Lake Crabtree County Park is located in Morrisville about 3 miles south of RDU airport. The park, consisting of a 215-acre site adjacent to a 520-acre flood control lake, offers visitors a wide range of outdoor recreational activities and opportunities to appreciate nature.



Photo credit: Mike Jaquish. Source: Flickr

Lake Crabtree provides fun for everyone. Visitors enjoy free access to a spacious grassy play area, 16 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, beach volleyball courts, playground equipment, catch-and-release fishing and individual tables for picnicking. The park also has three shelters, complete with tables, cooking grills and horseshoe pits, available for rent.

The park’s boat rental facility (open from early May until late September) boasts a large selection of row boats, pedal boats, canoes, kayaks and sailboats. Visitors who own boats can use a year-round boat launch area for a nominal fee. The park also hosts a wide range of nature study activities and environmental education programs for children, adults and families.


Fish consumption advisory

In 2004, it was discovered that Lake Crabtree and nearby bodies of water were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as a result of uncontrolled stormwater runoff from an electrical transformer factory near the airport during the late ‘60s to early ‘70s. Although the known major contamination source has since been eliminated, a fish consumption advisory remains in place and Lake Crabtree maintains a catch-and-release fishing only policy.


Volunteer Opportunities

Photo source: Flickr

Volunteering is encouraged at Lake Crabtree. Examples of current projects are as follows:

  • Wildlife tracking/monitoring
  • Landscaping/gardening
  • Construction and maintenance projects of trails and man-made trail components
  • Erosion prevention/control
  • Elimination of invasive species

Volunteers may participate year-round, both as a group or as individuals. Educational trips (e.g., Boy Scouts of America, schools) are welcome. Documentation for community service hours is available upon request.

All volunteers must sign a release form.

Click here for further information about volunteering at Lake Crabtree.


Special Events

Lake Crabtree offers various educational programs throughout the year. Some programs are free, while others require payment. Most programs are appropriate for all ages, with the exception of a handful being tailored to a particular age group. Examples of current program topics are as follows:

  • Recycling
  • Pollution
  • Navigation
  • Map-reading
  • Identification of local plants, animals, rocks and minerals

For more information about programs offered at Lake Crabtree click here.


Hours, Contact Information, Location, Website

Park Hours
8:00 a.m. until sunset
7 days a week

Park Office Hours
9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
(Monday – Thursday)
The park office is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Contact Information
Phone: 919-460-3390
Fax: 919-460-3389
Email: lakecrabtree@wakegov.com


1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC 27560



Sources used in this article: Wake County Parks and Recreation: Lake Crabtree County Park, Lake Crabtree and PCBs: What you should know, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services - Press Release (April 7, 2008)