Enjoy A Sunset Walk At Mill Bridge Nature Park

Sanford Creek in Rolesville, NC
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A few weeks ago, my family and I had the opportunity to check out an amazing, FREE outdoor concert at Mill Bridge Nature Park in Rolesville, NC.  We listened to beautiful, live music at an outdoor amphitheater while the sun was setting.  I sipped on a locally brewed craft beer while my kids got their first experience listening to live bluegrass music.  Then we went for a walk on the shaded greenway and found our way to a small, tucked-away waterfall.  It was such a wonderful night that I just knew I had to share this beautiful spot with you!

Mill Bridge Nature Park banner in Rolesville, NC

Culture, Nature, and Community Coming Together

This concert was part of a series of concerts hosted by the Town of Rolesville called, “Music at Mill Bridge” which ran from April until June of this year.  Now, unfortunately, this concert was the last in the series for the season.  I know, I know, I wish I had known about it sooner, too!  But don’t worry- I’ll be working on a calendar of events for this side of the Triangle so we won’t miss out again!  Stay tuned!

Music at Mill Bridge board in Rolesville, NC

However, my night was so lovely.  It was such a beautiful park that I had to highlight not only the concert, but the beer from Koi Pond Brewery, the music from Counterclockwise String Band, and the magical greenway trail walk that we enjoyed at the end of the evening.  Because even if these elements may not all come together again this year (although I sure hope they do!), they should all be enjoyed on their own at some point when you’re ready to venture out and explore! 

Making Our Way To Mill Bridge Nature Park

Located at 425 Nature Park Drive in Rolesville, NC, the drive was only about 20 minutes away from Knightdale. We drove down mostly lazy, calm, country roads. A quick word about the address…I was a bit confused about whether this park lies in Rolesville or Wake Forest, so I had to research and confirm this through iMAPS.  The park is owned by the Town of Rolesville but is within the township of Wake Forest. The park also connects to the Sanford Creek Greenway which winds through Wake Forest as well.

When you plug in the address with Google Maps, it might say the park is in Wake Forest, NC.  Just go with it.  Using the Wake Forest address got us to the correct place. Although, I believe the location is in Rolesville, NC. It’s only a little bit down the road from Rolesville’s Main Street Park also!

Parking and Logistics for Mill Bridge Nature Park

When we decided to attend the concert, I signed up for the event to try to reserve a parking spot in Mill Bridge Nature Park’s parking lot (versus having to park in the field). The event wasn’t that crowded, so parking wasn’t an issue that night.  However, with our kids in tow, I appreciated being closer to the main walkway.  They also had a portable restroom for the event, which was a pleasant surprise!  As far as I could tell, there are no other permanent restroom facilities there, so as a mom to two younger kids, it put me at ease knowing potty breaks would be simple.  

There was also a wide-open grassy field that the town used for extra parking this evening.  However, this field would be a great place to kick or throw a ball, or play a game of frisbee!

If you’re wondering, “Is Mill Bridge Nature Park Pet Friendly?” the answer is yes! As long as dogs are leashed. People had their dogs hanging out with them during the concert, and the large grassy area in the front of the park is a perfect place to play and run around.

Beverages Available During Music at Mill Bridge 

As we walked toward the outdoor amphitheater, we passed a tent selling craft beer by Koi Pond Brewing Company.  Koi Pond Brewing Company is located at 1107 Falls Road in Rocky Mount, NC.  The vendor was kind, friendly, and willing to offer drink suggestions based on my other preferences.  He also encouraged me to come and check out Rocky Mount Mills where Koi Pond Brewing Company is located, so I put it on my list!   I know, it’s not in Wake County, but a 45-minute drive isn’t too bad to get to explore another city!  I purchased an IPA and enjoyed sipping it while listening to the music and watching my kids immerse themselves in live bluegrass.  

Koi Pond Brewing Company from Rocky Mount, NC

We spent $7 for live music and an awesomely crisp and cold craft beer.   I think that has to be about the least expensive and most accessible concert I have been to in the past decade!  

