Wednesday, January 9, 2013

White Pines Nature Preserve

It is going to be gorgeous this weekend.  Temperatures in the 70s.  Time to get out!  Lucky for you I have a gem to share.  White Pines Nature Preserve is located in Chatham County and is one of the crowning jewels of the Triangle Land Conservancy.  It had been closed for a few months for reforestation work but is now reopen.  Just in time for you to enjoy!

The hiking is really beautiful and not difficult at all.  In general it is pretty flat with just a few hills to get you down to the water and back up, well maintained, and easy to follow.  The longest trail is going to be about 1 miles but combining the trails within the preserve you could get in 3.5 miles plus some time throwing sticks in the water (see trail map below).  There are 275 acres of beautifully preserved forest here.

White Pines Nature Preserve is special because of the white pines and 200 year old beeches.  White pines actually harken back to the Ice Age and rarely grow in such southern climates as ours.  However since this preserve has North-facing bluffs and sits on the confluence of two rivers, the temperatures hover around 10 degrees cooler than other places in the County.

The Rocky & Deep Rivers join here, before flowing out to the Cape Fear River.  You have got to head down there.  Those of you following us on Instagram saw the photo I shared of this magnificent spot.

Also head over to the Schoolkids Loop.  Here you can see a piece of cable - the remains of an old cable bridge kids once took heading to school.

We had a really lovely time at this spot.  It is one of our favorite places to hike now, next to Johnston Mill (also owned and operated by Triangle Land Conservancy).

Consider doing some geocaching or letterboxing while on the property, too.

No strollers - take a carrier, and no bathrooms or picnic tables available.  However, there are benches occasionally for sitting and taking in the view.

White Pines Nature Preserve
http://www.triangleland.org/what-we-do/nature-preserves/white-pines-nature-preserve
8 miles south of Pittsboro
White Pines Preserve is located in Chatham County about 8 miles south of Pittsboro. From the courthouse traffic circle in Pittsboro, go south on US 15-501 for 8 miles. Take the first left after crossing the Rocky River onto River Fork Road (SR 1958). Take an immediate right and proceed about 1.8 miles (the paved surface becomes gravel after about 1 mile). Turn right at the stop sign and continue 0.5 miles to a “T”. Turn left, you’ll see a White Pines Preserve sign on the right, and go about 1/8 mile to the parking area on your right.

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