Five places you like to walk (six, if you include your own neighborhood)

A week ago, we issued a challenge: Walk once a day through the end of the month and you might just survive this holiday season. Less stress, improved mood, you won’t emerge from the holidays 15 pounds heavier— pretty good deal for walking just 30 minutes a day.

Of course, being realists we acknowledged that finding 30 minutes a day might not be feasible during the typically hectic holidays. From a practical standpoint, we asked what you could reasonably commit to. Every other day? Three days during the week and once on the weekend? What’s a realistic commitment for you?

The majority of you, 60 percent, thought you could commit to walking two to four times a week, 20 percent said five or six days was realistic while another 20 percent said no to compromise, we’re walking every day!

We also asked about your favorite places to walk. Citing the convenience factor, many of you mentioned your neighborhood. But everyone mentioned a destination. Here are the top five:

Lake Lynn
Distance: 2.8 miles
Surface: Paved.
Access: Lake Lynn Road, just east of Leesville Road; Lake Lynn Community Center; Ray Road between Lauren Mountain and Knebworth.
Description: Trail circles Lake Lynn. Backs up to several neighborhoods, occasional passages through natural areas. Flat.
Comment: “ … close enough and a pretty change of scenery.”

Taking a walk on the wild side of Lake Johnson (there are actual bridges, btw).

Lake Johnson
Distance: 3.5 miles paved, 2.1 miles natural surface. Connects with 1.1-mi. Upper Walnut Creek Trail.
Surface: See above.
Access: Main parking at boathouse off Avent Ferry Road near I-440; secondary parking lot 200 yards south on Avent Ferry.
Description: Paved trail circles Lake Johnson east of Avent Ferry Road, natural surface trail rims lake west of Avent Ferry. South side of paved Lake Johnson trail has short but steep hills. (If you missed it, here’s last week’s 90 Second Escape to Lake Johnson.)
Comment: “Good hills on the far side of the lake.”

Durant Nature Park
Distance: 5 miles
Surface: Natural
Access: North: Camp Durant Road, off Durant Road; South: Off Gresham Lake Road.
Description: As the Raleigh P&R web site says, “Hike along a stream, through hardwood and pine forests, past wildflowers and ferns, through wetlands and alongside two lakes.” All in just 237 acres.
Comment: “Up and down hills, lots of wildlife, fun to sneak up on the deer.”

Al Buehler Cross CountryTrail
Distance: 2.9 miles (main loop)
Surface: Natural
Access: Two main access points off Cameron Boulevard.
Description: Extremely popular Durham trail, especially with runners.
Comment: “It’s a bit hilly but not terrible, I can do it in under an hour (so it doesn’t involve setting aside half a day), and it’s scenic.”

Falls Lake Trail runs 60 miles through the Triangle.

Falls Lake Trail
Wake and Durham counties
Distance: 60 miles
Surface: Natural
Access: Various points along the trail. Visit the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at for locations.
Description: Trail runs from Falls dam in north Raleigh to Pennys Bend Nature Preserve in Durham County. Long trail running through an urban area, while giving few hints that it’s in an urban area, is a rarity.
Comment: “Accessible from our neighborhood.” Convenience is nice; it’s still a great trail!

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Come back tomorrow when we’ll ask you about walking’s more adventurous cousin, hiking.




Finding your favorite five

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