It’s National Walking Day today! In honor of the “holiday,” we’ve compiled a short list of great places to get your walk on around Winston Salem.
Piedmont Environmental Center
The center was launched in the early ‘70s as a plant and animal preserve adjacent to High Point City Lake. The trails — and the first educational programs in the county — were soon to follow. Today, the center offers a series of well-marked loop options that offer lake views, forest trekking and wetlands exploration.
Usually when you have picnic shelters, picnic tables, softball fields, volleyball courts, a playground an 18-hole disc golf course, play fields and more crammed into a 492-acre park, there’s not much room for anything else. Not the case at Horizons Park, where they’ve managed to weave in a 2.5-mile hiking trail into the mix. Bring the whole family for an entire day of free fun!
Sometimes you want a long hike minus the long drive. In fact, wouldn’t it be great to be able to sneak in a fast 7 miles over lunch? It can happen at Salem Lake, which is just 10 minutes from downtown where the natural surface trail is wide, relatively flat and fast. Which isn’t to say it isn’t scenic; once you escape the dam there’s plenty of forest and Salem Lake to appreciate. Aerobics and aesthetics — that’s what Salem Lake is about.
Hanging Rock State Park
Like a good view but not that crowds that often accompany it? At Hanging Rock State Park, which tops out about 1,800 feet above the surrounding countryside, the masses go for instant gratification — in the form of panoramic views. The eighteen miles of trail total at Hanging Rock, all worthy of your time.
Pilot Mountain State Park
Drive to the top and hike a short trail to the cliff faces that make Pilot Mountain so popular with rock climbers in the region, or take the longer route and hike a series of trails from the base of the mountain. Either way, the natural scenery here, with babbling brooks intertwined, make for a breathtaking experience.