Piney Mountain Trail is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Durham, North Carolina that features a river 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.
dogs on leash
Starting across the street from Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, the trail follows a roadbed to a ridge where you can go left or right, both downhill. The trail is in pretty good shape until you get to the stream and river beds. Blazed with a blue circle, the trail becomes single track and overgrown, and appears to have been washed out at times. If you do the right side loop, there is a slight bit of scrambling along the river and some rocky areas, but it is not too far. There is no good place to cross the stream bed to get to the other side, but you can do it across a sandy spot to the left as you reach the bottom of the hill. You can go along the stream beds on both sides, and we didn't cross to the second loop. We did see a snake, not sure if it was a cottonmouth, but was near a log as we reached the stream. Not one of my favorite hikes, although it does give you a good workout with some elevation gain.
Beautiful trail, however there were several large (~4ft+) Cottonmouth snakes along the way. Would advise caution, as these are venomous snakes.
trail made of bigger gravel
Best trail around RDU