Having Fun all Winter Long!

December 5, 2014

triangle land conservancy

Winter has arrived! While temperatures may be cooler, North Carolina still boasts a plethora of fun outdoor activities.

Outdoor Ice Skating

Whether you are a novice or experienced skater, you must check out Raleigh’s signature outdoor skating rink as part of the city’s two month winter celebration, Ipreo Raleigh’s Winterfest. The ice rink, open from November 22nd to February 1st, features natural ice right in heart of City Plaza. Admission is only $9 and includes skate rental, so bundle up and get ready for outdoor skating fun!

The schedule of open skate times is here.

Durham also has a skating rink open, humorously called “The Ice Factory” and sponsored by the Carolina Hurricanes. The rink is located next to Burt’s Bees on the American Tobacco campus, and admission is $10 including skate rental.

The schedule of open skate times is here.

triangle land conservancy

Duke Homestead

Take in Some History

The Triangle boasts some great historical sites, open all year round. Though a touch chillier, winter is also a great time to avoid crowds and really spend some time exploring these areas.

Bennett Place – Located in Durham, Bennett place is the site of the Confederate surrender of the Southern armies, making it the largest troop surrender of the Civil War. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Though the visitor center is currently closed for renovations, the grounds are all open and walking tours are available. Admission is free!

Duke Homestead – Originally the home of Washington Duke, Duke Homestead preserves the farms, fields, and house of the father of the founders of the American Tobacco Company. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours run every day at 15 minutes past the hour, 10:15 to 3:15 p.m. Duke Homestead hosts a variety of holiday programs, for both children and adults.

triangle land conservancy ice

Don’t be Afraid to Hit the Trails

North Carolina experiences little actual snowfall, so hiking and walking trails are free of the white stuff most of the winter. While it is important to bundle up for the cold and watch out for slippery conditions, hiking in the winter exposes visitors to all kinds of sights and sounds they may not notice in the summer. With the leaves gone, rivers, streams, and general landscape topography take center stage, and ice can be a particularly beautiful part of the winter landscape. While many migratory birds have flown for the season, many species are still present, and they are even easier to see and hear without foliage obscuring your view.

Looking for Some New Trails to Try?

Horton Grove Nature Preserve, TLC’s newest nature preserve, is hosting its grand trail opening this Sunday, December 7th, from 1-4 p.m. Families as well as leashed dogs are encouraged to attend, and hikers can choose which set of trails to explore.

We will start the event with a short program to thank everyone involved and to introduce the new trails. TLC staff will then lead guided hikes throughout the property or you can feel free to explore the preserve on your own. The hiking options are below.

Starting at 1:30 in the main parking area:

Option 1 – the Holman Loop through the restored grasslands and a little bit in the forest (0.8 miles)

Option 2 – The Peaks Loop through the forest (0.9 miles)

Starting at 2 p.m. from the main parking area:

Option 1 – A ~3 mile hike starting on the Holman Trail, south to the Hart Trail, around the Justice Loop and back up the Hart and Holman trails to the main parking area

Option 2 (new trails!) – A ~4 mile hike starting on the Peaks trail, south to the Walker Trail, south to the Jordan Trail which leads to the Great Barn. Options back – the road or back up the Jordan Trail to the Walker Trail

Have some great outdoor winter experiences? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or tag your nature preserve photos on Instagram! #hortongrove

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