Anderson Point Park Master Plan

Relationship to the River Corridor

Anderson Point Park and Milburnie Park are the first two Arrival Parks to be developed as part of the Neuse River Regional Park. The specific master plans are based on the individual qualities that each site offers relative to its relationship with the river and the potential for recreation opportunities beyond river-oriented amenities and facilities. Each park is considered as a part of the proposed larger whole. As parts of this larger whole, the plans for these parks focus on the unique contributions the parks can make to the regional system. The plans for these parks will be diminished or significantly compromised if the greater Corridor/Regional Park goals are not pursued and accomplished to reasonable degrees. This is because they are designed as Arrival Parks, offering and enhancing services to the Corridor, rather than as independent destinations. These park plans do not offer a model for other Arrival Parks because each Arrival Park plan must seek, identify and develop its unique qualities as a critical node in the Regional River Park System.

Summary Site Description (analysis map)

Anderson Point Park is a 105 acre site, split into two parts by the existing railroad. The main section of the park south of the railroad, approximately 93 acres in area, is roughly triangular in shape, bounded by the Neuse River to the east and Crabtree Creek to the west. Vehicular access to the site is from Rogers Lane on the north end of the site.

The City of Raleigh purchased Anderson Point from the Anderson family in 1988 to develop the entire parcel as a park. In 1992, the City and NCDOT agreed to trade a right-of-way for the highway along the northern edge of the property for mitigating lands adjacent to Anderson Point and certain incidental features along the road site.

The central upland portion of the main section, approximately 25 to 30 acres in area, is pastoral in character with rolling open fields punctuated by hedgerows and occasional cedars. A grove of large oaks surrounds the existing farmstead on the hilltop. The open uplands are separated from the river by steep wooded slopes and a broad flood plain. A narrower fringe of hardwood forest on moderately steep slopes borders Crabtree Creek with a much narrower flood plain. A sanitary sewer line parallels the river, leading to a pump station near the southern tip of the uplands. A power transmission line traverses the site just south of the pump station. The flood plain forms a broad flat point at the confluence of the river and creek, with relatively mature and open hardwood forest, including some enormous oaks.

The twelve acre section north of the railroad is primarily open field and is traversed by a power transmission line with a 100 foot wide right-of-way. There is a large grove of mature hardwoods near Rogers Lane at the top of the draw between the power line and the railroad.

Master Plan Summary

(Anderson Point Park Master Plan drawing)

The Master Plan for this site includes a major gateway to the greenway north of the railroad, and a variety of recreational elements in the main section of the park accentuating the confluence point, connections to the river, and the scenic pastoral character of the central uplands. The planned facilities accommodate many recreational uses with a focus on informal play, walking, picnicking and other means of enjoying and exploring the varied and scenic qualities of the site. A more detailed description of the plan elements follows.

Master Plan Elements

Access and Parking

A bridge over the railroad and proposed US-64 Bypass in the location of the existing footbridge will provide access to the park from Rogers Lane. Separate, parallel vehicular and pedestrian pathways lead across the bridge into the park. The entry road leads past the parking lot for the riverfront/greenway area and by a water feature which introduces the visitor to the park. The drive then leads to a circular drive/drop-off area and to a parking area for approximately 200 cars just south of the highway corridor and west of the entry drive. Just beyond the circular drop-off, an entry pavilion serves as the pedestrian gateway into the park. A drive reserved for use by handicapped visitors leads to the southern end of the site, running parallel to the highway and then roughly following the existing road along the edge of the woods. The drive ends in a small parking lot with twenty spaces for handicapped users at the southern end of the site below the sewer pump station, providing more convenient access to the point and riverside walks.

Entry Pavilion

An entry pavilion located at the intersection of the entry drive and a major cross-site pathway introduces visitors to the main portion of the park. Paths lead out from the pavilion into the oak grove, the central lawn area and toward the beech grove.

Oak Grove

The plan preserves the mature oak grove around the portion of the existing farmstead south of the highway corridor as a forecourt for one multi-use building and as a shady overlook area with views out over the central lawn area.

Multi-Use Building - Oak Grove

A multi-use facility, with functions based on the City's future program needs, is located in the area just east of the oak grove. The architecture of this building should complement the pastoral landscape around it and reflect the farming history of the site.

