Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Cary ranks 'best' greenways for errands, shade, more

Posted June 22, 2014

A boardwalk at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

We have miles and miles of greenways around here. They can be great spots for family activities like bike rides, hikes and strolls.

But if you don't live right next to one or haven't explored the greenways yet, it can be tricky to figure out where to go. Cary, which maintains 70 miles of greenways, shared this best list for its greenway trails, which I thought I'd share here. The town estimates that about one million people use its greenway system each year.

My favorite Cary greenway for kids is Hinshaw trail which connects McDonald Woods Park with Kids Together Playground. The greenway section next to Annie L. Jones Park also is a nice stretch for kids and connects to a smaller play area.

Here's Cary's list of trails: 

Best Greenway for Running Errands: Black Creek Greenway
Totaling seven miles long, the Black Green Greenway is Cary’s longest greenway. Stretching from Old Reedy Creek Road in northern Cary and emptying into Bond Park in central Cary, Black Creek winds alongside shopping centers, restaurants, schools, subdivisions and employers.

Top Fido-Friendly Greenway: Northwoods Greenway
Originating at Northwoods Elementary School on Chapel Hill Road, Northwoods Greenway is slightly under one mile long and connects to Godbold Park on NW Maynard Road, home to Cary’s only off-leash dog park. Annual and daily passes to the Dog Park can be purchased at any Cary community center.

Best Greenway with a View: Symphony Lake Greenway
Circling Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre, the Symphony Lake Greenway is 1.8 miles of lakeview running at its finest. Earlier this year, the Town installed a 12-foot wide pedestrian bridge to better accommodate the foot traffic at Symphony Lake. The greenway is also critical to the annual Cary Road Race, held every April.

Best Greenway to Break a Sweat: American Tobacco Trail
Cary’s only trail in Chatham County, the American Tobacco Trail totals 23 miles long through Durham, Wake and Chatham counties, with nearly five miles in Cary. The rail-trail in this section passes through woodland, with occasional views of houses, farm fields, ponds and creeks. Marathon training? The American Tobacco Trail is home to Cary’s only marathon, held annually in March.

Best Greenway to Go West: White Oak Creek Greenway
Running or biking west? The White Oak Creek Greenway consists of trail segments that extend from Bond Park to Green Level Church Road, a combined distance of 4.7 miles. Paired with the Black Creek Greenway, the White Oak Creek Greenway represents one of two of the Town's most important regional greenways. Once connected, these two trails will extend over a distance of 14 miles and link to the American Tobacco Trail, Durham, Bond Park, Lake Crabtree County Park, Umstead State Park, and Raleigh. For now, the trail crosses I-540, NC 55, Davis Drive and SW Cary Parkway.

Greenway with Artistic Flair: Hinshaw Greenway
Connecting Maynard Drive to Marla Dorrel Park, the Hinshaw Greenway boasts a 1.66 mile walk showcasing four pieces of public art. Crossing US Hwy 1/64 on a pedestrian bridge is the site of a public art installation, Bowstrings Vines. Remaining art installations are located where the greenway meets Marla Dorrel Park and include Botanical Benches, Oracle/Dinosaur Benches, and KATAL Dragon.

Best Greenway for Serious Shade: Trails at Hemlock Bluffs
Technically not a greenway, the loop trails at Hemlock Bluffs offer breathtaking views of the hundreds of trees that make up Cary’s treasured Hemlock Bluffs. Trails total over 3.5 miles, with multiple elevation changes and nearly 150 stairs to climb.


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