Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve

Cary, North Carolina 27518

Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve

Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Swift Creek Bluffs is a twenty-three-acre nature preserve tucked away in southern Cary. The preserve extends along the south bank of a 0.5-mile section of Swift Creek, where the bank is dominated by a series of bluffs supporting a diverse ecology.

This hike follows the creek toward the bluffs, ending with fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. The return leg crosses a boardwalk over a swampy area and passes through mature deciduous forest."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Five-Star Trails: Raleigh & Durham (Menasha Ridge Press)
Joshua Kinser
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"Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve is a 23-acre park 5 miles south of downtown Cary. The nature preserve is protected by the Triangle Land Conservancy, which has done a remarkable job of protecting more than 10,000 acres of land in the Triangle area. This hike is nearly 1 mile and takes you through all of the preserve’s distinct habitats. A floodplain makes up most of the basin of the preserve, and when the rainfall is exceptionally high, water often flows over the steeply cut riverbank and floods the low-lying land that surrounds Swift Creek. In this bottomland you will find a hardwood forest of swamp chestnut oaks, bitternut hickories, and American elms. On the slopes of the surrounding bluffs that rise beside the trail, you will find a collection of old-growth beech trees that have survived the selective timber harvesting that occurred in this area over the last 100 years. The trail leaves the parking lot and quickly reaches the base of the bluffs. The path then follows along the bank of Swift Creek and beside the towering bluffs to a clearing that overlooks the creek. On the return hike the trail loops through a flat, low-lying floodplain and beech grove before returning to the trailhead and parking lot." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
30 to 60 minutes
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018