Today I visited a park that was once a landfill, unabashedly called “North Wake Landfill District Park“. I remember dumping truckloads of junk in this landfill years ago as I was renovating my house, and besides being grown over with a thin layer of vegetation, the park is exactly as described: A large man made mountain of a decommissioned landfill, surrounded by a concrete municipal drainage ditch, flanked by a new children’s playground complete with restroom facilities. There are some short mountainbiking trails, and a link to the city’s greenway system.
The trail to the top of the landfill has its own gravel parking lot on the south side of the mountain. A wide, shadeless gravel path leads to the top, which has a picnic table and bike rack. The top is planted with wispy 7 foot tall native grass, which was swarming with giant grasshoppers. You can see the downtown Raleigh skyline way off, the dense green landscapes spotted with subdivisions in the mid-ground, and the tire recycling facility below in the park. It’s actually breezy up there, and fairly peaceful.
Except for the subdivisions nearby, the park is fairly out in the middle of nowhere (where most landfills are located), however, the playground was fairly busy when we were there. Kudos to Wake County for making something decent out of the old landfill, connecting it with greenways, and allowing folks to take advantage of the view from the top of the fill.