Today, my son and I took the opportunity of a beautiful, mild Saturday morning to visit one of Orange County’s newer parks, Blackwood Farm Park. Located next to I-40 between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill, N.C., the park is 152 acres of forest trails and open spaces situated on an historic farm property.
There are currently four miles of hiking trails, a picnic shelter with tables, and a pond with picnic tables. Ample parking is readily available in a grassy area near the entrance. Leashed dogs are welcome.
We did about two miles of trails today, which mostly meandered through the woods. I was expecting it to be totally flat, probably because of “farm” in the name. But I was pleasantly surprised that the trails had enough slopes and curves to be interesting and offered a moderate intensity walk.
Part of the wooded trail goes close enough to the interstate that you can see and hear the traffic through the trees. This would be a great opportunity for travelers to stop in town for some take-out and enjoy it at one of the picnic tables by the scenic pond, and take a refreshing walking break on the trails.
The trails are mostly dirt and are cleared and well-marked.
The original farmhouse, barn, chicken coop, smoke house, corncrib and other outbuildings are still located on site and visitors can walk among them, but you cannot go inside the buildings. Signs in front of each one describe the use and history of each, and include vintage photographs.
We enjoyed our time at the park, and look forward to returning to explore the rest of the trails. I feel so fortunate to live in an area that has so much to offer, with wonderful parks and many outdoor recreation opportunities!
For more information about Blackwood Farm Park, directions and trail maps, visit http://www.orangecountync.gov/departments/deapr/blackwood_farm_park.php.
Topping it off with ice cream from Maple View Farm
After our hike, I realized that we were only about four miles away from the Maple View Farm ice cream store, a favorite destination. We enjoyed our cones while rocking on their front porch with a lovely view of the dairy cows in pasture.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful Saturday than exploring a new trail with my family and enjoying the great outdoors together!
Photos by Michael and Michelle Rogers
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