Historic Yates Mill from Home

Educator walks with group of visitors on unpaved path surrounded by trees

Here you can find different activities created by park staff that will allow you to enjoy Historic Yates Mill County Park from home as well as on your own when visiting the park. Be sure to check back often, as this page is updated with new activities and videos regularly!

Self-Guided Explorations

Yates Mill Mobile Tour

mobile tour advertisement with mill building in background

While our visitor center is currently closed, our park grounds and trails remain open, so we are rolling out a new audio tour that you can listen to either in the park or from home. We hope you like it!

Wake County staff has also developed mobile tours for several other park sites, so we encourage you to check them out, as well!

Yates Mill Plant Guide

This Yates Mill Plant Guide starts at the trailhead on the path to Historic Yates Mill, and it will help you to identify the plants you will pass along the way. Trail descriptions are included to help you identify plants as they appear on the trail. With this guide, you will be able to identify common trees and shrubs and learn interesting facts about each. Trees and shrubs are ordered according to the first time they appear on the Mill Path. After identifying them on this trail, you are encouraged to try to identify the same plants in different locations throughout the park.

Yates Mill Tree Trail

This one-way, self-guided Yates Mill Tree Trail will introduce hikers to 20 of the numerous tree species found at Historic Yates Mill County Park. As you walk the 0.25-mile, moderately easy Yates Mill Pond Trail, notice the numbered posts. These posts correspond to numbered tree pictures found inside the brochure, along with numbers shown on the trail map. A brief description of the tree, along with an interesting fact relating to each tree, is given to spark your interest and curiosity.

ecoExplore Hotspot

While in the park, you can help scientists collect data and earn badges and even prizes! This program is a wonderful and fun initiative of the NC Arboretum that not only helps nature but helps you become an expert naturalist! On the ecoExplore Website, you can search different hotspots and view challenges to participate in. You can find the program here:

My Backyard Buddies

Flyer for backyard buddies social media program

Join Wake County park staff as we explore our backyards!

Use #MyBackyardBuddies on social media to share photos of what you see and check out what we're finding, too.

Use the following apps to help you identify wildlife:

Mill Guides

What is a Gristmill?

This one-page What is a Gristmill? document provides a basic explanation of what a gristmill is and a bit of Wake County milling history.

Basic Yates Mill Operations

Review a two-page Yates Mill Basic Operations document, which includes a diagram of both the corn and wheat-milling processes. Use this Milling Operations text (from our exhibit hall videos) to learn more details.

Nature Guides

Interview with a Wildflower

Print out this Interview with a wildflower booklet and use it to explore a plant in your own backyard or in the park.

Common Pond Wildlife

Want to find out what types of critters are living in your pond or creek? Use the Common Pond Critters identification guide as you explore.

The Fish of Yates Mill Pond

Review a one-page document on the Fish of Yates Mill Pond to learn about the millpond and the kinds of native species that are found living in its warm, slow waters. Or, download our Fishing Brochure for a detailed look at the local fish species that are found in the millpond.

Common Bird Guide and Activity Brochure

Yates Mill Bird Guides Photo

In celebration of the Great Backyard Bird Count, we developed and are offering these fun and educational Common Birds Guide and Bird Activity Guide that showcase birds commonly seen in the Raleigh area and in the park. Download and print the brochures from this webpage or come to the park visitor center main doors to pick up a copy in the park! You can pick up a seasonal bird checklist, as well.

Scavenger Hunts

Backyard Wildlife

Use this Backyard Wildlife Scavenger Hunt to see if you can find all the different critters and plants.

ABC Hike

Go on an ABC Hike to see if you can find everything on this printable scavenger-hunt style activity! Nature is so diverse and colorful – from A to Z!!

Winter Scavenger Hunt Guide

Yates Mill Winter Scavenger Hunt Photo

You can find and observe a variety of winter wildlife. Use this Winter Scavenger Hunt Guide and your senses to discover what's happening at Yates Mill Pond and the kinds of animals are out and about.

Nature Bingo Games

Animal Tracks and Signs Bingo

Use the printable bingo cards to explore signs of animals in your own backyard.

Birdie Bingo

Do you enjoy observing birds? Well, try out this printable bingo game!

Activity Sheets and Booklets

Yates Mill Word Search and Maze

Try your hand at this Yates Mill Word Search and Maze. See if you can find all the hidden words of things found at the park and work your way through a milling maze!

Yates Mill Family Fun Booklet

Yates Mill Family Fun Booklet Photo

Are you and your families looking for some fun, self-guided activities to do while in the park? Then, be sure to pick up our new Family Fun Booklet, which can be found here to print out at home as well as in the park outside the front door of the Visitor Center. This guide includes fun scavenger hunts you can complete at the park as well as a coloring page, information about the gristmill, a recipe to try at home and more!

Craft Activities

Create your Own Waterwheel Craft

paper plate craft designed to look like waterwheel with egg cartons

Use materials found around your house to create your own waterwheel.

Bee Craft Template and Instruction

yellow egg carton bee craft with paper wings and googly eyes

Create this pollinator craft using recyclable materials.

Instructional Videos

Yates Mill on Video!

Two baby slider turtles  lay on rocks down in the stream

Check out Yates Mill on Video! We have videos all about wildlife and gardening at Yates Mill Park, so that you can enjoy the park and learn from a distance.

Here are a few of the topics we've covered so far:

  • All About Beavers!

  • The Story of the American Elm

  • All About Monarchs

  • Spring is Here!

  • Rainfall

  • An Anniversary Slideshow

  • Six little Ducks

And many more!!

Staff Podcasts

Spring Has Sprung Collection

Green tree frog sits on reed near ponds edge

Park staff thought you might enjoy hearing our own reflections regarding what we particularly like about spring in nature and outdoors. Find below different audio recordings from staff and enjoy!

Listen to this podcast here.



Bird Day Collection

Grey and yellow bird perches with trees in background

Monday, May 4, was “Bird Day.” This was the first holiday in the United States dedicated to the celebration of birds. This audio series was created by the staff of Historic Yates Mill County Park and Crowder County Park, in celebration of this special day and in honor of our feathered friends. In these tracks, we talk about our favorite spring bird calls and why we like them (e.g., Is it a sweet or attention-grabbing sound? Does it remind you of an experience or a person? Is there a funny joke about it? Is it a rare bird?) We hope you enjoy our recollections and stories! Share with us on social media!

Listen to this podcast here.

Summer is Coming Soon

Park wetlands with trees surrounding and sun setting in background

Summer is coming soon, so our park staff thought you might like to hear from us in regard to what we particularly like about summer in nature and the outdoors. We are sharing these podcasts in celebration of Midsummer’s Day.

Listen to this podcast here.

Bring the Outside Online!

Yates Nature Puzzles

Screenshot of a nature puzzle featuring a dragonfly

Try solving some of these beautiful nature puzzles, which are photo captures of critters and plants in the park. See if you can put them all back together!

Virtual Meeting Backgrounds

Example of virtual meeting background with yates mill

Liven up your virtual meetings with customized backgrounds from Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

Other Parks from Home

Check out other Parks From Home Pages

Find even more at Wake Parks from Home

Image of cartoon park staff with woodland animals promoting wake parks from home

Interested in exploring our other Wake County Parks from the comfort of your home? Find all of our Parks from Home pages at Wake Parks from Home.

Looking for virtual group programs? Find them here!