Local Winter Hike Suggestions

The pond at Blackwood Farm Park south of Hillsborough is available for fishing. A N.C. fishing license is required. Artificial bait only. The park is open Thursday-Sunday and has hiking trails, picnic area. Admission is free.

Hiking is one of the best outdoor winter activities that can help you and the family stay fit.

Find a nature trail, park or forest preserve close to where you live and head off on a winter hike. Be sure to dress appropriately with layers of clothing and good boots as trails are often muddy.

Our area has plenty of trail possibilities. Here are two:

Blackwood Farm Park, off NC 86 between Chapel Hill and Hillsborough between Stan­back Middle School and New Hope Church Road. It’s open Thursday-Sunday only 8-5. Park has about 4 miles of trails that circle the property including a pond with a fishing area (it’s allowed but adults need a state license). Use artificial bait only.

Access trails to the right of the parking area and entrance driveway. Mary’s Trail is 2.3 miles; the others are much shorter. Park has 152 acres, open fields, picnic area and plenty of solitude.

Another option is the Pumpkin Trail Loop in Chapel Hill. It’s 2.5 miles in Carolina North Forest off MLK Blvd. in Chapel Hill with moderate pedestrian traffic. It’s a well-maintained wide gravel and dirt trail for all skill levels. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed. Unlike single track trails, Pumpkin recovers quickly after heavy rains.

CNF is also known as the Horace Wil­liams property, 750 acres of woodland, owned by UNC, and former airport site. Follow the signs to the parking lot along the recently refurbished entrance road.

Pumpkin Trail is well-known to local runners as the course for the annual Chapel Hill Y fall fundraiser.

Longer nearby trails are 4 mile Crow Branch Overlook and 5 mile Wormhole.

J.B.