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.

  • 1/4 - Willowbrook Arboretum 
  • 1/18- City Park/Kernodle Senior Center 
  • 1/25 - Pine Hill Cemetery 
  • 2/1 - Willowbrook Arboretum
  • 2/8 - City Park/Kernodle Senior Center
  • 2/15 - Pine Hill Cemetery
  • 2/22 - Willowbrook Arboretum  

Keeley Park

HIKE PACE Tue 1/3 at 1:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 1/5 at 1:30 pm
Keeley Park Community Garden Lot - 4100 Keeley Park Rd. McLeansville. Park in the first lot on the right after turning onto Keeley Park Rd. Hike about 2 miles on various sidewalks, paths and trails that crisscross this unique park. Optional transportation available for $5 – registration required. Van leaves Senior Center at 12:45 pm sharp. Space is limited in the van. 

Haw River Trail - Swepsonville River Park 

HIKE PACE Tue 1/17 at 2:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 1/19 at 2:30 pm 
Meet at Swepsonville River Park UPPER ACCESS - 2472 Boywood Rd. Swepsonville. Hike 2 miles on this out-and-back section of the Haw River Trail with excellent views of the river. 

Shallow Ford Natural Area

HIKE PACE Tue 1/24 2:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 1/26 at 2:30 pm
Meet at Shallow Ford Natural Area - 1955 Gerringer Mill Rd. Burlington. Hike 2-3 miles over rolling terrain and natural surface trail through this 190-acre nature area along the Haw River. 

Cedarock Park 

HIKE PACE Tue 1/31 at 2:30 pm
STROLL PACE Thu 2/2 at 2:30 pm 
Meet at Cedarock Park - 4242 R. Dean Coleman Rd. Burlington. Hike 2-3 miles on various trails at CRP. Park in the first gravel lot on the left across from the historic farm.

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

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.