13 trails to hike, run or walk in the Triangle
It's apparently *checks notes* North Carolina's Year of the Trail.
- Thankfully we are blessed with an abundance of great places to hike, run and walk across the entire area code.
Here are some of our favorites:
Reedy Creek Trail: One of our favorite places for a hilly workout, the Reedy Creek Trail stretches from Meredith College to the North Carolina Museum of Art.
- It's pretty easy to access from downtown, and the bridge over I-440 is a blast.
William B. Umstead State Park: Our forest oasis in the midst of traffic jams on I-40 and U.S. 70 and Raleigh-Durham International Airport is a hot spot for trail runners and mountain biking.
- It's one of the gems of the state's park systems and a magnet for residents on the weekend.
Mountains-to-Sea Trail from Falls Lake to the Neuse River: One of the longest stretches of trails in all of the Triangle, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail offers beautiful vistas of Falls Lake and refreshing breezes along the Neuse River.
- Our favorite place to start on the Neuse River Trail is Buffaloe Road Athletic Park, biking north and turning around at Falls of Neuse Road.
American Tobacco Trail: Converted from an old rail line built for the American Tobacco Company, the 22-mile ATT trail gives a glimpse of every layer of the Triangle.
- You start in the heart of downtown Durham, wind through the suburbs of South Durham and Chatham County and by the end you can feel miles from any civilization.
Eno River State Park: Located 10 miles north of downtown Durham, the Eno River State Park is one of the most beautiful places to wander around in the Triangle. You can spend all day traversing the 31 miles of trails within the park.
- Be smart: The Buckquarter Creek Trail is a great place to start.
Duke Forest: Owned by Duke University, Duke Forest is home to thousands of acres of forest land and dozens of trails.
- The Al Buehler Trail, named after the legendary Duke track coach, is one of the best loops to run in Durham and features some tricky hills.
- You might even run into former Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who often walks there.
Carolina North Forest: Owned by UNC-Chapel Hill, the Carolina North Forest offers 750 acres of tranquility in the middle of urban life.
- The university has long-range plans for the land, but in the meantime it is teeming with trail runners, hikers and mountain bikers.
Bolin Creek Trail: The Bolin Creek Trail is a paved bicycle-and-pedestrian trail that winds three miles through central Chapel Hill.
- Be smart: It is a great way to connect to different parts of the town as well as to Battle Park.
Brumley Nature Preserve: Sitting in the forest land between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill, the 673-acre Brumley Nature Preserve is full of easy to navigate walking trails.
- Be smart: The trails here can often get inundated with water if it rains. Make sure the trails are open if it's recently rained.
White Pines Nature Preserve: Conserved by the Triangle Land Conservancy, the 250 acres of preserved land in Chatham County is one of the few places to find White Pines in the piedmont thanks to its high-elevation bluffs and two rivers that create a cooler microclimate.
- In fact, the preserve is worth a visit for the view of the confluence of the Deep and Rocky rivers alone.
New Hope Trail: Jordan Lake often gets plaudits for activities like fishing, camping and boating. But the lake also is home to some gorgeous hikes, like the New Hope Trail.
Clayton Riverwalk of the Neuse: Yet another section of the great Mountains-to-Sea Trail where walkers can take a beautiful stroll along the Neuse River.
- The Clayton Riverwalk of the Neuse connects with the Sam's Branch Greenway, which takes walkers closer to downtown Clayton and features several public arts installations.
Williamson Nature Preserve: Located on the Wake-Johnston County Line, the Williamson Nature Preserve is another great example of the conservation work of the Triangle Land Conservancy.
- 17 miles of trails take you through old farmland and into a large, contiguous section of forest land.
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