Chestnut Oak and Swift Creek Loop Trail

MODERATE 68 reviews

Chestnut Oak and Swift Creek Loop Trail is a 1.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Apex, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
173 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Chestnut Oak is to the left of the main trail entrance and Swift Creek is to the right. If you do not want to do steps, stay to the left. It is a well maintained, mulch covered trail with 2 beautiful lookout points over the bluffs. If you don't mind the steps, go right and you will be taken below the bluffs to another well mulched trail as well as a boardwalk. Both trails are beautiful and very well maintained. There is also an interactive nature center which is great for kids. Note that in the heat of Summer both trails are loaded with mosquitos.

15 days ago

Nice hike mainly in the shade which helps with the summer temps. Be careful of the slick wooden steps. All in all great hike

walking
1 month ago

Really fun trails with cool things to see. I never realized that we had such high bluffs in central North Carolina. The trails are covered with mulch which makes me a little nervous about snakes, but we didn’t run into any today. Lots of signage with information about the nature and science of the place which was really interesting to read about. We’ll be back to visit.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my fav spots

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike. Loved the shade since it was 90 outside

trail running
3 months ago

Beautiful spring time trail run just after a rainy day! Chestnut Oak and Swift Creek trails combined equal about two miles if you add the Beach Cove lookout. This is a perfect beginner trail run as the trail is extremely well maintained and consists of arborist wood chips and wood planks where the trail would normally be wet. The Chestnut Oak trail is the longer of the two and provides a nice rolling terrain with a modest climb up from the creek. This connects to the Swift Creek trail with consists of 105 steps down the bluff to the creek with a flat loop that brings you back to the steps. There are a hand full of platforms that provide as good a view as you can get from the heart of Cary, NC! The nature preserve office is open until 5:00 PM but the gates remain open until 8:00 PM. There are nice bathroom facilities and even a nature education area for the kids!

I highly recommend this trail if you are looking to blow off some steam on a shaded, moderate run!

3 months ago

A gorgeous walk through the woods! All the trails at Hemlock Bluffs are well maintained and offer both easy and more challenging walking. Beautiful flora and fauna throughout. Highly recommend!

4 months ago

Beautiful natural area just a couple of miles from bustling commercial area in Cary. Extremely well maintained with frequent sightings of deer, squirrels and other native species. A tranquil oasis if you time it right but relaxing walk even when others are around.

hiking
9 months ago

pretty wooded area close to town. a few inclines but mostly easy. dirt trail.

walking
9 months ago

The trails are great. The steps however are terrible. Would give it a higher rating without steps. Should be mentioned in the description.

hiking
9 months ago

I combined both of these trails with the Beech Tree Cove and West Hemlock Overlooks. All the trails are very well maintained and great for families, especially when combined with the nature center.

hiking
10 months ago

great place to hike and for nature programs

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Nice place. Great for kids.

hiking
Monday, July 10, 2017

Excellent place for weekend walk/hike

walking
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nice short & easy trail. Not too many bugs which was my main concern. Just wear or bring some bug spray and the bugs aren't bad at all if you're moving.

walking
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fairly short and easy trail. The trail is totally mulch which isn't my preference. Saw some really beautiful deer very close to the path.
This is a great trail for running or for someone with kids.

trail running
Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lots of people, but very well maintained and beautiful views. Lots of stairs too

nature trips
Sunday, April 03, 2016

This is truly a beautiful Nature Preserve and great for a leisurely stroll or a run. I went on my own but it looks great for families as well. If you are looking for a scenic area to relax this is perfect.

hiking
Sunday, March 20, 2016

nice easy trail as long as your good with some stairs.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Nice place for a family walk.

walking
Sunday, August 23, 2015

My wife and I have lived in this area since the '70s and this was our first trip to Hemlock Bluffs. The surroundings are beautiful and, except for a little noise from Kildare Farm road, seems to be in the middle of nowhere. The park and nature center are very well done (kudos to the Town of Cary) and would be a great place for families with kids.

The trails are well maintained as are the many, many steps. The trails are enjoyable and require what I would consider a low-moderate level of effort. My GPS showed a total elevation change of 161 feet. We ran into another hiker who reported a snake on the trail but we never saw it ... and were a bit disappointed.

We will be returning on a regular basis and will bring the grand-kids the nature center and for a good hike.

walking
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Great place for a short walk. Trails are well maintained. Only bird I was able to see was a Cardinal.

walking
Saturday, March 23, 2013

This is probably one of the prettiest places for a stroll in the Raleigh area that I've found so far. You can tell that a lot of people really have their heart in this place. Perfect for families to have some gentle nature time together.

trail running
Friday, February 03, 2012

Went for a trail run. Lots of families with children. Very well maintained. Very scenic.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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