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, register through our online portal. Your membership is complete when you have completed the online member registration AND have turned in the medical clearance form that requires a doctor's signature. 

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 - September-October Registration Opens on 9/2 at 8 am.

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

Members may call the Kernodle Senior Center at (336) 222-5135 (ask to speak with Melissa or Brittany) or call the Recreation & Parks Office at (336) 222-5030 press 0 assistance 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. 

HRT at Longmeadow

HIKE PACE - Wednesday, 9/14 at 9 am
STROLL PACE - Thursday, 9/15 at 9 am 

Meet at the trailhead - 1120 Valley Dr. Graham. Hike 2.5-3 miles on this out-and-back trail along the Haw River. NO RESTROOMS.

Cate’s Farm Park

HIKE PACE - Wednesday, 9/21 at 9 am
STROLL PACE - Thursday, 9/22 9 am 

Cates Farm Park - 1169 N 1st St, Mebane. Hike about 2 miles of trails at the newest park in Mebane! Rolling trails loop through a meadow and into the woods. 

Shallow Ford Natural Area

HIKE PACE - Wednesday,  9/28 at 9 am
STROLL PACE - Thursday, 9/29 at 9 am 

Meet at Shallow Ford Natural Area - 1955 Gerringer Mill Rd. Burlington. Hike 2-3 miles on the various trails. Expect some hills and natural surface trails with plenty of roots and rocks. 

GSO Watershed Trails

HIKE PACE - Wednesday,  10/5 10 am
STROLL PACE - Thursday, 10/6 at 10 am 

Meet at the Palmetto Trailhead parking area - across the road from 4455 Old Battleground Rd. Greensboro, NC 27410. Hike a solid moderately strenuous 3 miles on the Palmetto and Nat Greene Trails around the upper end of Lake Brandt. NO RESTROOMS. Pre-requisite: 3 hikes with the group since August. 

Cookout & Hike at Guilford Mackintosh

ALL PACES - Monday, 10/10 at 11:30 am 
Meet 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-mile hike after the cookout. Fee: $5 

Town & Country Park 

ALL PACES Thursday, 10/20 at 3:00 pm 
Meet at Town & Country - 2999 Regent Park Ln. Burlington. Parking is on-street. Hike 2 miles through this hilly natural area tucked away along the Haw River here in Burlington. NO RESTROOMS. This hike is open to all paces, but will walk at a stroll pace. 

Eno River Confluence Natural Area

HIKE PACE  - Wednesday, 10/26 at 10 am
STROLL PACE - Thursday, 10/27 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. 

Cedarock Park

HIKE PACE - Wednesday, 11/2 at 3 pm
STROLL PACE - Thursday, 11/3 at 3 pm

Meet at the Cedarock in the lot across from the Historic Farm - 4242 R. Dean Coleman Rd. Burlington. Hike 2-2.5 miles on the rolling, natural surface Spoons Branch Trail.

Meet-Up Paddles @ Guilford Mackintosh Park & Marina

Every other Tuesday morning through October
Times vary - check the website for schedule and to register.

Don’t paddle alone - come meet other paddlers and enjoy some time on the water. Your guide will lead the group on the lake and help folks in/out of boats as needed. Fee: $17.50/with kayak rental or $6.50/BYO kayak. 
**Registration and payment are only accepted online OR in-person at the Recreation & Parks Office or Senior Center.

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.