Outdoor Programs

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  1. Nature Play
  2. OutdoorU for Homeschool

Nature Play

Nature 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. Space is limited for all programs and registration is required! 

  • TREE-mendous Trees!
    Friday, September 22 from 6:00-7:30 pm
    Burlington City Park (exact location TBD)
    Fee $5/child. 
    Register now!
    Branch out and join us for an amazing adventure with Nature Specialist Jessica. Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of trees, leaves, and seeds! Jessica will teach you all about the secrets hidden within these incredible wonders of nature.  During this program, you'll have the chance to learn how to determine the age of a tree. As Jessica guides you through the journey, you'll discover the special parts of a tree that provide the support strength, and nourishment it needs to thrive.

    But that's not all! We'll also explore the vital role that trees play in supporting other organisms. Embark on a short journey to investigate a rotten log and uncover any creatures living within. We'll also search for insects that might be living in the leaves! You'll also have an opportunity to let your imagination run wild as you create your own unique leaf art masterpiece! So, join us for an unforgettable time filled with knowledge, adventure, and fun! 

    This program is appropriate for elementary-age students and their families. All children to be accompanied by an adult. Adults attend free of charge. 

  • Save the dates for upcoming Nature Play programs! Details and registration coming soon.
    Friday, October 6 
    Friday, October 20 

Get Hiking! Series - 2023 NC Year of the Trail

2023 has been designated as NC Year of the Trail - celebrating 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

Celebrate Year of the Trail by joining a Get Hiking! hike 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!

  • Tuesday, September 19 at 5:30 pm 
    Town & Country Park | 1.8 miles
  • Saturday, October 7 at 9:00 am
    Haw River Trail - Glencoe to Copland Mill | 3-3.5 miles
  • Sunday, October 22 at 9:00 am 
    Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area/Northern Approach Trail | 2.5 miles - STRENUOUS
  • Save the Date:
    Saturday, November 4
    Sunday, November 19

**Be sure to join the waitlist if you are interested in a hike that is full! We will reach out to you if there is a cancellation - which often happens! 

Fitness in the Park

Fitness in the Park MapEvery Wednesday from 9/20-10/25 at 5:30 pm
Burlington Arboretum - 315 W. Willowbrook Dr.
Free! Drop-ins welcome!

Get your move on with these FREE & FUN fitness classes at the Burlington Arboretum at Willowbrook Park! You'll get a combination of strength, cardio, and stretching exercises, guaranteeing a full-body workout. Classes are 45-60 minutes long and are instructed by service-learning students in collaboration with Elon University.  Classes are open to anyone and exercises can be scaled to your personal fitness level. These classes are best suited for ages 13 and up. All kids need to be accompanied by an adult.

Fitness in the Park will run every Wednesday from September 20 through October 25 at 5:30 pm. Class will meet in the "Great Lawn" adjacent to the Commons Building. Parking is available at 315 W. Willowbrook Dr. Pre-registration is recommended, but not required. Drop-ins are welcome! Register now!

Explore Falconry 

Falcon sitting on arm of falconerSaturday, November 4 from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm with a formal presentation at 12:30 pm.Guilford Mackintosh Park & Marina - 1345 NC HWY 61, Whitsett, NC 27377

Celebrate World Falconry Day! Members of the Piedmont Falconry Collective, the local falconry club, will be on hand to talk about this ancient and unique sport, show off their various birds of prey and how they are used in falconry and how to get involved in the sport! A few of the birds that will be showing off include the Eurasion Eagle Owl, North American Goshawk, American Barn Owl, Harris Hawld and more! 

Drop in anytime between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm to chat with falconers and see the birds. A more formal presentation will be offered at 12:30 pm by members of the Collective. Please respect the birds by leaving your pets at home! Dress for the weather, bring a water bottle, camera and a camp chair if you would like to sit down. 

Volunteer - Trail Building & Maintenance 

New volunteers are invited to join the volunteer trail crew to help build and maintain trails along the Haw River Trail/Mountains-to-Sea Trail and all around Burlington and Alamance County. No experience is necessary and tools will be provided. Volunteering is coordinated through the Alamance Task Force of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Contact Alamance Task Force Leader Andrew Sam at 336-263-7753. The trail crew typically meets on Mondays at 9 am and the 3rd Saturday of the month at 9 am. Contact Andrew Sam for the most up-to-date schedule and locations.

**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.