Outdoor Programs

What's Happening Now:


Get hiking on local trails around Burlington and Alamance County! Join a small group, guided hike and come ready for natural surface trails, rolling terrain with a few steep hills and a moderate pace. Wear comfortable walking shoes (closed-toed) or boots. Bring a water bottle, insect repellent, hand sanitizer and trekking poles (optional). Hikes generally last between 1.5-2 hours. All ages welcome, but minors must be accompanied by an adult. 
Free, but pre-registration required! Space is limited.
For additional info on each hike and to register, click the green "Register Now" button.
Please note, registered hikers will get a receipt with additional details regarding the hike.
Register Now Button
Upcoming Hikes:
  • Tuesday, September 28 at 5:30 pm
    Guilford County Farm | 2 miles
  • Tuesday, October 5 at 5:15 pm
    Longmeadow @ Haw River Trail | 2 miles
  • Tuesday, October 12 at 5:15 pm
    Shallow Ford Natural Area | 2 miles
  • Tuesday, October 19 at 5:15 pm
    Town & Country Park | 2 miles
    Saturday, October 30 at 1:00 pm

    Guilford Mackintosh Park | 3 miles
  • November hikes coming soon!

Sip & Strolls

Enjoy a hot beverage and a casual stroll around City Park on a fall afternoon. Strolls depart from Thataways Youth Center located at 1331 Overbrook Rd. Burlington. Strolls open to all ages.
Free, but pre-registration required. Register now.

Upcoming Sip & Strolls
  • Saturday, September 25 from 2:00-3:00p pm 
    Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or cider.
  • Saturday, November 20 from 2:00-3:00 pm 
    "Tea Trot" Grab a cup of tea from a provided selection or bring your favorite to enjoy. 

Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz

Virtual Event
September 1 - 30
Free, open to all ages

Burlington Recreation & Parks is hosting a BioBlitz virtual event during the whole month of September as part of the National Parks for Pollinators campaign, which is aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of pollinators and positioning parks as national leaders in advancing pollinator health and native habitat. Organized by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, the Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz event is held during September.

What’s a BioBlitz?
The Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz is an event where community members help provide a snapshot of the variety of wildlife that can be found in and around Burlington. Participants will use an app called iNaturalist to take pictures of plants, insects and animals to see what wildlife is present during the month of September. This information will help us understand how we can better protect pollinators and other important wildlife in our community.

Getting Started!
  • On Mobile Device: Download the iNaturalist app on your mobile device and create an account. Under “More” select Projects, search “Parks for Pollinators 2021: Burlington Recreation and Parks”
  • On Desktop: Use the link Parks for Pollinators 2021: Burlington Recreation and Parks
    - From the “Community” tab, click on Projects and join “Parks for Pollinators 2021: Burlington Recreation and Parks”
  • Anytime in September 2021, go out and observe pollinators (bee, butterfly, bat, etc.) or pollinator-friendly plants in Alamance County. Snap photos, identify the organism as best as you can, add your location, and save your observation.
More about Parks for Pollinators
Pollinators are a vital component of our ecosystem, and an essential link to the world’s food supply. According to the White House’s Pollinators Health Task Force, during the last 30 years, the United States has seen a steady decline of pollinators (such as bees, bats and butterflies) at an alarming rate of 30 percent annually — making it vital to take action on pollinator protection.

“Pollinators are critical for the health and wellbeing of our communities. Taking steps to protect our various pollinators has never been more important,” said Michele White, NRPA program manager of the Parks for Pollinator campaign. “This September, we challenge park and recreation professionals to host BioBlitz events in their communities to educate members of the public about the importance of our pollinators. Park agencies that participate have the chance to win one of three $1,000 to support the creation of pollinator habitat in parks. This work is possible thanks to our partnership with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation.”

“Research shows us that people want to take action and protect pollinator health, but often times, they simply don’t know what to do,” said Carol Nowlin, corporate responsibility manager at ScottsMiracleGro. “A key piece of our partnership with NRPA is educating more community members, families and children on the steps they can take to support pollinators. And there’s no better location to do that than at their local park.”

According to a poll conducted by NRPA, nearly all adults in the United States agree that promoting pollinator health should be a conservation priority across the United States. Promoting pollinator health includes protecting against the decline and death of pollinators, such as bees and other insects, and increasing their habitat.

To learn more about Parks for Pollinators, visit www.nrpa.org/parks4pollinators.

Nature Play

Nature Play programs are geared to get families with elementary aged kids outdoors in nature, learning, playing and having fun! Some of programs are more educational and 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!

  • MAKE & TAKE: A Rainbow of Rain Gardens
    Saturday, October 16 from 1:30-2:30 pm
    Fee: FREE. Registration required. Register now.
    Thataways Youth Center - 1331 Overbrook Rd, Burlington 27215

    Join us to learn how native wildflowers and grasses clean the water after it rains and keep pollution out of our creeks and streams! Children and caregivers will learn how to identify native plants like swamp milkweed, coneflowers, northern blue flag, coreopsis, black-eyed susans, soft rush, little blue stem, and more. We will talk about how wildlife use the plants for food and cover and then we will start our own mini rain gardens! Each participant will decorate a colorful planter, adds seeds and soil, and make tags for their rain garden plants. Caregivers will receive a full-color DIY Guide to Rainscaping with instructions on how to make a backyard rain garden. This program is geared toward elementary age students, but all ages are welcome. All children must be accompanied by an adult. 

    Saturday, November 13 from 1:30-3:00 pm 
    Fee: $6 per GPS unit (one GPS unit can accommodate up to 4 people). Registration required. Register now.
    Guilford Mackintosh Park and Marina - 1345 NC HWY 61, Whitsett 27377 
    Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants use a provided GPS device to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates where a cache is hidden. After an introduction to geocaching and the GPS device, we'll head out and geocache around the Park. Plan on walking 2+ miles so wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. All supplies/equipment will be provided including one handheld GPS unit  for each party. If you have 5 or more in your family, it's recommended you register as 2 parties. Adults as well as kids ages 6 and up will enjoy this program. All children must be accompanied by an adult. 
    Do you have a church group, scout group, homeschool group or other group interested in geocaching? Contact us about setting up a custom geocaching program for your group!  

    Saturday, December 11 from 11:00 am - 12:00 noon
    Fee: $2 per person. Registration required. Register now.
    Thataways Youth Center - 1331 Overbrook Rd, Burlington 27215

    Special guest, Ranger Mikey, will bring some cool North Carolina native animals and their exotic friends to share during this exciting interactive, presentation-style event! Ranger Mikey will make sure you have some hands-on fun and learn loads of cool facts about these amazing animals. All are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult.
Of all the paths you take, make sure a few of them are dirt.
**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!