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Your Environment. Your Health.

About Discovery Lake

About Discovery Lake

NIEHS and EPA campus houses the beautiful man-made Discovery Lake. After nearly 40 years of not having a name, the EPA and NIEHS jointly named the lake in December, 2012.

Fishing by staff and their visitors is allowed, under certain guidelines.

NIEHS Walking Trails & Distances

  • Walk from F-Loading Dock North and around Lake - 1.8 miles
  • Walk from F-Loading Dock North around EPA and NIEHS paved roads - 2.2 miles
  • Walk from F-Loading Dock North to EPA walking trail, down Alexander Drive Trail and back into NIEHS front entrance - 1.92 miles
  • Walk from E-Loading Dock to NIEHS front entrance down to Durham Expressway and back - 2.97 miles
  • Map of Nature Walk(488KB)
Map of the Nature Walk train around Discovery lake
Click to enlarge.

Lake Visitors/Users

NIEHS and EPA personnel, contractors, their families, and guests are welcome; however, in accordance with NIEHS Security Policy, government employees and onsite contractors must accompany their fishing parties. In addition,

  • All persons over 16 who fish must have in their possession a valid North Carolina inland fishing license. 
  • Guests and children must be accompanied at all times. 
  • Swimming is not allowed in Discovery Lake. 
  • Pets, smoking, and open fires are also not allowed. 

Fishing can occur along the entire lake shoreline.  However, NIEHS maintains designated fishing areas that are regularly mowed to allow access to the shoreline.  These areas are located in the Memorial Gardens and adjacent to Building 101 D-module.

Access Hours

  • Daylight hours only
  • Weekends and Holidays Sunrise to Sunset
  • Monday through Friday  5:00 p.m. to Sunset

Access/Security, Parking/Maps

Trail around Discovery Lake including sites.

(Click to enlarge)

NIEHS Security and Access Policies apply to visitors to Discovery Lake. Cars can be temporarily moved to the boat launching points for unloading and loading boats, but then must be properly parked. Any parking lot can be used, but vehicles must not leave the road or paved parking areas.

Emergencies

Use the lake at your own risk. Contact 919-541-2800 in the event of an emergency. In addition, emergency phones are located outdoors on NIEHS side of Discovery Lake at the locations listed below. These phones automatically dial NIEHS Security Office when the emergency button is pressed.

  • North side of Building 101 near F-module
  • Lake side of Building 101 between D-module and the fire lane
  • Lake side of Building 101 at A-module under the cafeteria
  • South side of Building 101 near the A-module entrance doors
  • Along the southern portion of Discovery Lake trail near the central finger
  • Along the southern portion of Discovery Lake trail near the Building 104 trail connection

Wildlife

Discovery Lake has become a haven to many species of wildlife.

Nesting waterfowl are a common sight at the lake's edge. Please give wide berth to any nests or creatures which appear to have staked-out a territory.

Curb your curiosity and observe from a safe distance.

Contacts

Policy Information & Enforcement:

NIEHS Security Office
Telephone: 919-541-7515

NIEHS Operations & Security Branch:

Don Jackowski
Security Manager
Tel 984-287-4370
don.jackowski@nih.gov

NIH Office of Research Facilities:

Brian W. Harris
Project Officer
Tel 984-287-4380
harrisbw@mail.nih.gov
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