Yates Mill County Park is located in south Raleigh and is part of the Wake County Parks & Recreation. It’s namesake landmark is the county’s only remaining gristmill.
Each year from March through November the Park offers tours of the Mill that included costumed corn grinding demonstrations. All ages are welcome, but take note that the tours are limited to 15 people so plan ahead. Preregistration is now available online to ensure a spot.
My 6 year old was very curious about the mill and how it worked. Unfortunately, the day we visited only one tour was offered and we arrived a few minutes too late so we’ll definitely be planning a return visit.
If you miss getting a tour or just don’t think your kids can handle it, there is still plenty to do at the park. My recommendation, start at Finley Center. Inside is an exhibit featuring information and interactive displays to help explain the history of Yates Mill and how a gristmill works. There are also costumes for kids to dress up in, coloring sheets, and a few books & puzzles.
The park has 3 trails to explore. The simplest, Millpond Trail, circles Yates Mill Pond and takes you right past the gristmill. Just be cautious of a few steep steps next to the mill. If your kids need a little something to help keep engaged during the walk, stop by the front desk at the Finley Center first and ask for a copy of the ABC Scavenger Hunt. We spent the entire 1 mile trek checking items off the list. Honestly, it had my husband and I paying far more attention to what we were seeing as well.
Need to rest your feet after your hike? The back deck of the Finley Center offers a number of rocking chairs to relax and enjoy the view. They are the perfect spot to end your visit.
Find bathrooms located next to the Finley Center and accessible from the exterior. Picnic tables are located in 3 different areas. Reference the park map available in the park or via the website.
Entrance to the park itself is free. There are fees for mill tours. These fees support the maintenance and operation of the Mill.
Historic Yates Mill County Park
http://www.wakegov.com/parks/yatesmill/Pages/default.aspx | Mill Tours
4620 Lake Wheeler Road