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Clayton Greenway

The town of Clayton in Johnston County has several miles of greenway trails along Neuse River and its tributaries.  Currently, there are about 5 miles of paved greenway trails.  These trails are part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and East Coast Greenway and are open to walking and bicycles, but no motorized vehicles.  The Clayton River Walk follows Neuse River from the Wake County line to the confluence with Sam's Branch Trail.  The trail continues in Wake County as the Neuse River Trail, part of Raleigh's Capital Area Greenway.  The combined trails lead over 30 miles from Clayton to the Falls Lake Dam.  Sam's Branch Greenway extends the trail another mile to O'Neil Road in Clayton.

Map:

Trails:

Clayton's Greenway system is currently made up of 2 trails, totaling about 5 miles.  The trails are part of the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the East Coast Greenway.

Clayton River Walk:

Clayton River Walk is a 4-mile, 10-foot wide paved greenway trail that follows the Neuse River from the Wake County line to the confluence with Sam's Branch.  The trail continues upstream in Wake County as the Neuse River Trail, part of Raleigh's Capital Area Greenway, leading 27.5 miles to the Falls Lake Dam.  Combined, these trails provide over 30 miles along the Neuse River.  From the county line, the trail follows the river downstream in a southeasterly direction, passing Riverwood Athletic Club subdivision.  In about three miles, the trail passes under Covered Bridge Road, where there is a trailhead and parking.  The trail crosses the river on a big bridge and ends at the confluence with Sam's Branch Greenway.

Sam's Branch Greenway:

Sam's Branch Greenway is a 1.25-mile paved greenway trail that follows its namesake from O'Neil Road down to the confluence with Neuse River.  There is a trailhead with parking at 1358 O'Neil Road.  The trail passes behind some new subdivisions and passes the Butterfly Garden at about 1 mile.  In another quarter-mile, the trail ends at Clayton River Walk.

Wildlife:

Birds:

The Neuse River is a great spot for birding, especially in winter when the leaves are down.  Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) are a small songbird in the tit family.


The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is a common migratory songbird.


The male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is one of the most distinctive songbirds with his bright red feathers.


Cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum)


Red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus) is a common bird of prey found along the Neuse River.

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