Gathering Garden

This garden, located on the ridge east of the multi-use building, serves as outdoor gathering space for functions at this facility and as a place for educational and interpretive programs. The tobacco barns and any historically significant portion of the farmhouse should be relocated, if feasible, to this area to give structure and greater utility to the garden space and to add historical context and opportunities for interpretive exhibits on the site's historical use. The garden is envisioned to create a microcosm of the park with a water feature reflecting the park's main focus as well as helping to mask highway noise, and plantings reflecting the site's agricultural history and its varied natural environments.

River Overlooks

The cross-site axis extends through the garden to a river overlook at the top of a steep slope with trails leading down to the flood plain and to the pedestrian bridge across the river next to the proposed US-64 Bypass. Another upland overlook is located on a nearby knoll in the woods with views of the wooded slopes, flood plain and ephemeral wetland pond.

Stone Overlook Terrace and Riverwalk

South of the river overlook, a trail leads down the slope through the beech woods to a stone overlook terrace next to the river and a stone riverwalk along the river's edge, just above the normal water level where park visitors can get close to the water on solid ground.

West Cross-Site Pathway

A tree-lined trail leads west from the entry pavilion towards Crabtree Creek. Stepping down to a boardwalk across the beaver pond below the existing farm pond, the pathway ends in a beech grove at a bend in the creek.

Fishing Pond

If the proposed US-64 Bypass is constructed through the park, the portion of the existing farm pond outside of the highway Corridor should be reshaped and buffered from the highway embankment to create a fishing pond.

Picnic Shelters

A large picnic shelter is planned at the edge of the woods bordering Crabtree Creek with convenient access from the main parking area. An informal lawn is located adjacent to the picnic area. It is separated from the main lawn by hedgerows which provides a semi-private space. Smaller shelters are shown at several points around the edges of the central lawn and at the upland overlook.

Multi-Use Building - West Meadow

A second multi-use building at the southern end of the separate lawn offers potential for development as a corporate retreat center or other function as determined in the future. This building looks over the enclosed play lawn and through the woods to Crabtree Creek.

Central Lawn Area

The central upland portion of the park remains open with a long informally shaped lawn extending from the existing oak grove on the hilltop to the southern end of the upland, accentuating the length of the site and leading the eye toward the point. A lobe of this lawn extends to the east below the gathering garden, offering additional space for informal play. The lawn shape is modulated to create three informal spaces within the greater lawn area. This 'great lawn' is intended to remain as rolling ground, with grading limited to the extent necessary to make lawns suitable for pick-up games, kite-flying, Frisbee-playing and other informal play. The lawns, and indeed the entire park area south of the railroad, are not intended for organized athletics. Small groves of trees and meadow areas are proposed to shape and differentiate the open lawn areas.

Sculpture Terrace

A sculpture terrace crowns the knoll on the eastern edge of the central lawn with views out over the site across rough meadows on the slopes of the knoll.

Flood Plain Areas

The plan accentuates and enhances the diversity of natural habitat in the flood plain areas of the park, providing a variety of trails so that visitors can explore this area. The existing wetland and ephemeral pond area west of the sewer line should be managed to encourage more diverse wetland vegetation. The woods mass south of the power line should be shaped to reduce the linear character of the cleared Corridor and to accentuate views towards the point. A new wetland pond is shown on the western end of the power line corridor. The banks of this pond are intended to be gradually sloped and the pond kept shallow enough for wading in order to provide safe access for participants in park nature programs.

The Confluence Point

An island overlook at the tip of the point, connected to the point by a short bridge provides panoramic views up and down the Neuse, up Crabtree Creek and back to Anderson Point. The existing tip of the point, currently covered with brambles and including no significant trees, will be cut off to create the island. The larger trees at the point are set back from the tip and will be preserved, with some thinning of underbrush to accentuate the open woodland character of this area. A planned bridge across Crabtree Creek just north of the confluence, will connect to future greenway trails along the Neuse down to Poole Road and to the Crabtree Creek greenway.

Crabtree Creek Trail

A planned trail leads through the rich hardwood forest on the slopes along Crabtree Creek from the point to the Beech Grove. Trail portals will identify access to this trail from the central lawn. Access to the creekside woods will be restricted except where trails are provided to minimize damage to vegetation on the slopes.

