10 Hikes Kids Enjoy in the Triangle

Trails that are perfect for the entire family
Occoneecheespeedway Credittompoland
Courtesy of Tom Poland
The Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail in Hillsborough once served as a speedway from NASCAR's inaugural 1949 season.

Ready to spend some time outdoors with your family? You’re bound to have fun at any of these kid-friendly hiking spots around the Triangle.

1. American Tobacco Trail

Various parts of Triangle
Featuring 20 miles of trails converted from railroad paths, this system offers portions of paved and softer surfaces your family can hike and bike all day.

The American Tobacco Trail offers kid-friendly hikes.

courtesy of Beth Shugg

2. Duke Forest

dukeforest.duke.edu/ recreation/run.htm
Although there are many trails to choose from, the self-guided Shepherd Nature Trail is less than a mile and perfect for kids.

Duke Forest offers kid-friendly hikes.

Courtesy of L.A. Nature Graphics/Shutterstock.com

3. Eno River State Park

Hike along the Eno River at this serene state park. Kids can float leaves or toss rocks into shallow, slow sections of the river.

Courtesy N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation

4. Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail

Hikers of all ages will get a kick — and history lesson — out of the 3 miles of trails along the Eno River that once served as a speedway from NASCAR’s inaugural 1949 season.

Courtesy of Tom Poland

5. Morgan Creek Trail

Chapel Hill
This trail is less than a mile and ends at Merritt’s Pasture, an open space encircled by another small trail.

6. Hemlock Bluffs

hemlockbluffs.org/ hem-hbnp.html
With a kid-friendly nature center and information posts along the different trails, your family can work in a quick hike or spend an entire afternoon at Hemlock Bluffs.

Courtesy of Bill Stice

7. Lake Crabtree Trails

wakegov.com/parks/ lakecrabtree
This hiking oasis is a bit hilly, so keep that in mind with younger hikers. But trails ring the lake for a beautiful view, and the playground and sand volleyball courts provide additional entertainment.

Courtesy of Beth Shugg

8. North Carolina Museum of Art Trail

ncartmuseum.org/ museum_park/visit_park
Walk or ride bikes along this trail while you explore outdoor art. Try the new 1-mile Blue Loop trail that connects the Museum Park to the Capital Area Greenway system, part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C. Get Outside North Carolina! initiative.

Courtesy of North Carolina Museum of Art

9. Neuse River Greenway

Planned to eventually span 28 miles as part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, more than 6 miles of the Neuse River Greenway are open for family hiking.

Courtesy of Eric C. Roberts/Shutterstock.com

10. Umstead State Park

Although it’s close to Raleigh and shopping, you and your family will feel like you’re miles away from civilization on the many trails here.

Courtesy of North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation

This article was updated April 13, 2018.

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