Outdoor Programs

What's Happening Now: IMG_6344

  • Get Hiking! Guided, small group hikes open to all ages that take place around Alamance County.
  • SOAR Hikes: Guided hikes & adventures for ages 55 and up.
  • Hikes with Hounds: Volunteer to take shelter dogs on hikes!
  • Nature Play Programs: All About Beavers, Trick Your Hiking Stick, Fort Building and more!

Get Hiking! Series - 2023 NC Year of the Trail

Get hiking on local trails in Burlington and around Alamance County! These small-group guided hikes take place on natural surface trails, over rolling terrain with occasional steep hills. Hikes are typically between 2-3 miles and generally last 1.25-2 hours depending on length. All ages are welcome, but minors must be accompanied by an adult. Registered hikers will receive a receipt with additional details regarding each hike. 
Most hikes are free, but pre-registration is required! 
Register online now!

0821 SOAR Town and Country (2)

  • Saturday, February 4 at 10:00 am
    Haw River Trail at Longmeadow | 3 miles
  • Saturday, February 18 at 10:00 am
    Shallow Ford Natural Area | 2.5 miles
  • Saturday, March 4 at 10:00 am
    Lake Cammack Park & Marina | 2 miles
  • Saturday, March 18 at 10:00 am
    Cedarock Park | 2 miles
  • Tuesday, April 4 at 5:45 pm
    Haw River Trail at Glencoe | 2 miles
  • Tuesday, April 18 at 5:45 
    Town & Country Park | 2 miles
  • Tuesday, May 2 at 6:00 pm
    Saxapahaw Island Park | 1.5 miles (with options for up to 3 miles)
  • Tuesday, May 16 at 6:00 pm 
    Guilford County Farm | 2 miles
  • Tuesday, May 30 at 6:00 pm
    Haw River Trail at Great Bend Park | 2 miles
  • June-July hikes coming soon!

2023 NC Year of the Trail celebrates North Carolina’s vast network of trails, greenways, and blueways which showcase our diverse landscapes – grand mountain vistas, quiet rivers, vibrant urban greenways, coastal forests, and the rolling hills of the piedmont. 

NC Year of the Trail is the largest statewide celebration of trails and outdoor recreation in North Carolina history. North Carolina is the Great Trails State, where each of North Carolina’s 100 counties should be able to enjoy the proven benefits of trails, including health, safety, economic development, tourism, transportation, and environment. Trails are the backbone of our state’s growing $28 billion outdoor recreation economy. 

Burlington Recreation and Parks and along with other local partners will be offering various ways to help you get out and enjoy your local trails - whether you are hiking, paddling, mountain biking, or riding! 

Nature Play

0421 Creek 12 Opens in new windowNature Play programs are geared to get families with elementary-aged kids engaged in nature, learning, playing, and having fun! Some of the programs are educational in focus, while some are purely fun! All ages are always welcome, but minors must be accompanied by a participating adult. These programs are free or low-cost. Space is limited for all programs and registration is required! 

  • All About Beavers (FULL - join the waitlist! )
    Saturday, February 18 from 1:30-3:00 pm

    Burlington City Park: Homebuilders Shelter | 1435 Overbrook Rd., Burlington
    Free (optional donation of $2/child). FULL - join the waitlist!

    Learn all about the industrious beaver and how special adaptations help this amazing mammal thrive in its habitat. Participants will also try their hand at building their own mini-beaver dams and see if they will hold water! This program will get a bit messy - so wear clothing/shoes you don't mind getting dirty! This program is appropriate for elementary-age students. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required. 
  • Trick Your Stick & Take a Hike
    Saturday, March 18 from 1:30-3:30 pm 
    Thataways Youth Center | 1331 Overbrook Road, Burlington, NC 27215 
    Fee: Suggested donation of $2 per child. Registration required. Space is limited. Register now! 

    Trick out your own hiking stick! We'll provide all the fixing for you to decorate and personalize a hiking stick. We'll provide a stick, but you are welcome to bring your own. After finishing your masterpiece, initiate your stick by taking it on a short hike around Burlington City Park. All ages are welcome. Minors to be accompanied by an adult. Please register all family members planning to make a stick. 

  • Fort Building at Spring into North Park 
    Saturday, April 15 from 1:00-3:00 pm (drop-in event)

    North Park - 849 Shape Road, Burlington, NC 27217
    Free! No registration required. 

    Spring into North Park is a drop-in event with educational booths and hands-on learning opportunities. Outdoor Programs will host a fort-building station complete with bamboo poles, sheets, ropes and more for kids to create and construct their own fort! More information coming soon with a full schedule and lineup of all activities for the Spring into North Park event.

Hikes with Hounds

Burlington Animal Services has partnered with both Burlington and Graham's Recreation & Parks departments to provide Hikes with Hounds. Hikes with Hounds matches trained volunteers with shelter dogs during a group hike on local trails in Alamance County. Hikes are offered one Friday a month at 10 am. This volunteer opportunity offers adoptable dogs at Burlington Animal Services an enrichment activity that allows them to enjoy nature, socialize with people, and exercise - and it does the same for volunteers! The Hikes with Hounds program began in the spring of 2015, receiving the 2016 North Carolina Recreation & Parks Association’s Innovative Program Award.

Become a Hikes with Hound Volunteer:Hikes with Hounds

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be able to hike up to 3 miles at a moderate pace on uneven and natural surface terrain
  • Complete the online Hikes with Hound Program Registration and Waiver 
  • Complete a one-time Burlington Animal Services Volunteer Orientation Training prior to participating on a hike, now offered virtually, before becoming a trail dog walker.
  • Submit a copy of your ID prior to the first hike
  • Review Volunteer Procedures for Hikes

Volunteers who have completed the Program Registration and Waiver, Volunteer Orientation Training, and provided a copy of ID will be placed on the email list to be notified of upcoming hikes. 

For more information, please email the Hikes with Hounds coordinator.

Burlington Animal Services serves all of Alamance County. Learn how you can help by calling (336) 578-0343. View available pets online at  www.BurlingtonNC.gov/pets.

**A note about online registration**
Burlington Recreation and Parks has transitioned to a new cloud-based registration program, CivicRec. When you click the link to register, you will be taken to this new platform. If you are a new user, you will create an account. You will only have to do this once. Under your account you will be able to add members of your family for quick and easy registration for hiking programs and any other program offered through Burlington Recreation & Parks. If you are a returning user, log into your account and register! 

Of all the paths you take, make sure a few of them are dirt.