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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Greenway Gallop

Posted September 23, 2008 7:58 a.m. EDT

One of these days when the rigors of my career in electronic journalism ease a bit I plan to hike the Appalachain Trail from beginning to end. It's a dream that began when I was a young boy. For now I’ll have to settle on something a little less exciting but still quite enjoyable.

I’ve embarked on a mission to hike and/or run all of the greenway trails in the Triangle this fall. Autumn is the perfect time to get out and see the beauty around us. The temperatures are cooler and the air is drier and invigorating.

Okay, I’m just getting started on my Greenway Gallop. Over the weekend and yesterday I tackled three trails with my wife Cindy. We hiked the wonderful trails of Hemlock Bluffs in Cary. You really get the cool shady feel of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Hemlock located near Lochmere just off Kildaire Farm Road. The trails of Hemlock Bluffs are two miles in length and cushioned by a thick layer of mulch.

We also tried the scenic 2.5 Black Creek Greenway in North Cary. Our only complaint was all of the bicyclists whizzing by but most were courteous and let us know they were passing on the left. The terrain is beautiful and the trail follows a creek down to Lake Crabtree. At this point we took a left and hiked part of the Lake Crabtree County trail.

Monday we laced up and drove to Kids Together Park on Thurston Drive near the intersection of Cary Parkway and Tryon Road. It was a thrill to walk across the pedestrian bridge spanning US1/64. Does anyone know when the bridge will be decorated with art? On the other side of the bridge we plunge into the verdant Hinshaw Greenway and make our way up to Maynard Road. The trail was almost empty. The combined route and return trip produced a little more than an hour of hiking.

Today I think I’ll do Lake Johnson. I’ve done this one a million times but it is always fun except the afternoon I got lost on the unpaved portion!

Where should I go next? Feel free to tell me where to go! And share your favorite greenway stories.