1.) Piedmont Environmental Center
High Point, NC
The Piedmont Environmental Center offers 6.6 miles of natural surface trail through the hardwood & pine forest and lakeside habitats. The High Point Greenway and the Bicentennial Greenway converge at the Piedmont Environmental Center, so you can extend and vary your walk, too. Enjoy a beautiful trek under the natural canopy cover, which provides wonderful shade on hot days. Discover wildlife such as deer, birds, squirrels, turtles and more, and don’t forget to check out the center for their wildlife displays.
2.) Greensboro Watershed Trail System: Piedmont Trail
The Piedmont Trail (2.6 miles) heads through a kudzu field before it takes you through the wooded area on the north shores of Lake Brandt. On the trail, you can see wild blackberries, strawberries, cedar forests, wildflowers, and sometimes even deer, turtles, and turkeys. This trail does have parts with roots, but it’s not too hard to navigate around. Extend your walk by taking some of the other connecting trails or just walk a little ways and turn back. It’s a fun and unique walk with the kids.
3.) Tanglewood Park Multi-Use Trail
Tanglewood has 2.2 miles of paved trail that’s great for kids and strollers, too! The trail offers a great chance to see some wildlife and is good for all skill levels. We love Tanglewood because families with infants or toddlers who get tuckered out easily can transition to a stroller since it’s paved. It’s not too far from the city, there are a variety of activities the whole family can enjoy once the walk is over. Be sure to check out the gardens and playgrounds with your family after your walk.
4.) Salem Lake Trail
This 7 mile trail is a wonderful place to bring the kids to hike. Not too far from the city, it’s an easy, gravel path with some beautiful views that feels like an escape. The ducks, turtles and wildlife around the lake make it an interesting place to talk about the lake’s ecosystem. Hike the whole 7 miles if you’re feeling up for it, or just hike as far as your little one can make it and turn around. A wonderful canopy cover provides great shade on hot days. If your kids still have energy afterwards, stop by the playground for extra fun.
5.) Haw River State Park
Browns Summit, NC
The Piedmont Loop trail (1.42 miles) and the Wetlands Boardwalk trail (.43 miles) are scenic and easy walks you can do with the family. The Piedmont trail traverses through forests, a flood plain swamp, and offers some lake views. The Boardwalk trail is a spur trail off the Piedmont Loop which takes you through the Haw River wetlands, giving you a close encounter with a unique ecosystem and a small overlook of the headwaters of the Haw River. Both trails are easy in ability and offer some incredible chances for seeing wildlife and vegetation unique to that area. Stop at the visitor center to grab a trail map first!
Kristina Riehle is a photographer, content creator and hiking enthusiast based out of Winston-Salem, NC. Kristina works to capture images and stories that inspire others to get outside and explore. Follow her work @k.riehleadventures on Instagram.