Out and about on WRAL.com


– With social distancing always recommended, many people are looking for great ways to get out and explore nature.

For this week’s travel feature, we recommend taking a trip to the surrounding area Hemlock Bluffs Nature Reserve to Cary. It is one of the Go ask Mom for Editor-in-Chief Sarah Hall’s favorite places.

“I have always loved this place and enjoyed walks with my kids here, although I don’t go as much as I would like. It is a cool, shady place in the summer and a wonderful place for children. families to explore any year, ”Hall wrote in an article on the reserve in 2012.

Located not far from the busy Kildaire Farm Road, this 140-acre reserve is home to a variety of animals, including deer and rabbits. It is also a great place for bird watching.

Look for eastern hemlocks, known for their cones, in the center of the Stevens Nature Center yard and on the cliffs of Swift Creek. Hemlocks date back 10,000 years to the last Ice Age. The Town of Cary website states that the plants seen at Hemlock Bluffs are considered relics of the past, which have survived “in this particular location due to the protective nature of the north facing cliffs which provide a relatively cool environment and wet for the plants. “

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Reserve_03

What to know before you go

Or: 2616 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, North Carolina 27518

Hours: The gates of the nature reserve open at 9 a.m. and close at sunset. When you get there, check the sign at the gate or kiosk at the trailhead for the exact closing time. Call the Stevens Nature Center at 919-387-5980 for more information.

Trails: There are four trials to check out, the longest being the 1.2 mile Chestnut Oak Loop trail around the Nature Center. It offers a view of a tributary of Swift Creek.

What you cannot do at the park:

  • For your safety and the protection of the reserve, stay on the trails.
  • Bicycles, skateboards, inline skates, motor vehicles and horses are not permitted on the trails.
  • No hunting, fishing or trapping.
  • No release of captured animals.
  • It is a nature reserve; the collection, removal or disturbance of any natural object is prohibited.
  • No smoking or fires.
  • Alcoholic drinks prohibited.
  • Animals must be kept on a 6 foot leash. Keep the dogs on the trail. Cary’s orders require you to clean up after your pet.
  • Picnicking is not recommended.


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