Hi, I don't know about the areas right around Duke, but the Lake Crabtree County Park adjacent to RDU airport has as good a flying field as can be found around here.
Here is a link to the park which is located across I-40 from RDU:http://www.wakegov.com/parks/lakecrabtree/default.htm
It is a popular spot for local flyers, during the week is hit or miss to find another flyer there unless a meet is set up. There are several flyers in the area on this forum, why not post some available times maybe someone could meet up with you.
Welcome to NC!