By Michele Miller Houck, Associate Executive Director, Carolina Raptor Center ~
Looking for a nice walk in the woods or somewhere to take visiting grandchildren? Carolina Raptor Center is just the place to get your whole family off the couch to connect with nature. The ¾ mile Raptor Trail is a rugged, flat trail, but is not currently suitable for motorized wheelchairs. A more accessible trail is in the works down the road at our new facility, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2019. In the meantime, active senior adults (and their grandchildren) can enjoy over 35 species of raptor on the Raptor Trail and many scheduled programs, including Flights of the Forest, our summer flight show, brought to you at no additional charge through the generosity of Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas. Children 3-8 have a special nature playground experience designed just for them so that they can let off some steam before starting into the main exhibits.
CRC is one of the only places in the Southeast that rehabilitates and exhibits Bald Eagles – we have six on our resident bird team. A variety of owls, hawks, vultures, falcons and corvids make up the bulk of our bird species, and they come from all over the world. Visitors are particularly delighted by our Eurasian Eagle Owls (Russia and Europe), Spectacled Owl (Costa Rica) and King Vulture (Central and South America). But if you are looking for native species birds to bone up on what is in your own backyard, we certainly have plenty to capture the imagination.
A Few Visitor Tips:
- No food vendor in the Preserve means that we have plenty of picnic tables for you to bring and enjoy your own picnic.
- Bring your water bottle and fill it up at the water fountain in our gift shop.
- Programming is concentrated on the weekends. Check the calendar for dates and times of special events on the Raptor Trail.
- Sunscreen and bug spray is recommended for most times of year.
- CRC is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from November 1 – February 28.
- The admission fee for seniors is $10; adults under 65 are $12; students 4 and older pay $8.
- Wear closed toe walking shoes and bring your walking stick. We have loaner sticks in the Visitor Center if you forget yours.