TLC nature preserves are still open! Stay 6 feet apart, take all trash with you, and avoid overcrowding the parking lots.
708 acres in Durham County
Location: 7360 Jock Road, Bahama NC 27503
GPS Coordinates: 36.142293, -78.843658
About Horton Grove Nature Preserve
If a photo is worth 1,000 words, how about a video? Watch the video below, created by Duke Stories for Nature and People (DukeSNAP), to learn why you should visit Horton Grove Nature Preserve.
Opened in 2012, Horton Grove Nature Preserve is Triangle Land Conservancy’s largest public preserve. Visitors can currently enjoy approximately eight miles of hiking trails, including the That Makes Sense Interpretative Trail for kids. TLC is working to expand the trail network to provide further hiking opportunities, including a connection to the Stagville State Historic Site. Once the entire trail network is completed, Horton Grove will provide over ten miles of trails perfect for hiking, trail running, families, or walking your dog.
Trails at Horton Grove are named after Black families — Holman, Peaks, Hart, Justice, Latta, Walker, Jordan, and Sowell — whose ancestors were enslaved and forced to work on the land, which was once part of one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. Their stories, which are shared on the kiosks thanks to the research and work of staff with Historic Stagville, illuminate enslaved families’ resilience and their persistent struggle for freedom. PDFs of the kiosks can be viewed here.
These trails wind through mature forests, including upland oak-hickory forests, beech slopes, and several stands of mixed pine and hardwoods. TLC has restored two small native plant meadows here, including a 20-acre warm-season grassland surrounding the main parking area. Open meadows and grasslands are important for numerous species but have become rare throughout North Carolina’s Piedmont. TLC restores habitats with native grasses to provide nesting and foraging opportunities for a variety of birds and pollinators, including monarch butterflies and honeybees.
Joan Curry, a volunteer and Hiking Challenge participant, provided this suggestion for visitors: “The observation platform in the prairie is an excellent place for a picnic lunch!”
Video – Restoring a native grass meadow at Horton Grove Nature Preserve:
Citizen Science – Check out the bird species that citizen scientists have spotted at Horton Grove using the eBird database. Interested in adding your own observations? You can help TLC document bird abundance and distribution by creating your own account on eBird and adding your bird sightings! For details, tutorials, and more, check out the Getting Started section of the eBird website.
Share your hikes and photos of Horton Grove Nature Preserve using the interactive Hiking Project app: