Biking Raleigh’s Art to Heart Trail is a great way to explore downtown Raleigh. The City of the Oaks is known for being extremely bike friendly AND walkable, boasting the Capital Area Greenway Trail System. It’s one of the most extensive greenway systems in the USA with 104 miles of trails and 28 individual routes.


Art to Heart Trail

The Art to Heart Trail is a point-to-point trail that connects the North Carolina Museum of Art  to the heart of Downtown Raleigh. This trail begins at the NCMA which is the state’s premiere collection of art, situated within a 164-acre sculpture park.

The North Carolina Museum of Art is one of the most popular Raleigh museums and admission to the Museum’s permanent collection and outdoor Museum Park is FREE – parking is also free!  Before starting the bike ride to downtown, consider taking a stroll through the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park. There’s a paved trail lined with outdoor art featuring more than a dozen commissioned works of art. This trail then connects to the greenway system that takes you to downtown!

Biking The Art To Heart Trail

Keep in mind that the Art to Heart Trail is not a loop. The 6 mile paved trail starts by winding its way through the museum’s 164-acre park, passing behind Meredith College, cutting through the main campus at North Carolina State University, passing by Pullen Park, through Boylan Heights, then finishing in the heart of the city just outside of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.  This trail does not disappoint winding through unique areas, parks, campuses and downtown neighborhoods.  Along the trail there’s a good mixture of flat trail and some small inclines, bridges to cross, tunnels to go through, and lovely tree lined streets and nature areas.

Once you leave the grounds of the NCMA you’ll pick up the Reedy Creek Trail. When you reach the entrance gates to Meredith College on Hillsborough Street, just across the street you’ll see, “Lucky Tree”, a very hip coffeehouse with baked goods, local art exhibits and a funky whimsical décor.  If you’re more in the mood for a cold one, Brickhouse Sports Bar and Raleigh Brewing, are just next door.

Hopping back onto Reedy Creek Trail, you will pass Meredith College’s Athletic Field. You will then reach the intersection of Hillsborough and Gorman. Once there, you will go over the crosswalk and then take a right on Gorman St and head toward Sullivan Drive. When going down Gorman St, you’ll bike over another bridge over some train tracks and then to Sullivan Drive. Hang a left onto Sullivan Drive picking up the Rocky Branch Greenway. You will find yourself cruising  through NC State University’s North Campus passing Miller Fields and  Carmichael Gymnasium. Following the signs for Pullen Park, you’ll pass under a tunnel, and then past Pullen Park.

When you get to Ashe Avenue,  take a LEFT and bike for a short distance until you get to the entrance gates to Pullen Park. Cross the road here and continue along Rocky Branch Trail.  Stay on the greenway trail until you get to W Cabarrus Street and follow this street into the Historic Boylan Heights Neighborhood, one of Raleigh’s earliest planned suburbs which is so rich in character.  Then take a right on W. Lenoir Street which takes you down into the heart of the city and to the “unofficial” end of the trail at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

If you enjoy cycling and exploring different areas of Raleigh, biking Raleigh’s Art to Heart Trail should be at the top of your list. Helping people navigate their real estate dreams is at the heart of my business. Let’s chat if you are considering buying or selling in Raleigh or the surrounding area. I invite you to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram for real estate tips and information on the Raleigh area.