Plan Your Visit

Help us keep our preserves open: please practice social distancing when you’re out on the trails! This means staying at least six feet from anyone you’re not living and isolating with.

This 88-acre forest behind our display gardens is bustling with life. Come explore! Three miles of trails follow creeks and wind around hills. Look for critters in Morgan Creek, and check for wildflowers along the paths.


Click to view a full-size trail map [PDF].

The Piedmont Nature Trails are open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.

Directions & Parking

You can reach the Piedmont Nature Trails via Old Mason Farm Road or Laurel Hill Road in Chapel Hill. While our entryway is under construction, the best parking is on Laurel Hill Road. Click here for Google Maps directions.


Streamside Trail
The Streamside Trail (1/2 mile loop) crosses Meeting-of- the-Waters Creek twice as it meanders through the riparian section of the site. A self-guided brochure explaining botanical and ecological features of the trail is available at the information kiosk at the trail entrance.

Oak Hickory Trail
The Oak-Hickory Trail (3/4 mile loop) traverses hillier portions of the site where you will encounter a diversity of hardwood and evergreen trees, shrubs, and woodland wildflowers. Follow the lettered posts to help you navigate the trail.

Elephant Rock Trail
The Elephant Rock Trail (1 mile) is a one-way extension of the Oak Hickory Trail. Hikers can return to the garden the way they came or follow the trail along Morgan Creek and exit at the trail’s intersection with Ashe Place.

Bike-Pedestrian Path
A Bike-Pedestrian Path extends from Old Mason Farm Road to Laurel Hill Road to provide easy access to the trail system.

Visit Safely

Use of trails is at your own risk. Common hazards include uneven footing, stinging insects, poison ivy, and the occasional snake.  In case of emergency, please call 911.

  • No bikes allowed except on bike-pedestrian path
  • Keep pets on leash
  • Please pick up after your pets
  • Stay on the trails
  • Removal of plants or other natural materials is prohibited

Support the Piedmont Nature Trails
Help us preserve and maintain the trail by making a donation to the Piedmont Nature Trail fund.
Support the Conservation Fund
Help us manage our Natural Areas by making a donation to the Conservation fund.
Observations from the Piedmont Nature Trails