Enjoying Some Bluegrass from Counterclockwise String Band

As we made our way to the Mill Bridge Nature Park amphitheater, I noted the wooden seats all around, facing an outdoor amphitheater lined with tall, mature trees behind the stage.  We settled into some seats along the benches there. Others had brought their own chairs and picnic blankets for extra comfort.  The concert was scheduled for 6 pm – 8 pm and was advertised as family-friendly. Families of all ages were gathered around and the kids played throughout the grassy areas.

The musicians from the Raleigh-Durham-based Counterclockwise String Band were there warming up and chatting with members of the audience.  It felt like such an intimate setting- almost like a private concert.  According to their website, they are an acoustic 4-piece band that, “blends traditional and contemporary bluegrass.”  I’m not much of a bluegrass aficionado, but I love plenty of musicians heavily inspired by bluegrass. So to me, the melodies and sounds were beautiful.  It felt Southern, cheery, nostalgic, and traditional.  But it also felt modern all at once. 

Counterclockwise String Band in Mill Bridge Nature Park Rolesville, NC

My favorite thing was showing my children the beautiful sounds that actual people can make with instruments. To me, it doesn’t matter what style of music you like. Being able to play an instrument is a thing of beauty that should be celebrated, and I want to pass that love of music on to my kids.

I know I won’t be able to provide a write-up that does this band justice. So, here are some clips from their performance for you to see for yourself!  

You can also check out some of their previous performances on YouTube.

Winding Down with a Walk From Mill Bridge Nature Park to the Sanford Creek Greenway

Once we watched the band for about a solid hour (my kids were so mesmerized and loved dancing to all of the music), we decided to make our way over to the Sanford Creek Greenway trail for a quick walk before we headed home.  We would have loved to stay until the end, but I didn’t think my toddler could handle a late night. 

To unwind, we decided to walk through nature for a moment.  Hearing the bluegrass float through the air while we winded down the forested, shaded pathway was beautiful.  There was a soft breeze blowing.  Squirrels scampered about.  Dappled sunlight from the sunset filtering through the leaves fell onto our path.  It was a beautiful stroll. But parents, be cautious along the trails- it is copperhead season!

Sanford Creek Greenway path in Rolesville, NC
Forested area in Rolesville, NC at Mill Bridge Nature Park

We walked for about 5 minutes until we found an area with running water and a waterfall on a small, sandy bank.  The kids played and explored there for a few minutes.  The water was clear and the sound of falling water was serene.  We rested on a memorial bench and looked out at the tranquil scene for a few minutes before deciding to head back home for bedtime.  

sandy bank on Sanford Creek Greenway
waterfall on Sanford Creek Greenway found from Mill Bridge Nature Park

Future Plans for Mill Bridge Nature Park

Would you like to know what Mill Bridge Park will have to offer in the future? Rolesville’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan shows that the Town of Rolesville is invested in continuing to improve this beautiful area.  There are eventual plans to include restrooms and a picnic shelter, create a disc golf course, and add connectivity to Main Street Park.

Additionally, according to the approved 2023-2024 Town budget, the Town is planning to renovate the amphitheater space as well. Their goal is to, “improve ADA access and user experience, while also constructing a facility more suitable for long-term maintenance. Also, a new security gate will be installed at the park entrance.”  So, look out for more improvements to come!

What Our Family Took Away From This Night

I was so happy that we went to this event for the following reasons:

 1- Now I have another awesome place to put on my list to explore! My list continues to grow every day!

 2- Live music and nature fill my soul.  This event and the beautiful park gave me a serious boost of happiness

 3- My 4-year-old daughter is now interested in bluegrass. She is asking me to play it all the time on Spotify!  I think that is super cool <3

 4- My husband and I got to reconnect while our kids were jammin’. Oh, and we got to sit down for a little bit, which is a rarity nowadays.  Win-win!

 5- I am signing up for Rolesville’s Parks and Recreation event alerts! I don’t want to miss out on another one of these events again!

 6- I got to see how the community came out to enjoy this concert.  Even though I don’t live in Rolesville, it gave me a sense of pride to be able to call this beautiful area home.  <3

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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