Piedmont: 3 Hikes for After a Good Rain


New Hope Creek

When the rain finally moves out and the sun appears, it’s time to hike. Especially when you can hike a trail along a creek bursting its banks with rainy goodness. These three Piedmont hikes are just the ticket for a walk after the rain.


It’s just rained — a lot — and you’d love nothing better than to hike along a frisky Piedmont creek. Here are three options:

  1. Sycamore Trail (loop portion), Umstead State Park, Raleigh. 4.4 miles. We like to avoid the big crowds at Umstead by starting at the bike and bridle trailhead on the Glenwood Avenue side of the park. From there, pick up the the Sycamore Trail’s loop portion, a mile-and-a-half of which is along Sycamore Creek, the super hero of Piedmont Creeks. In dry times, its personality is likewise: a little flow here and there, some standing water. But when the skies empty the creek throws off its wan water-ways and impersonates a raging Appalachian whitewater creek. Probably the best water walk in the region.
  2. Duke Forest, Korstian Division: Gate 25, Durham. 3.2 miles. The show stopper here is New Hope Creek, about 0.8 miles in. The trail parallels New Hope Creek for about three-quarters-of-a-mile, providing access to some of the best waterfall impersonations in the Triangle. A couple of boulders above the creek give especially good access to the action.
  3. Little River Regional Park, Rougemont. 4.5 miles, with a 3.5-mile option. Hike either the North River Loop (1.2 miles) or South River Loop (1.4 miles) in summer and you’ll likely wonder how the Little River manages to maintain its “river” status. Ah, but after a rain, the north end of the North Loop in particular is mesmerizing as the current makes its way through several rocky channels. sycamore


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