Authorized by the General Assembly in 2003, the Haw River State Park is in the early stages of development for future public use. The first major acquisition for the state park was the Summit Center, a Retreat and Conference Center originally owned by the Episcopal Diocese. This facility is now operated as the divisions first residential environmental education center and also provides conference facilities which can be rented for group activities. Located near the headwaters of the Haw River, The Haw River State Park and Summit Environmental Education Center is situated on nearly 300 acres of piedmont forest, fields, wetlands, and uplands. As land acquisition continues and Haw River State Park grows and develops the park will be able to provide additional resource protection of the Haw River Corridor and recreational opportunities for park visitors. We hope to include picnicking, camping, and hiking opportunities in the future. The Haw River Corridor is also a proposed route for the Mountains to Sea Trail. Until additional properties are acquired for the state park, we do not have facilities for general public use. Visitors are welcome to come to visit and see what we are all about, but it is recommended that you call ahead: our operating hours are Monday Friday 8am to 5pm and we are closed most state holidays. If the Summit is reserved for a weekend group, we will open during those reservation hours. We also ask that visitors check in at the front desk before touring the grounds.

Not very scenic. I don't recommend going on this trail the day after it rains.

hiking
3 months ago

Great, quiet trail in newer section of Haw River State Park. Not too many changes in elevation which made it an easy hike for the two kids (5 and 6).

Nice nearby trail,

2nd hike on this trail.Great wildflower trail.Very peaceful.

The boardwalk was worth the trip, so peaceful.

I started from the parking area by the Main Lodge at the Summit Environmental Education Center and combined the two short loops for an easy 2.5 mile hike. Be sure to take the .4 mile River Overlook spur off the Piedmont Loop. It is mostly boardwalk and takes you through the wetlands to the edge of the Haw River. With the tremendous amount of rain we have had recently, it made for a unique and beautiful walk over the water. From there, you pass through an oak-hickory forest and a successional field, before ending up by the 6-acre Robins Nest Lake.

This is a wonderful new loop and the only trail in the Iron Ore Belt Access section of the park (it is not even listed on the park website yet...you can get a map at the trailhead or the Summit Center information area). It is nearly four miles long and includes a beautiful meadow, a hardwood/mixed forest with some amazing trees and a large wetlands area bordering the Haw River. It is much more secluded than the trails in the park's Summit section. Keep a close eye out for wildlife (I spotted many types of birds, a large turtle sharing the trail and a cottonmouth...though the snake was expired).