With their backdrop the rolling Piedmont of central North Carolina, Triangle hikers can immerse themselves in the capital region’s forests, hills, lakeshores, and river valleys laced with hiking trails. Occoneechee Mountain, west of Durham, has far-reaching views, while the Historic Occoneechee Speedway presents one of the most unusual and scenic hikes anywhere, as trail trekkers trace a track from the inaugural 1949 NASCAR race season. Farther east the New Hope Creek watershed has several trail-laden nature preserves and parks within its bounds, from Duke Forest properties to state game lands. Duke Forest presents a disparate yet collectively large parcel of land offering still more green space and trails—and some superlative scenery blending the hills and hollows of the Piedmont. North Carolina State is represented with a hike at Schenck Memorial Forest, one of their properties memorializing one of the first scientific foresters in the United States.
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