Outdoor Programs for Seniors

alt=""Senior Outdoor Adventure Recreation (SOAR) engages adults 55 and better in outdoor activities to promote the health benefits of being active in nature. Burlington Recreation and Parks provide experienced guides for safe, fun outings. For more outdoor programs available to the general public, visit www.BurlingtonNC.gov/Outdoors.

All participants must become SOAR Members to participate in SOAR hikes and activities. 

To become a SOAR Member you must complete:

  • Membership Form
  • Waiver & Release of Liability, Permissions & Authorization Form 
  • Medical Clearance Form (signed by a physician)

Download all the required forms, complete and return them OR use our online registration portal to activate your membership. Need help creating an account and logging into the online portal - get step-by-step instructions

For specific questions about SOAR Membership, forms, or the hikes contact Melissa Hoose, Outdoor Program Coordinator, at 336-222-5096 or send an email

SOAR Members are required to register for all hikes. Here is how to register:

  • Use the online registration portal: Click here to register online. When registering online, you will get an email receipt immediately after completing registration. If you don't get a receipt you are not registered! (Be sure to click the green "Complete Transaction" during checkout on the "Review & Confirm" screen!)
  • Call the Recreation & Parks Office at (336) 222-5030 press 0 for assistance. The Office is open Monday-Friday from 8 am - 5 pm. You can also register and pay in person at the Recreation & Parks Office - 1333 Overbrook Rd., Burlington.
  • Email the SOAR coordinator once registration has opened.  
  • Please note any transaction requiring payment must be done online or in-person. 

Pace Groups
Usually, a separate hike is offered for each pace group. Learn about the pace groups:

  • Stroll Pace is a more relaxed pace (>30min/mile) where we have time to observe and enjoy nature and the company of the group. New members are encouraged to start with a "stroll pace" before joining a hike pace.
  • Hike Pace is a quicker pace (<30min/mile) where the emphasis leans towards a fitness walk in nature with like-minded folks.  

Nat Greene Trail at Lake Brandt Marina - Full. Join waitlist.

HIKE PACE Mon. 8/21
STROLL PACE Wed. 8/23 

Lake Brandt Marina – 5945 Lake Brandt Rd. Greensboro. Hike 2-3 miles over rolling terrain on the Nat Greene Trail. Trail is rolling, natural surface (roots, rocks, etc.). 
Optional transportation $5 – registration required, space limited. Van leaves Senior Center at 8:15 am.

HRT at Great Bend Park - Full. Join waitlist.

HIKE PACE Wed. 8/30

Great Bend Park - 350 Greenwood Dr. Burlington. Hike about 2 miles on the Haw River Trail, the Island Trail and the Highlands Trail. See the “waterfall” and take in great views of the river during this hike.

Registration for September-October hikes OPENS TUESDAY, AUGUST 29 at 8:30 am. Registration is required for all hikes.

Guilford County Farm

HIKE PACE Wed 9/6 at 9 am
STROLL PACE Thu 9/7 at 9 am 

Guilford County Farm Kiosk #2 - 3220 Amick Rd. Elon. 2-mile hike on rolling trail that passes a farm pond, along field edges, through the woods and along a creek. Carpool if possible – limited parking. NO RESTROOMS.

Shallow Ford Natural Area 

HIKE PACE Tue 9/12 at 9 am
STROLL PACE Wed 9/13 at 9 am 

Shallow Ford Natural Area - 1955 Gerringer Mill Rd. Burlington. 2-3 mile hike through this 190-acre natural area. Trail rolls through a wildflower meadow, woodlands and meanders along creeks.

Town & Country Park

HIKE PACE Wed 9/27 at 9 am
STROLL PACE Thu 9/28 at 9 am 

Town and Country Park - 2999 Regent Park Lane, Burlington. Hike almost 2 miles through this hilly natural area tucked away along the Haw River in Burlington. NO RESTROOMS. On-street parking only.

Rockingham County Adventure 

HIKE PACE Wed 10/4 at 10:15 am - 2:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 10/5 at 10:15 am - 2:30 pm 
FEE: $5 + money for lunch 

Meet at Chinqua-Penn Plantation - 2138 Wentworth St, Reidsville, NC 27320. This Rockingham County adventure starts with a 1.7-mile hike through Chinqua-Penn Plantation along a mostly gravel path that passes through meadows, woodlands, and along a creek. Then head to lunch at Monterrey Mexican Restaurant (1401 Freeway Dr., Reidsville, NC 27320 - www.monterrey41.com/menu). After lunch take a 45-minute hike along the shores of Lake Reidsville (630 Water Works Rd., Reidsville, NC 27320). 
Optional transportation $5 - registration required, space limited. Van leaves Senior Center at 9:20 am. Van will return around 3:30 pm.

