Outdoor Programs for Seniors

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

All participants must become SOAR Members to participate in 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 the all the required forms 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) 484-1394 or send an email

Upcoming Events: January-Febrauary Registration is Open.

Register Now Button Opens in new windowRegistration is required for all hikes!

Members may call the Recreation & Parks Office at (336) 222-5030 press 0 for assistance or call the Kernodle Senior Center at (336) 222-5135 (ask to speak with Brittany or Brandy) or email the SOAR coordinator once registration has opened. 
Space is limited on all hikes and pre-registration is required.
(You must be a SOAR Member to register and participate in SOAR hikes.)

Pace Groups

Usually, a separate hike for each pace group is offered. 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.  

Winter Walkers 

Winter Walkers give you a reason to get outdoors and walk with good company every Wednesday at 10:30 am. Walks are moderately paced and last 45-60 minutes on paved surfaces. Register by the Tuesday prior to each walk.

  • 2/8 - City Park/Kernodle Senior Center
  • 2/15 - Pine Hill Cemetery
  • 2/22 - Willowbrook Arboretum  

Haw River Trail - Glencoe Paddle Access

 HIKE PACE Tue 2/7 2:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 2/9 at 2:30 pm 
Meet at the Glencoe Paddle Access - 2348 Glencoe St. Burlington. Hike 2 miles (total) on this out-and-back section of the HRT. Please carpool if possible - the parking lot is small. 

Richardson-Taylor Preserve

HIKE PACE Tue 2/14 1:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 2/16 at 1:30 pm 
Richardson-Taylor Preserve - 300 Plainfield Rd, Greensboro. (GPS Coordinates: 36.179555, -79.805840). Hike 2-3 miles on natural surface trail over rolling terrain along creeks and marshland. No restroom at trailhead. Optional transportation available for $5 – registration required. Van leaves Senior Center at 12:30 pm sharp. Space is limited in the van. Van will stop at a gas station before/after hike for restrooms.

Bill Cooke Park

HIKE PACE Tue 2/21 at 2:30 pm 
STROLL PACE Thu 2/23 at 2:30 pm 
Bill Cooke Park - 1010 Townbranch Rd, Graham. Park and meet in the first parking lot on the left when you enter the park (near the restrooms). Walk 2 miles (with optional 3rd mile) on the paved path around the park. 

Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area 

STRENUOUS Hike Tue 2/28 at 1:30 pm
EASY Hike Thu 3/2 at 1:30 pm 
Cane Creek Mountain Natural Area - 5075 Bass Mountain Rd, Snow Camp. 
STRENUOUS Hike: a strenuous 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 1:00 pm sharp. Space is limited in the van.

Registration for March-April will open on March 1 at 8:30 am.

HRT at Longmeadow 

HIKE PACE Wed 3/8 at 2:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 3/9 at 2:30 pm

Longmeadow Trailhead - 1120 Valley Dr. Graham. Hike 2-3 miles on the Haw River Trail. The trail is mostly flat, but natural surface - so expect roots, rocks, sand, mud, etc. 

Brumley Nature Preserve 

HIKE PACE Wed 3/15 at 1:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 3/16 at 1:30 pm 

Brumley North Entrance - 3620 Old State Hwy 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Hike a little more than 3 miles on the trails through 673-acres of mature hardwood, young pine forest with streams, wetlands and ponds. Restrooms not available at trailhead.
Optional transportation available for $5 - registration required, space limited. Van leaves Senior Center at 12:40 pm sharp. Space is limited in the van.

Clean Sweep at Burlington City Park 

ALL PACES Tue 3/21 at 10 am 
Splash Park parking lot - 1400 Overbrook Rd. Burlington. 
Give back by helping pick up litter along the City Park Greenway Trail and Little Alamance Creek. Trash bags, litter grabbers and work gloves provided. OPTIONAL: meet-up at Mayberry’s for lunch after the clean-up. 

Town & Country Park 

HIKE PACE Wed 4/5 at 1 pm
STROLL PACE Wed 4/5 at 2:30 pm 

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

Guilford Mackintosh Park & Marina

ALL PACES Fri 4/14 at 2:30 pm 
Guilford Mackintosh Park & Marina - 1345 NC HWY 61, Whitsett. Park at the end of the road in the circular parking area. Hike is 2 miles over rolling terrain with a few steep hills. OPTIONAL: meet-up at Red Oak Brewery after the hike. 

Eno River State Park

PREREQUISITE: Completed 1 SOAR hike since February. 
HIKE PACE Tue 4/18 at 10 am
STROLL PACE Wed 4/19 at 10 am 

Eno River State Park: Cole Mill Access - 4390 Old Cole Mill Rd. Durham, NC 27712. Hike 3 miles on the Bobbit Hole Trail - expect hills and rocky/rooty trails. OPTIONAL: pack a lunch to eat at the picnic shelter after the hike. 
Optional transportation available for $5 – registration required, space limited. Van leaves Senior Center at 9:15 am sharp. 

Cates Farm Park

HIKE PACE Wed 4/26 at 9 am
STROLL PACE Wed 4/26 at 10:30 am

Cates Farm Park - 1169 N 1st St, Mebane, NC 27302. Hike 2 miles through the 54-acre Cates Farm Park - formally a pickle farm! Stroll through the meadow and into the woods and along Mill Creek. 

Pilot Mountain State Park 

PREREQUISITE: Completed 2 SOAR hikes since February. 
HIKE PACE Wed 5/3 at 10:30 am
STROLL PACE Thu 5/4 at 10:30 am
Fee: $5 donation to Pilot Mountain State Park

Mountain State Park - 1721 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle, NC 27043. Meet at the summit parking area at the top of the mountain. Restrooms available here. Take a hike around Pilot Knob with a state park ranger who will provide information on the geology, history, flora and fauna of the park. The hike is about 1 mile, but moderately strenuous with many uneven rock steps. Bring a sack lunch to eat after the hike.  If time, interest and energy allow, take a short out and back on another of the summit trails or visit the Visitor’s Center on the way out. Please bring a $5 cash donation for Friends of Pilot Mountain State Park as a thank-you for the ranger-led hike. 
Optional transportation available for $10 – registration required, space limited. Van leaves Senior Center at 8:55 am sharp.

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.

Interested in additional hiking and outdoor adventures, visit www.BurlingtonNC.gov/Outdoors for more information and to register.