Explore the best trails near Durham with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
We started the trail from the smaller trail head on Durham Road, across from a small farm. There are quite a few intersecting trails in this area so it can get confusing. The trail passes along 3 town lines. There are a large number of maps strewn throughout but the information may be hard to follow, as the maps typically list a random color and name that doesn't correspond with the trail blaze color or the trail signs. I believe we followed the blue/red blaze to blue blaze only, across the Mica Ledges, down to the Pyramid, then across Dead Pot Road, we started then following the "main" yellow blaze trail which is confusing in that a smaller yellow blaze trail continually intersects it. We then joined back to Blue Blazes past the charcoal area, and took a left towards the tenting area, following the blue/red blazes, and then veered right to follow the blue blazes to the road, where we walked the road for the final length.
The Pyramid was a nice highlight, it was quite huge and not hard to scale. The Mica Ledges continue for a few nice outlooks, 2 or so of the outlooks, look over a new development on farmland, and 1 or 2 aren't high enough to overlook the trees yet. They are nice and easy to walk across though and feature a lot of wild flowers. There are a huge amount of caterpillars on the trees this year though, I'm not sure if they're harmful to the vegetation, but they were on EVERYTHING. When you are more towards the Guilford/Madison side of the trail, there are a large number of signs detailing vegetation and the trail, which are informative.
All in all, I was hoping the trails would be better marked. They aren't nearly as wide as the nearby Bluff Head Trail. There are also about 5 differing maps. The first at the small area we parked was once quite nice but very faded now. There were nice ones on the Madison Guilford side, but they don't quite match the trail blazes and there are so many intersecting that it's confusing. On the farther side towards the Pyramid Rock, there are biking trail maps strewn throughout, which are very detailed but harder to interpret.
The paths we followed equaled 9.7 miles by the end of the night, which took us about 3 hours included stopping at the ledges, and pyramids, and trying to find our way. If you're hoping to hike in this area, I would strongly recommend the Bluff Head Trail first, as it was better maintained, and excellent views from the Trap rock vistas