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Battle Park & The Forest Theatre - Chapel Hill, NC


Before getting into the meat of this post, we just want to note we visited this park, which is on UNC Chapel Hill campus before students came back for the Fall semester and COVID outbreaks started popping up. If you do visit, make sure to take social distancing precautions, wear face masks when necessary, and bring some hand sanitizer. That said, we hope you enjoy this park as much as we did!

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With all the amazing stand-alone parks, forests, and nature preserves we have in the Triangle, it’s easy to forget that the local college campuses also have some amazing areas to explore. We were reminded of that fact this past weekend when our family Sunday Funday took us out to Battle Park on the UNC Chapel Hill campus, which hosts the beautiful Forest Theatre, a stone amphitheater, as well as a number of short trails through the wooded park.

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While Battle Park (named for Kemp Plummer Battle, a UNC alum and former trustee) is a 93-acre forest, the best place to park if you want easy access to both the Forest Theatre and the trails is by the intersection of Country Club Road and South Boundary Street. There was a very, very tiny parking lot off of South Boundary at the back of the theatre, but honestly, the signs were confusing about the ability to park there (even though it was full with about 8 cars on a Sunday morning), so we would recommend parking on either Country Club or Boundary. Metered parking is available on these streets during the week, but according to the sign where we parked on Boundary, there were no meters during the weekend. Also just double check the signage where you park to make sure a permit is not required.

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The Forest Theatre entrance is right off the sidewalk on Country Club Road, and the minute you walk in, it gives a feeling like you’re walking into A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Definitely don’t miss the opportunity to walk down to stand on the stage and hear the amazing acoustics as your voice is instantly amplified. Science truly is astounding.

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We also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore some of the trails. What we thought was neat about this park is that rather than a large loop, or a few out-and-back trails, this park is more of a conglomeration of multiple little trails. 0.4 miles here, 0.2 miles there. This truly gives you the opportunity to craft your own hiking adventure, whether you just want to be out for 15 minutes, or you want to go all the way out and back across the park. As for the trails themselves, this isn’t a stroller-friendly adventure. The trails here are a bit more rocky and bumpy than other places we’ve been - definitely not debilitating and Peter was able to navigate the trails just fine, but just something to keep in mind.

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And a last note, if you, like our family, currently have a mushroom hunter on your hands, you NEED to check out this park right away. Not only did we see a ton of mushrooms, we saw many different varieties. Peter was absolutely tickled.

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Have you been to the Forest Theatre or Battle Park? Let us know in the comments!


(Note: We're currently working on updating our website with our reviews. This review was originally posted on Instagram and Facebook on August 26, 2020.)

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