American Tobacco Trail Public Programs

Photo of a park educator with participants in a geocaching program
Park employee leads a geocaching session

The Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail offers programs covering nature, history and recreational topics. Public programs are open for registration to the general public.

Program Registration & Reminders

Program Registration

Register for any of our programs by using the button below the program listing to be taken to the registration page on our online registration website. You can also use the button below to search all park programs by location, date and more!

Having trouble registering for a program online?

Contact the park office at 919-387-2117 or email us at americantobaccotrail@wake.gov for assistance.

Important Program Reminders:

  • For Family Programs, every participant must be registered online in advance.
  • "Walk-ups" (those not registered online but show up) may not be able to participate in the program. Register early!
  • Pets, except service animals, are not permitted at programs.
  • If a program has a minimum age, children who do not meet the minimum will not be allowed to participate. Children who do meet the age requirement must have a parent or guardian with them in the program. Age limits are established for safety and program content.
     

Family Programs

A photo of families listening to an instructor at a Family Program on the American Tobacco Trail

Designed for families to enjoy together, these programs are geared toward all ages, unless a minimum age is specified. For Family Programs, all participants must be registered online in advance.

Summer Morning Wildlife on the ATT
Sunday, July 14, 9:45–11 a.m.

Enjoy the peace of a warm summer morning along the American Tobacco Trail. Join park staff on a guided hike to the Beaver Creek wetland to learn about and search for songbirds, turtles, butterflies, and other wildlife. We will be walking a total distance of about 1.5 miles. Bring a water bottle. For all ages. All participants (children and adults) must be registered. Pets are not permitted at programs, except service animals. Meet at the New Hill parking area at the lower picnic table (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road).

Geocaching 101 at the ATT
Sunday, July 21, 1:30–3 p.m.

Geocaching is a treasure hunt where participants use GPS coordinates to track down hidden "caches." We will learn how to use traditional GPS units and the Geocaching app (by Groundspeak) and then find real geocaches hidden along the Trail. Wear closed-toe, comfortable shoes. For ages 6 and up. All participants (children and adults) must be registered in the online system. Meet at the White Oak parking area at the picnic tables. Pets are not permitted at programs, except service animals.

Valuable Vultures
Friday, Aug. 9, 11 a.m.–noon

Ever wonder what those big black birds soaring up in the sky are up to? Get to know our local vultures as we look high in the sky for these fascinating birds and learn about the important ecological role they play with a fun game. For all ages. Meet at the New Hill parking area (1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road) at the lower picnic table. Pets are not permitted at programs, except service animals.

Cunning Coyotes
Sunday, Aug. 18, 2–3 p.m.

Coyotes are one of the most adaptable animals around and can be found in every county in North Carolina. For as successful as they are, they are also elusive and highly misunderstood. Meet a coyote up close with our educational mount and make a coyote track to take home. For all ages. Meet at the White Oak parking area (1305 White Oak Church Road) at the picnic tables. Pets are not permitted at programs, except service animals.

Adult & Educator Workshops

Photo of a volunteer educator leading a group of adults in a tree identification program

* We are not offering any Adult & Educator Workshops at this time. Please check the Harris Lake County Park Public Programs page for upcoming virtual opportunities.

The Wake County section of the American Tobacco Trail periodically offers programs and workshops for adults and older teens led by staff or volunteers, most of which are eligible for NC Environmental Education Certification or CEU credits.

Become a Junior Park Explorer!

Junior Park Explorer graphic

Do you like to explore parks and preserves? Do you like winning prizes? Our Junior Park Explorers program is for you! Click here to learn more.

Self-Guided Activities

Photo of StoryWalk boards with laminated photos of a book attached to them at the American Tobacco Trail

Go For a StoryWalk®

Take a self-guided StoryWalk® at the American Tobacco Trail! A StoryWalk® is a children’s book that is presented page by page along a trail or path. It combines the pleasures of reading a children's book while enjoying nature. Every other month, the New Hill parking area will feature a different illustrated children's book. Interactive activities are included at the bottom of each set of storybook pages to further engage your child as you make your way through the book. StoryWalk® will be available during current park hours. 

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Photo of three GPS units used to locate geocaches during a "Geocaching 101" family program
GPS devices

Geocaching

The hunt is on during this high-tech "treasure" hunting game where park visitors come equipped with GPS devices in search of hidden geocaches! The geocaches located on the American Tobacco Trail are hidden containers that have been approved by park staff and placed on park property for your exploration and enjoyment. Geocaches can be of varied sizes and hidden in easy- to difficult-to-find places. Use GPS devices to help find these hidden containers and then record your find on the paper log provided in the geocache. Some geocaches have little items, such as toys and stickers, that you can collect and replenish as you play, so the activity can be a real "treasure hunt." This activity can be self-guided by getting coordinates from Geocaching.com and bringing your own GPS unit, or you can participate in one of our scheduled “Geocaching 101” public programs.

To learn more about geocaching, here is a short introductory video created by Park Manager Christina Hester.

Placing a Geocache
Geocaching on Wake County Park property is handled on a park-by-park basis. To see if geocaching is allowed and what the approval process is for placing a cache, please contact each park directly.

Geocaching is an accepted recreational activity at the Wake County section of the American Tobacco Trail, though at this time, no additional/new geocaches will be approved until further notice. The park maintains a maximum number of caches on park property. Those wishing to establish a new cache must receive approval from the American Tobacco Trail prior to placing a cache. To obtain the approval you must complete and submit a Geocache Placement Request Form to the park office. Please refer to this form for more information.

Graphic for ATT Mobile Tour (Story Map)

NEW! Mobile Tours

Take a mobile tour and see the park through a new lens!

The American Tobacco Trail now has an interactive cell phone tour that you can access from home or while you're at the park. You can access the tour from its hyperlinked title below.

American Tobacco Trail Tour
Explore trailheads, amenities, areas of interest and more!

Park Special Events

Statewide Star Party

Photo of a program participant using a telescope to observe the night sky assisted by a volunteer at the Statewide Star Party event
Star Party participants look at the stars

We are thrilled that the Wake County portion of the American Tobacco Trail was selected as a host site in 2024 for the annual Statewide Star Party, a signature event that is part of the NC Science Festival and supported with generous funding from North Carolina Space Grant. This free, family evening program on Saturday, April 6, featured hands-on activities before the sun goes down, followed by observation of the night sky through telescopes and binoculars on the back field of the White Oak parking area (1305 White Oak Church Road).

Learn more