check out Haven Farm in Knightdale, NC. Right next to the goats are the chickens and roosters.  Look at this proud dude!

Rooster at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

Gain a Furry Pen Pal!

By the way, if the kids LOVE the goats, and as a great way to help them practice writing, the park has a goat pen pal program. That’s right- your kiddo can write to the goats. And then- the goats will WRITE BACK!  How cute is that?!? You can send letters to:

Leroy, Felix, Oscar, or Henry the Goat

Historic Oak View County Park

4028 Carya Drive Raleigh NC 2761

Raleigh NC 2761

Two goats at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

Soaking in the Farm’s History

If you have a tractor enthusiast, go check out the Livestock Barn, where they can sit on an antique tractor, or play at the “All In A Day’s Work” exhibit, where they can try their hand at “milking” a cow statue or picking up pretend eggs from the coup.

One of my favorite spots is the Main House.  Explore inside! The restored home has many original features and trim, and it reminds me of my days growing up in Williamsburg, VA, and walking around Colonial Williamsburg.  Although to be fair, the Oak View house was built in the 19th century, so not quite as old as Colonial Williamsburg.  But still beautiful!  

The Main House at Historic Oak Grove County Park

Behind the main house is the plank kitchen and the kitchen’s herb garden, lined with brick.  Native plant species are also planted among the herbs.  This is one of my favorite places to let my children explore since the area is gated.  This beautiful small garden is located right next to the historic plank kitchen, where more history is highlighted.

Plank kitchen and herb garden Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC
Plank Kitchen at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC
Herb garden at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

Other buildings available to openly tour are the Cotton Gin, the Tenant House, the Barn, and the Carriage House.  Informational videos about these locations are available on YouTube, and signage is around the park for more information.  

Historic Oak View County Park is dotted with benches all throughout, which makes for a great place to come if you need frequent places to stop and rest.  Alternatively, the park also has two walking trail loops, which offer some forested views.  At one point, we crossed over a stone bridge, and all I could think of was how cool it would be to do a family photo there.

Bridge along trail at Historic Oak View County Park in Raleigh NC

Historic Oak View County Park’s Indoor Family-Friendly Amenities

One of my tips to parents of Eastern Wake who are looking for fun, free activities for their little ones on hotter or rainy days… come to this park’s visitor’s center and take your kids to play in the Farmer’s Corner!  

Farmer's Corner inside the visitor's center at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

The visitor’s center at Historic Oak View County Park is air-conditioned and filled with a few exhibits for older kids and adults who would like to learn more about the history of the farm and its agricultural practices. But it also has a small but really sweet, fenced-in play area with a little farmstand, a pretend vendor booth, a play kitchen, and gardening toys such as a wheelbarrow.  There are a few spots for sitting for the adults, and it’s close to the bathrooms.  There are also a variety of children’s books to enjoy.

Visitor's Center at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

When you enter the visitor’s center, there are free coloring and activity pages at the front doors.  Picnic tables are located right outside the visitor’s center, which makes it an easy spot to bring a little snack or lunch if your little ones get hangry (we’ve all been there).  By the way, if you have a child from ages 4-15, you might want to consider signing them up for Wake County’s Junior Park Explorers program, where you can visit all of the county parks within a year. Upon completion of the program, your kiddo gets a special prize!

Visitor's Center welcome at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

Other Educational Programs and Events

Other programs available at the park include StoryWalks, historical talks, self-guided tours, and children’s educational programs that often include crafts and story time.

StoryWalk at Historic Oak Grove County Park

Historic Oak View County Park’s pretty picnic shelters are also available to rent, so this might be a really special place to host a birthday party if the weather cooperates.  Additional history about the property, including the history of slavery at Oak View, can be found on Wake County’s site and throughout the park.

Picnic Shelter at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

On your way out of the park, don’t forget to stop by the Free Little Library, where you can take or leave a book for free.

Little Free Library at Historic Oak Grove County Park in Raleigh, NC

Considerations and Proximity to Highway

The only true con I can think of for Historic Oak View County Park is its proximity to the highway.  Because it is so close to I-440, you get some highway noise that might drown out an otherwise very peaceful morning or afternoon stroll around a picturesque park.  The park is also tucked back a ways, so you might feel a bit lost when you’re first driving up.  

Professional Photography

If you are looking for a beautiful place for family photos, this is such a gorgeous location.  Just make sure your photographer reviews their professional photography policy! So, if you feel like getting out to soak in some natural beauty, history, and architecture or have a moment to breathe while your children play, give this beautiful park a try.  

Want to Explore more?

If you or someone you know someone might be interested in learning about other Eastern Wake gems, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter for more information!

Taylor
Author: Taylor

Taylor, the founder of Eastern Wake Love and resident of Knightdale, NC, created the platform to celebrate Eastern Wake County’s community and lifestyle. Driven by the lack of substantial information about the Eastern Wake communities during her move to Knightdale, she wanted to create a resource for this beautiful area's potential and current residents and visitors. In her spare time, she’s chasing after her two young kiddos, getting involved in her community, and laughing with her husband about the chaos of parenthood.

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