- Recreation & Parks
- Outdoor Programs
What's Happening Now:
- Get Hiking! Guided, small group hikes open to all ages that take place around Alamance County.
- SOAR Hikes: Guided hikes & adventures for ages 55 and up.
- Trail Volunteers Wanted: Help build and maintain trails.
- Nature Play Programs: Trick Your Hiking Stick, Fort Building and more!
- Hikes with Hounds: Volunteer to take shelter dogs on hikes!
- Adopt-A-Park: Volunteer opportunity to keep our parks beautiful!
- Get Hiking! Year of the Trail
- SOAR - Outdoor Recreation for 55+
- Trail Volunteers
- Nature Play Programs
- Hikes with Hounds
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, April 4 at 5:45 pm
Haw River Trail at Glencoe | 2 miles
- Tuesday, April 18 at 5:45
Town & Country Park | 2 miles
- Tuesday, May 2 at 6:00 pm
FULL - join the waitlist.
Saxapahaw Island Park | 1.5 miles (with options for up to 3 miles)
- Tuesday, May 16 at 6:00 pm
Guilford County Farm | 2 miles
- Tuesday, May 30 at 6:00 pm
Haw River Trail at Great Bend Park | 2 miles
- June-July hikes coming soon!
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 a complete listing of upcoming activities visit www.BurlingtonNC.gov/SOAR.
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 all the required forms OR use our online registration portal to activate your membership.
For specific questions about SOAR Membership, forms, or the hikes contact Melissa Hoose, Outdoor Program Coordinator, at (336) 484-1394 or send an email.
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.
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. These programs are free or low-cost. Space is limited for all programs and registration is required!
- Trick Your Stick & Take a Hike
Saturday, March 18 from 1:30-3:30 pm
Thataways Youth Center | 1331 Overbrook Road, Burlington, NC 27215
Fee: Suggested donation of $2 per child. Registration required. Space is limited. Register now!
Celebrate North Carolina's Year of the Trail by tricking out your own hiking stick! We'll provide all the fixing for you to decorate and personalize a hiking stick. We'll provide a stick, but you are welcome to bring your own. After finishing your masterpiece, initiate your stick by taking it on a short hike around Burlington City Park. All ages are welcome. Minors to be accompanied by an adult. Please register all family members planning to make a stick.
- Fort Building at Spring into North Park
Saturday, April 15 from 12:00-2:00 pm (drop-in event)
North Park - 849 Shape Road, Burlington, NC 27217
Free! No registration required.
Spring into North Park is a drop-in event with educational booths and hands-on learning opportunities. Outdoor Programs will host a fort-building station complete with bamboo poles, sheets, ropes and more for kids to create and construct their own fort! More information coming soon with a full schedule and lineup of all activities for the Spring into North Park event.
- Alamance Creek Week
May 13 - May 21
Alamance Creek Week is a way of learning more about the creeks, streams, and rivers that connect our communities here in Alamance County. It’s a weeklong series of activities like creek cleanups, Trivia Night, citizen science groups, family fishing clinics, geocaching, seed planting, and more. Learn more and view events all over Alamance County.
- Kids to Parks Day - Celebrating Alamance Creek Week
Saturday, May 20 from 12:00-3:00 pm (drop-in event)
Burlington Arboretum at Willowbrook Park | 315 W. Willowbrook Dr. Burlington NC 27215
More details coming soon!
Hikes with Hounds
Burlington Animal Services has partnered with both Burlington and Graham's Recreation & Parks departments to provide Hikes with Hounds. Hikes with Hounds matches trained volunteers with shelter dogs during a group hike on local trails in Alamance County. Hikes are offered one Friday a month at 10 am. This volunteer opportunity offers adoptable dogs at Burlington Animal Services an enrichment activity that allows them to enjoy nature, socialize with people, and exercise - and it does the same for volunteers! The Hikes with Hounds program began in the spring of 2015, receiving the 2016 North Carolina Recreation & Parks Association’s Innovative Program Award.
Become a Hikes with Hound Volunteer:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be able to hike up to 3 miles at a moderate pace on uneven and natural surface terrain
- Complete the online Hikes with Hound Program Registration and Waiver
- Complete a one-time Burlington Animal Services Volunteer Orientation Training prior to participating on a hike, now offered virtually, before becoming a trail dog walker.
- Submit a copy of your ID prior to the first hike
- Review Volunteer Procedures for Hikes
Volunteers who have completed the Program Registration and Waiver, Volunteer Orientation Training, and provided a copy of ID will be placed on the email list to be notified of upcoming hikes.
For more information, please email the Hikes with Hounds coordinator.
Burlington Animal Services serves all of Alamance County. Learn how you can help by calling (336) 578-0343. View available pets online at www.BurlingtonNC.gov/pets.
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!