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Hollow Rock Nature Park - Durham, NC

Looking for a place for an easy First Day Hike? We’ve got just the spot for you!


“First Day” hikes happen on January 1st, and you can either join a local group to do one, or get out on your own. And this year, the weather is looking beautiful with a high in the mid-to-upper 60s, so don’t pass up the opportunity to get outdoors.


Ruth and I had an amazing time exploring Hollow Rock Nature Park in Durham recently on a day that was very similar in temperature to the one we have coming up. This is a small park that straddles the Orange and Durham County line with 2 short, loop nature trails: the Hanging Rock Trail and the Headwaters Loop Trail, 0.6 miles and 0.8 miles respectively.


We only did the Hanging Rock Trail while there, but hope to go back for the other trail sometime in the future. We very much enjoyed being able to go down to the New Hope Creek off Hanging Rock Trail. There was also an old horse stable in a small meadow, a stream and a bog-like area, and a few benches along the way for a break to take in the nature.


Some logistics:


- Not stroller friendly. There were many roots along the trails, and if you want to get out to the creek, there are some rocks to go on at one point. There are a few other ways to get down to the creek that have no rocks, but still, not stroller friendly.


- There was one port-o-potty in the meadow that you hit just a few minutes after starting the Hanging Rock Trail. (We started this trail at the kiosk with the park map right by the parking lot entrance.) I’m not sure if it is there permanently, though. Otherwise, we did not see any bathrooms.


- The parking lot is small. To get to the Headwaters Trail, you need to cross a dirt road, and we did also see a car or 2 parked on the ride of the road at the trail entrance.


- Duke Forest is also to the northwest of this park, so if you’re craving more trail time, you can connect there from the park.


Do you have any plans for a First Day Hike? 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 December 30, 2022.)

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