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Swift Creek Bluff s Nature Preserve Professional Review and Guide
"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."
--Joshua Kinser, Five-Star Trails: Raleigh & Durham (Menasha Ridge Press).
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