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Other Triangle Outdoors Resources

Significant Natural Areas - Museums and Gardens - Environmental Organizations - Other Interesting Stuff

While some folks just want to get outside to burn off some energy, others look for a few moments of quiet contemplation or an opportunity for nature study. And if you need something to do with the kids on a rainy saturday, the museums might be just the ticket. Those of us who realize the value of the natural world may also want to get involved in trying to protect a little more of it. For all those reasons and more, this page was created.

Significant Natural Areas Museums and Nature Centers
Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
Cary's Hemlock Bluffs area is the most southeastern extent of the range of the Eastern Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, a tree more usually found in the mountains of western North Carolina. This disjunct plant community is a relic population left over from the last ice age when the local climate was much cooler. The park is also home to a number of wildflowers not usually found in this part of the state. Several trails make this easily accessible area a great getaway.

Swift Creek Bluffs
Off Holly Springs Rd. in Cary. 2 miles south of Jones Franklin Rd. Look for a parking area on the left (if heading south) before crossing a bridge.

This is another bluff area similar to Hemlock Bluffs but with American Beech trees as the most conspicuous feature. Also home to many wildlfowers and some glacial relic species. This area is owned and protected by the Triangle Land Conservancy. Approx. 23 acres with a 1 mile hiking trail.

Duke Forest
Office of the Duke Forest
Box 90332
Durham, NC 27708-0332
Duke Forest is a teaching and research laboratory unit of Duke University/Nicholas School of the Environment in Durham. The Forest allows limited public use that does not interfere with teaching or research projects. Permissable activities include hiking, biking and horseback riding on established roads. Fishing and picnicking are also allowed and there are some limited facilities.

Berryhill Rhododendron Bluffs
BPW Rd., Chapel Hill, NC.
From NC 54, go west on 15/501 for 3 miles to Smith Level Rd. Take a left on Smith Level Rd. and then a quick right on BPW Rd. Park at the deadend and trail exits to the right of the parking area.

This small (5 1/2 acre) Triangle Land Conservancy tract features rhodoendron and mountain laurel along Morgan Creek.

Durham Museum of Life and Sciences
433 Murray Ave.
Po Box 15190
Durham, NC 27704
Science and technology center dedicated to furthering education in the natural and physical sciences with many hands-on exhibits.

Morehead Planetarium
UNC-Chapel Hill
CB # 3480
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3480
919-962-1236 (office) 919-962-1236 (show schedule)
A rotating series of shows provides something for everyone.

NC Museum of History
5 East Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC 27601-1011
Not much in the way of natural history, but a great museum showcasing the culture of NC.

NC Museum of Natural Sciences
102 N. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27601-1011
Everyone is anxiously awaiting the opening of the museums new facilities in the spring of 2000, but in the meantime, the old museum is still open and worth checking out.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
PO Box 90341
Duke Univ.
Durham, NC 27708-0341

NC Botanical Gardens
Old Mason Farm Rd.
off US 15-501 and NC 54 Bypass
UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
This garden features plants native to the southeastern United States.

J. C. Raulston Arboretum (NCSU Arboretum)
4301 Beryl Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27695
Environmental Organizations More Interesting Stuff

Many groups in the Triangle are actively working to ensure the health and well-being of the environment, and they would all welcome your support. Follow the links below for more in-depth information about what each is doing and how you can become involved. (Unfortunately, they don't all keep their websites updated.)

Sierra Club Capitol Group
The Capitol Group of the Sierra Club is very active in a number of issues, including conservation and environmental quality.

New Hope Audobon Society
Chapel Hill branch of the national organization that specializes in birds, but touches on a lot of other environmental issues as well. Their website also has some great information for nature lovers in the area.

Triangle Greenways Council
Advocacy group for the promotion of greenways - undeveloped corridors in urban settings for hiking and biking that usually serve a dual function as stream buffers (or the other way around)..

Triangle Land Conservancy
PO Box 13031
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3031(mailing)
1100A Wake Forest Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27604
This group works like the Nature Conservancy, buying and protecting important tracts and significant habitat areas.

NC Rails to Trails
Group whose main focus is converting unused railroad right of ways to hiking and multi-use paths.

Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy
Local branch of NC Rails to Trails.

Umstead Coalition
A group primarily interested in issues affecting the Wm. B. Umstead State Park and it's neighborhood.

Eno River Association
Primarily interested in protecting the health of the Eno River, one of the cleanest rivers in the Piedmont of NC. This group also puts together the Festival for the Eno held each year around the 4th of July. Besides great entertainment, the festival also has a strong environmental theme.

Haw River Assembly
As the name implies, this group focuses on the Haw river and issues affecting its' quality.They have a strong environmental education theme that centers around water quality health and monitoring.
Bald Eagles at Jordan Lake
For the last few years, Bald Eagles have resided at Jordan Lake year-round, although their numbers are higher in the early summer. An observation area is open to the public off NC 751 between I-40 and US 64 near Apex.

City of Raleigh Parks & Recreation
There are many neighborhood parks throughout the Triangle with a variety of features and scheduled events. The City of Raleigh Parks and Recreation pages have links to park facilities, Greenways, listings of classes and programs, calendars, jobs, etc.

City of Durham Parks and Recreation

City of Cary, NC Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources

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