Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park

Choose your own adventure in the Park. Step inside a cloud chamber. Picnic near the iconic trio of Gyre rings, or relax on the Ellipse lawn. Bike and jog along the Capital Area Greenway and wooded trails. Discover points of interest on trail-side signs with information on art and the history of the NCMA, and participate in recreational programs and performing arts. The Museum Park features temporary and permanent art installations, environmentally sustainable landscapes, colorful and contemporary gardens, 4.7 miles of recreational trails, and a terraced pond.

The NCMA continues to develop the Park to improve visitor experience through design that grounds the Museum in its natural and cultural surroundings. Find out more in the 2021 Museum Park Vision Plan.

Visit the Park often to find your own special connection, and sign up for email updates to learn more about Park events and news.

Park Information

The Park is free and open daily, including holidays, from dawn to dusk.
  1. Lunar Bird, 1945, Joan Miró
  2. Abstract Fish no. 4, 2016, James Prosek
  3. Rodin Garden
  4. Ogromna, 2009, Ursula von Rydingsvard
  5. Askew, 2009, Roxy Paine
  6. Untitled, 1986, Ellsworth Kelly
  7. Knife Edge, 1961, Henry Spencer Moore
  8. Three Elements, 1965, Ronald Bladen
  9. Untitled, 1989, Joel Elias Shapiro
  10. Union 060719, 2019, Hoss Haley
  11. Flight Wind Reeds, 2003, Bill and Mary Buchen
  12. Mirror Labyrinth NY, 2016, Jeppe Hein
  13. Picture This, 1994–97, Barbara Kruger, Henry Smith-Miller, Laurie Hawkinson, and Nicholas Quennell
  14. Ulau, 2001, Mark di Suvero
  15. Collapse I, 2000, Ledelle Moe
  16. Gyre, 1999, Thomas Sayre
  1. Ernest and Ruth, 2015, Hank Willis Thomas
  2. Whisper Bench, 2008, Jim Gallucci
  3. Large Spindle Piece, 1974, Henry Spencer Moore
  4. No Fuss, 2003–8, Mark di Suvero
  5. Installation 1–183, 2019, Daniel Johnston
  6. Crossroads/Trickster I, 2005, Martha Jackson-Jarvis
  7. Wind Sculpture II, 2013, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
  8. Wind Machine, 2002, Vollis Simpson
  9. Invasive, 2008, Steed Taylor
  10. Benches and bicycle racks, 2005, Alvin Frega
  11. Cloud Chamber for the Trees and Sky, 2003, Chris Drury
  12. You & Me, 2010, Maria Elena González
  13. Untitled, 2007, Ledelle Moe
  14. Park Pictures, ongoing, various artists
  15. A Closer Look, 2010, Tim Purus

Park Projects

The Museum Park has been transformed over the 30 years since the Museum opened on Blue Ridge Road, growing from the original 50-acre site in 1983 to the current 164-acre campus of trails amid outdoor sculpture. The Park provides a unique opportunity for experiencing art and active living.

Welcome Center

The Welcome Center is located adjacent to the upper Museum parking lots along Blue Ridge Road, near the smokestack. Restrooms, water fountains, food, and select retail items are available. Families can check out free Park Packs filled with materials in English and Spanish during food and retail hours. Restrooms are open daily dawn to dusk; food and retail hours are seasonal, with current hours Saturday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.


Invasive Species Control

Museum Park staff members have expertise in horticulture and ecology. They consult with specialists at NC State to determine how best to handle the kudzu and blackberries on the Museum campus. These invasive species threaten other wildlife such as native trees. Volunteers and staff cut back the vines and bushes and carefully apply chemicals to slow their progress. But these invasive species will never fully disappear, making constant maintenance necessary.


Park Expansion

From August 2015 through September 2016, the Museum created new tree-lined parking, contemporary gardens, a promenade connecting Park and galleries, and an elliptical lawn overlooking the Park’s beautiful rolling meadow.
Summer 2016

Park Volunteer Toolshed

The Museum partnered with North Carolina State University’s School of Architecture on a toolshed for volunteers. (The Museum also partnered with the school in 2012 for a pond platform project.) Graduate students in a summer 2016 Design/Build program led by Durham architects Randall Lanou and Ellen Cassilly designed and built the toolshed in the Carla McKinney Volunteer Garden. The structure supports volunteers’ weekly work in the Museum Park and provides a covered space for future programs in the garden.

April 2013

Blue Loop Trail

Through a generous gift from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the Museum undertook a major expansion and revision of Park trails. The centerpiece of the project is a one-mile trail (the Blue Loop) for walking and cycling that opened a new section of the Park.

August 2012

Pond Platform (“The Turning Point”)

The Museum partnered with NC State’s School of Architecture for this project. Graduate students in a summer Design/Build program led by architects Ellen Cassilly and Randy Lanou designed and built a viewing platform off the wooded path. From its deck visitors have a view across the water back to the Museum, reinforcing connections between Park and galleries while providing a respite and gathering place.

October 2010

Museum Pond and Sustainable Irrigation System

With generous support from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Museum’s retention pond was redesigned to aesthetically control and clean storm water before it enters North Carolina’s streams and rivers. Terraces are planted with native perennials and ornamental grasses. As water moves across these various ecosystems, pollutants are filtered from the water via plant roots and soil particles. The pond renovation is part of a comprehensive storm water management initiative for the Museum campus, which also includes a 90,000-gallon underground water storage cistern, rain gardens, and drought-tolerant plantings and fescue lawn.
April 2010

West Building Landscape

The lush sculpture gardens, designed by Lappas + Havener, unite stunning landscape design and sustainable environmental standards. Gravel and paved paths lead to striking works of art, some especially commissioned for the new landscape. Three reflecting ponds filled with water lilies and lotus plants accent the outdoor gathering spaces. The sustainable water management system ties into the Museum Pond.
November 2004


A connector between two pieces of the Reedy Creek Greenway system, the 660-foot-long, 12-foot-wide triple-arch bridge provides safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists over the busy I–440 Beltline.

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