Last week, I discovered a list of hiking/walking trails around Greensboro, and it inspired me to find out what other resources there are out there for the Piedmont Triad’s intrepid walkers. Turns out there’s a wealth of information about all kinds of trails – walking, biking, horse riding, and more – out here on the Internet. City and county government pages often have up-to-date details about existing and planned parks and greenways in the area. Some retail stores like Great Outdoor Provision Company and REI have their own lists of “best hiking trails” in the area. I just found this one called “5 Fall Hikes to Rediscover Your Hiking Legs,” and agree with its recommendations.
But without further ado, here are a few quick suggestions for making the most of the beautiful fall weather walking in and around Winston-Salem:
Winston-Salem has miles of greenways, including the Bethabara Greenway (1.5 miles, paved and natural), Muddy Creek Greenway (1.6 miles, paved), and the Winston-Salem Strollway (1.2 miles, paved and gravel). There’s a nice map to all of the existing greenways available as a downloadable PDF: Go the Greenway!
Salem Lake Park and Trail
Salem Lake Park is an attraction in and of itself—offering pier and boat fishing on its 365-acre lake, plus playground, picnic area, and concessions. and there are miles of trails to enjoy around and near the lake. Salem Lake Trail is a 7-mile unpaved trail that follows around Salem Lake, and you can see the lake from every point on the trail. There’s also the Salem Creek Greenway, which is 5.2 miles of paved trail that runs along Salem Creek from Peters Creek Parkway to Salem Lake.
Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, just west of Winston-Salem, has a lot to offer. Many people know it for its Festival of Lights Christmas light extravaganza, its BMX Racing trails, or its golf course and Manor House. We love the 2.5 miles of the Yadkin River Nature Trail that runs along the river and features interpretive signage about the variety of bird species native to the area. For a little more sedate walk, you can enjoy the 26 gardens in Tanglewood Park’s Arboretum, showcasing seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, and a wide variety of native trees.
Horizons Park is a county park in Rural Hall just north of Winston-Salem that most people know for its athletic fields and picnic facilities. There’s also a really nice 2.5 hiking trail there – you can make it a day with family there because the park offers so much to do!
Pilot Mountain State Park
Less than 30 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem is Pilot Mountain State Park, where you can explore woodlands, climb Big Pinnacle, and hike along the Yadkin River. There are many miles of trails: you can take your pick from a variety of short, easy walks; moderate 2- and 3-mile hikes; and longer, more strenuous journeys. There’s a nice list of the park’s trails here.
If you’ve been out and about to enjoy any of the area’s fall festivals, take photos of the changing foliage, or running in any of the autumn charity races, let us know what your favorite spots are. We’re always excited to find new places to explore, on foot or by car.
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