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North Carolina Hiking Trails in and Around Raleigh

North Carolina is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. The Tar Heel State offers residents and visitors access to a plethora of boat tours, nature and wildlife tours, kayaking and canoeing, river rafting and tubing, and more. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities for you to enjoy so it’s no wonder that the North Carolina hiking trails are out of this world.

With its scenic beauty, a moderate climate, and world-class sports and recreational opportunities, North Carolina is the perfect place to live if you love the outdoors. From the Appalachian mountains to the rolling land of the Piedmont and 300 miles of white sandy beaches, there’s no activity that you can’t tackle (and won’t want to tackle).

This holds true for the state capital, Raleigh. Explore any of the area’s 180 miles of greenways, many of which connect to attractions. This lets you travel all over around the great Raleigh outdoors without having to leave the greenway.

There are miles and miles of trails that take you through parks. You’ll be sure to find runners getting in workouts, cyclists out for peaceful rides, people walking their dogs, and people of all ages soaking up the fresh Raleigh air.

There’s no shortage of ways to find peaceful escapes in order to explore the outdoors in the City of Oaks. 

Hiking in Raleigh

hiking in raleigh

If you love to hike then Raleigh has numerous trails to pick from, from trails where you can take a leisurely stroll to trails that are for the more experienced hikers.

Hemlock Bluffs

Hemlock Bluffs consists of four trails all of which are around a mile long. These trails take you on a boardwalk through a bottomland forest and part of the trail is foot-friendly, perfect for novice hikers. Additionally, there are challenging climbs to be found along the bluff.

White Pines Nature Preserve

White Pines Nature Preserve boasts five trails which range in distance from a short trek to an overlook up to a 2.4-mile loop. The temperatures here can be as much as ten degrees cooler than in the city which is just eight miles north, making it the perfect summer hiking destination.

Little River Regional Park & Natural Area

Little River Regional Park has seven miles of hiking and biking trails, in addition to a birding trail throughout the hardwood forest and around the river. The natural area has a group campground, picnic shelters, and a playground.

Neuse River Trail

The Neuse River Trail is a 10-foot wide paved path extending 28 miles, from Falls Lake Dam to the Wake County line. The trail offers visitors scenic views of the Neuse River, winding boardwalk areas and suspension bridges crossing over wetlands, historical sights, and agricultural fields. 

The trail is open to joggers, walkers, runners, cyclists, roller-bladers, and others. From the start of the trail, it’s approximately eight miles of flat terrain until you reach the Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve. This is also a popular starting point for the trail.

Another good place to start is Anderson Point Park. The park has plenty of parking, bathrooms and water fountains which is important to note because if you head south from this point, you may not find another place to stop for water.

In total it’s over 55 miles if you go all the way out and back. If not there are plenty of starting and stopping points along the trail.

Umstead Park

William B. Umstead State Park is North Carolina’s most-visited state park, boasting more than 5,000 acres of forest, trails and lakes. It’s ideal for workouts, trail running, hiking, gravel riding/mountain biking, and more. It features 13 miles of multi-use trails that follow a series of rolling hills which are perfect for horseback riding, jogging, and cycling. Additionally, there are 22 miles of dedicated hiking trails and the park has no paved trails.

Something unique to Umstead Park is gravel riding for adventurous cyclists. These multi-use paths are a mixture of hard-packed dirt along with some rocky gravel sections among the handful of trails that are open to bikes. 

The South and North Turkey Creek Trails that branch off of Umstead Park have some extremely steep sections, perfect for experienced hikers or if you’re up for a challenge. 

White Oak Creek and Black Creek Greenways

The White Oak Creek trail stretches approximately 7.5 miles in total from east to west, beginning at Fred G. Bond Metro Park, which is a perfect spot for picnics and boating; and eventually connects with the American Tobacco Trail. When you combine  White Oak Creek Greenway with the Black Creek Greenway, the two make up 15 miles of path that can be used by runners, joggers, cyclists, and more.

These two greenways make up a portion of the longest complete metro stretch of the East Coast Greenway, an in-development route of trails and greenways that will ultimately stretch 3,000 miles up and down the East Coast. 

Art to Heart Trail

This trail begins at the North Carolina Museum of Art and ends in downtown Raleigh. This paved trail is 5.9-miles that winds through the museum’s 164-acre park, passes behind Meredith College, goes through the main campus of North Carolina State University, passes Pullen Park, and finishes just outside of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

The trail is relatively flat but does have a couple of hills on the edge of the museum park. If you want to avoid the hills altogether, a one-mile paved trail, the Blue Loop, is open to walkers, skaters, joggers, and cyclists. 

Waterford Green Communities Offers New Homes 

If this sounds like your outdoor haven Waterford Green Communities has new homes available in Raleigh. 

Visit a new trail every weekend and explore the splendor that is the North Carolina outdoors. Hike with friends or go on a solo trek to commune with nature.We build and sell homes that offer families unsurpassed quality, affordability, and innovative design, which is difficult to find in today’s competitive real estate market. 

You want a new home builder that strives to put the needs of your family first which is why at Waterford Green Communities, we have designed our homes to include not only luxurious finishes, but to have the utmost functionality while not compromising our commitment to deliver the best price per square foot for our Raleigh homes.

Contact us today or check out our list of available homes to get your journey started.

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