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Shelley Lake

Shelley Lake is a 145-acre City of Raleigh park in the northwestern part of the city along Millbrook Road, between Creedmoor and Six Forks Road.  The trail around the park as well as several connecting trails are part of the Capital Area Greenway.  The 53-acre lake is surrounded by 2 miles of paved greenway trails and boardwalks.  Additionally, the Sertoma Art Center is located in the park, along with basketball courts and playgrounds.

Crabtree Watershed Dam #13 was constructed in 1975 to dam Lead Mine Creek for flood control.  The building of the dam created Shelley Lake, which is now used for both flood control and recreation.

Contact Information:

1400 West Millbrook Road
Raleigh, NC 27614

Phone: (919) 420-2331


There are two entrances to Shelley Lake - a parking lot below the dam on W Millbrook Road (1140 W Millbrook Rd) and a parking lot at the Sertoma Art Center (1400 W Millbrook Rd).  Both entrances are along W Millbrook Road, between Creedmoor Road (NC-50) and Six Forks Road.  There is also limited street parking at approximately 6320 Lakeway Drive and at 6344 Rushingbrook Drive.  Use the map below to generate customized directions to either of the park entrances.


Shelley Lake

Sertoma Art Center:

The Sertoma Art Center, located at Shelley Lake, is a community center opening in 1979 with a focus on visual and performing arts.  The center has a studio for independent work and offers a number of classes and workshops.  View the center's website for a list and schedule of classes.


Lake Park Trail:

Length: 0.5 miles
Surface: Unpaved

Lake Park Trail is a half-mile unpaved trail that leads from Shelley Lake to Rushingbrook Drive.  The trail begins near where the connector trail from Sertoma Art Center parking reaches Shelley Lake.  The trail crosses an unnamed tributary of Mine Creek and passes behind some homes and the Lake Park Swim Club before terminating at Rushingbrook Drive.

Shelley Lake Loop:

Length: 2.1 miles
Surface: Paved and boardwalks

Shelley Lake Loop is a 2-mile loop around the lake.  Beginning at the Sertoma Art Center, a short paved path leads down to the lake, passing Lake Park Trail before reaching the loop.  Turning left to walk the loop in the clockwise direction, the trail crosses a tributary on a short boardwalk high above the lake.  Back on pavement, there's an observation tower, but trees block any view of the lake.  The trail follows the northwest shore of the lake as it becomes more swampy towards the headwaters.  A short connector splits to the left and leads to street parking on Lakeway Drive.  At the northern end of the lake, the trail turns right and crosses Mine Creek on a bridge.  Straight continues on Mine Creek Trail, part of the Capital Area Greenway.  Go right to stay on Shelley Lake Loop.  Shortly ahead, Snelling Branch Trail, another segment of the Capital Area Greenway splits to the left towards North Hills Drive and Optimist Park.  Heading south, the trails passes through a forested area before reaching some open fields near the lake.  At the south end of the lake, the trail heads up to cross the dam.  Mine Creek Trail splits to the left, leading down to the Millbrook Road Parking lot and continuing to follow Mine Creek downstream.  Crossing the dam, Shelly Lake Trail turns right to finish up the loop.  The comfort station with restrooms and the boathouse are in this stretch between the dam and the start of the loop.


In spring of 2018, a pair of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nested high in the trees along Shelley Lake.  The nest is very high up and hard to see clearly, but it was exciting to see the eagles here.