Trail Network

A network of trails will connect the various site elements and provide opportunities for circuit routes of varying lengths and character. All main site elements will be served by at least one hard-surfaced trail for universal accessibility. Surfaces of other trails will vary, ranging from soft surfaces such as bark chips, grass or fine gravel to hard surfaces such as stone, asphalt or concrete.

Pump Station

Most of the shrub and pine screen plantings around the pump station should be removed and replaced with groves of oaks and other native hardwoods to soften the views of the facility in a manner more compatible with the park landscape.


A small restroom building is shown at the southern end of the uplands to serve the flood plain and confluence areas.

Greenway Gateway North of Railroad

The area north of the railroad and the planned US-64 Bypass will serve as a major entrance to the greenway with a focus on the riverfront. A canoe launch, picnic shelter and greenway service facility with restrooms and possibly food service, and bike or canoe rentals, is located on the riverbank along with a 180 space parking area for greenway users. A river marker, designed in conjunction with others along the Corridor, serves as a landmark, identifying the park entrance from the water. A small fishing pond is shown in the draw north of the railroad embankment.

Greenway Trail Connections

Several routes are proposed to connect the park to the greenway trail north of the site. A trail follows the river from the canoe launch, passing under the railroad bridge on a 12 foot wide embankment or boardwalk, and continuing under the proposed highway to connect to trails on the park flood plain and uplands. The proposed highway crossing should be designed to accommodate a 12 foot wide path along the river to provide for possible future trail widening. Another trail crosses the northern section of the park past the fishing pond to enter the main park over the entry bridge. A pedestrian bridge connected to the proposed US-64 Bypass crossing allows connection to Knightdale's proposed Mingo Creek Greenway as well as to future trails along the east side of the river. A new pedestrian bridge over Crabtree Creek at the southern end of the site enables connections to future greenway trails extending south along the river and upstream along Crabtree Creek.

Mitigation for Proposed Highway Corridor

The 200 foot wide US-64 Bypass highway corridor proposed by NCDOT to cross the park south of the railroad would have a major impact on the park environment. The highway would impact far more of the park than the approximately ten acres which would be taken for highway right-of-way. Highway noise would be significant throughout the park site, with most severe effects extending approximately 500 feet on both sides of the highway corridor. The width of this corridor would create a complete separation between park land on both sides, and would also affect the access to the park, requiring long bridges or underpasses for the entrance road and trails.

NCDOT proposes to build an access bridge to the park from Rogers Lane, and to acquire additional land adjacent to the park as mitigation for the impact of the highway corridor. If built through the park, the highway should be set at approximately the grade of the existing railroad track, which is depressed below the adjacent grades in the center of the site and elevated above the park nearer the river and creek at the approaches to the bridges. The entrance bridge to the park should be wide enough to comfortably accommodate two way vehicular and separated pedestrian travel. NCDOT has agreed to construct sound walls and/or berms to reduce highway noise adjacent to the road corridor.

NCDOT should also acquire land across Crabtree Creek and along the Neuse River across from the park and along both sides of the river south of the park. This land is needed to protect views from "the point" and to facilitate connections to existing City parks to the south. NCDOT should acquire and transfer to the City of Raleigh land along the east bank of the Neuse River, from and including Mingo Creek to the tributary stream just south of the rapids north of Poole Road. Also to be included are lands along Crabtree Creek south of the park and continuing south along the river to complete the connection with City owned property and the existing Poole Road Canoe Access Park. NCDOT should construct as an incidental feature of the US-64 Bypass project, a bridge for pedestrian and light vehicular access. This bridge should span Crabtree Creek near the southernmost point of Anderson Point Park (as shown on the Master Plan) to connect the main park and the mitigation lands along the western shore of the Neuse.

The highway bridge crossing over the Neuse should include a pedestrian walkway as well as adequate space for 12 foot wide trails under the bridge on both sides of the river connecting to the greenway trail north and south of the highway. In addition, connecting pedestrian ramps should be provided between the bridge crossing and the greenway trails at each end.

(Mitigating Land Plan)

Proposed Park Addition Northwest of Railroad

The plan includes a recommendation to purchase the property in the northwest corner above the US-64 bypass. This property could serve as a neighborhood recreation area and link the park to residential developments to the north. Facilities suggested for this additional property include two athletic fields, a children's playground, restroom facilities and a 110 space parking area. A caretaker's residence and park maintenance facility are also suggested for this area.