North Raleigh park offers easy hiking on primitive trails with lake views
I was going through the backlog of hikes I planned on posting on the blog, and I was shocked to discover that I did this Durant Nature Preserve hike in September! I am seriously that behind on posts, and I'm also amazed at how quickly this fall has disappeared.I met my dad early one morning in September for a Sunday stroll in Durant Nature Preserve in north Raleigh. I'd seen signs for it off Capital Boulevard every time I went to to the WRAL soccer park complex, and finally curiosity got the best of me and I decided to check it out.
Some solitude and reflection on the American Tobacco Trail
It was the summer solstice and I was waiting for a group of cyclists to come down the American Tobacco Trail. I was hoping for a few photos of cyclists on the trail and had tentative plans to meet a group somewhere along the Wake County section, but with no firm confirmation and the sky darkening with clouds I found a scenic bridge and settled down to wait.
Repurposed flood plain in Durham offers short hike adjacent to park
For hike #5 of my 52 Hike Challenge I was hoping for a nice, easy, local trail. I had just run 11 miles the day before and I had an indoor soccer game Sunday afternoon, so I wanted something easy to enjoy with Ryder and McCrae. I did my usual scouring of the internet, books, and Google maps, and I found New Hope Bottomlands Trail in Durham. New Hope Bottomlands Trail is tucked away: it's 2.2 miles in a lollipop loop through a floodplain with some views of New Hope Creek.
Coastal state park offers miles of hiking through pine savannah, hardwoods, wetlands, and swamp
It's a bit of a drive out to the land of pine and sandhills and brackish water where the Pamlico River meets the ocean, but it was a beautiful day for a hike under the loblollies while buzzards flew above the treetops, the sun rimming their broad wings with tips of gold. We'd driven to Washington, NC - just a couple miles outside historic Bath, NC - to explore Goose Creek State Park, a swampy park with boardwalks, Spanish moss, and scrub pines.
Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Education Park offers plenty of short trails that loop together
On Saturday I had some spare time and energy after a cut-back long run, so I headed to Fuquay-Varina to explore Carroll Howard Johnson Environmental Education Park and knock out hike #3 of my 52 Hike Challenge. What a strange little park. The parking lot circles around a wide green space with restrooms and an amphitheatre near a sign showing the various trails throughout the park. I took a glance at the map, noted the small trails that looped together - one loop, and then the next, and then another like a chain - and decided to check out all 1.7 miles of trail that I could.
A short drive north of Durham there's a park that promises few crowds and fun trails for hikers and mountain bikers
The last time we went to Rougemont we were going to see a house, and on the way we ended up stuck behind, well, a house. A massive truck was moving this massive house down this tiny country road - a country farmhouse with whitewash peeling off the side boards, scraping past oaks whose branches creeped over the road's narrow shoulder. We managed to avoid any Rougemont houses this past weekend, making our way to Little River Regional Park & Natural Area, a cooperative conservation park funded by Durham and Orange counties.