Cookout & Hike at Guilford Mackintosh 

ALL PACES Tue 10/10 at 11:30 am 
FEE: $5 

Meet at Guilford Mackintosh Park & Marina at the picnic shelter - 1345 NC HWY 61, Whitsett. Enjoy a lakeside cookout. Bring a side, salad or dessert to share. Hot dogs, fixings, drinks & paper products provided. Optional 1 or 2-mile hike after the cookout.

Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area

STRENUOUS HIKE Wed 10/18 at 9 am
EASY HIKE Thu 10/19 at 9 am 

Meet at Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area: Pine Hill Trailhead - 5075 Bass Mountain Rd., Snow Camp, NC 27349. 
STRENUOUS HIKE: a strenuous, technical and rocky 2.5 miles up & down the tallest mountain in Alamance County (elevation equivalent to climbing then descending a 43-story building). Hiking stick/trekking poles HIGHLY encouraged. If you have joint issues or prefer a relaxed pace, please join the EASY hike. 
EASY HIKE: 2 miles on the Longleaf & Heartleaf Loops. The elevation is gentle & rolling. Trail offers views of the Cane Creek Mountains. 
Optional transportation available for $5 – registration required. Van leaves Senior Center at 8:30 am. Space is limited in the van.

Eno River Confluence Natural Area

HIKE PACE Wed 10/25 at 10 am
STROLL PACE Thu 10/26 at 10 am 

Meet at the ERCNA - 4214 Highland Farm Rd. Hillsborough. Hike 2.5-3 miles on moderately strenuous trails in this unique and hilly 200-acre nature preserve where the East & West Forks of the Eno River merge. NO RESTROOM.
Optional transportation $5 - registration required, space limited. Van leaves Senior Center at 9:10 am. Will make a restroom stop right before and after hike.

SAX Island Park

HIKE PACE Wed 11/1 at 10 am
STROLL PACE Thu 11/2 at 10 am
Meet at Saxapahaw Island Park - 5550 Church Rd, Graham, NC 27253. Hike the 1.3-mile loop once with the option to do it - or a portion of it - a second time! The trail is mostly flat and sandy. Optional - grab lunch or a coffee at the Mill after the hike.
Optional transportation $5 – registration required, space limited. Van leaves Senior Center at 9:25 am. Bring $$ for lunch after the hike.

What to Wear & What to Bring on a Hike

  • Layers/clothing appropriate for the weather.
  • Sturdy walking/athletic shoes or hiking boots. Absolutely no sandals or open-toed shoes for hikes.
  • Water bottle.
  • Trekking poles or walking stick highly recommended. 
  • Insect repellent, sunscreen/protection - optional
  • Small backpack to carry personal belongings - optional.

Kayak Programs (does not require SOAR membership - open to ages 13+)

Sunset Paddles 

Every other Tue evening, May - Oct  
Guildford Mackintosh Park & Marina and Stoney Creek Marina
Fee: $21/with kayak rental or $8/bring  your own kayak 
(Must pay at time of registration - online or in-person. Registration not accepted by phone.)
Let your stress melt away as you enjoy a leisurely, 2-hour guided paddle on one of Burlington's beautiful lakes. Rent a kayak or bring your own. Paddlers will have guides who provide basic paddling instruction as needed, help folks in/out of boats and leads the group on the lake. For times, dates and registration click here. Registration opens 4 weeks prior to each paddle.

Morning Meet-Up Paddles

Every other Tue morning, May - Oct
Guilford Mackintosh Park & Marina
Fee: $17.50/with kayak rental or $6.50/bring your own kayak
(Must pay at time of registration - online or in-person. Registration not accepted by phone.)
Don’t paddle alone! Come meet other paddlers and enjoy some time on the water during this 2-hour guided paddle. Bring your own kayak or rent one of ours. A guide will lead the group on the lake and help folks in/out of boats as needed. Fee includes guides, kayak rental, paddle, PFD. If providing a personal boat a PFD is still required while on the water. For times, dates and registration click here. Registration opens 6 weeks prior to each paddle.