Are you looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with nature? Winston Salem, North Carolina, has plenty of options for hiking enthusiasts of all levels. From scenic views to waterfalls, there are numerous trails to explore in and around the area. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best hiking trails near Winston Salem.
Tips for Hiking Near Winston Salem
Before we dive into the hiking trails, let’s review some tips to help make your hiking experience more enjoyable and safe:
- Always bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
- Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes to prevent blisters and provide support.
- Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly, including layers if necessary.
- Bring a map or download a trail app to navigate the trails.
- Let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return.
- Leave no trace and pack out all trash.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore some of the best hiking trails near Winston Salem.
Hanging Rock State Park
Hanging Rock State Park is located about 45 minutes north of Winston Salem and offers over 20 miles of hiking trails. The park’s namesake, Hanging Rock, provides stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Other highlights include waterfalls, rock formations, and a lake for swimming and fishing. The park also offers camping and picnic areas for extended stays.
Pilot Mountain State Park
Pilot Mountain State Park is just 30 minutes west of Winston Salem and is home to one of the state’s most iconic landmarks. The park’s main attraction is Pilot Mountain, a distinctive peak that rises 2,421 feet above sea level. The park has several hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, that offer breathtaking views of the mountain and the surrounding countryside.
Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park is located about an hour north of Winston Salem and features a 600-foot granite dome, cascading waterfalls, and over 18 miles of hiking trails. The park is also home to a historic homestead and a trout stream for fishing. The hiking trails range from easy to strenuous and offer scenic views of the mountain and the valley.
Salem Lake Trail
Salem Lake Trail is a 7-mile loop trail located just a few miles from downtown Winston Salem. The trail circles Salem Lake, a reservoir that provides drinking water to the city. The trail is mostly flat and suitable for all skill levels, making it a popular spot for running and biking as well. The trail offers beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding forest.
Yadkin River Greenway
Yadkin River Greenway is a 7.5-mile paved trail that follows the Yadkin River from Wil-Cox Bridge to Craven-Poole Road in Clemmons. The trail is popular for walking, jogging, and biking and offers scenic views of the river and the surrounding wildlife. The trail is relatively flat and suitable for all skill levels.
Tanglewood Park is a 1,400-acre park located in Clemmons, North Carolina, just a short drive from Winston Salem. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, offering a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, golfing, and more.
Hiking at Tanglewood Park
Tanglewood Park has over 15 miles of trails that wind through forests, meadows, and around the park’s two lakes. The trails are well-marked and range from easy to moderate difficulty, making them suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
One of the most popular trails at Tanglewood is the 3.5-mile Wolf Branch Trail, which takes hikers through hardwood forests and along the banks of a creek. Along the way, hikers can enjoy views of the park’s lake and wildlife, including deer and various species of birds.
Another popular trail is the 1.5-mile Yadkin River Trail, which follows the banks of the Yadkin River and offers scenic views of the river and surrounding countryside. This trail is also suitable for mountain biking and horseback riding.
Camping at Tanglewood Park
Tanglewood Park has two campgrounds, both of which offer tent and RV camping. The RV campground has 50 sites with water and electric hookups, while the tent campground has 26 sites with access to nearby water sources.
Both campgrounds have amenities such as showers, restrooms, and picnic tables. There are also several hiking trails that start from the campgrounds, making it easy for campers to explore the park’s natural beauty.
Fishing and Boating at Tanglewood Park
Tanglewood Park’s two lakes, Lake Clemmons and Mallard Lake, offer excellent fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. The lakes are stocked with a variety of fish, including bass, crappie, and catfish.
Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats from the park’s boathouse to explore the lakes and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Fishing and boating permits are required and can be purchased at the park’s visitor center.
Golfing at Tanglewood Park
Tanglewood Park is home to two championship golf courses, the Reynolds Course and the Championship Course. Both courses offer challenging play and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The Reynolds Course is a par-72 course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. It features rolling fairways, well-manicured greens, and several water hazards. The Championship Course is a par-71 course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. It offers a more challenging play with tight fairways, elevated greens, and several doglegs.
Tanglewood Park is a great place to explore the natural beauty of North Carolina and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Whether you’re hiking, camping, fishing, boating, or golfing, there’s something for everyone at Tanglewood. With its well-marked trails, excellent camping facilities, and stunning views, Tanglewood Park is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the Winston Salem area.