Fall on the Haw

The weather starts cooling off, the leaves begin to change and it becomes obvious that fall is in the air. Just because the seasons are changing does not mean you can’t keep exploring the great North Carolina outdoors. As a matter of fact, the Haw River is still flowing and still welcomes you for a visit. If you have not stopped by in a while, there are many changes to the recreational areas that may stand out to you. For nature lovers, the fun continues as the progress towards uniting public enjoyment and conservation together perseveres.

Lace up your hiking boots, grab a windbreaker and start planning your relaxing fall afternoon on the Haw River.

Haw River Trail: Conservation through Recreation:

In helping to preserve the public enjoyment of the Haw River and its conservation efforts, the Haw River Trail Partnership was formed. Ten governmental agencies joined together in supporting the development of trails and the protection of natural resources of the Haw River corridor. As the partnership was formed 12 years ago, the Haw River Trail continues to experience overwhelming success.

In the past year alone, almost 300,000 visitors have enjoyed a new trailhead and a new park. With 19 miles of land trail completed, 40 miles of paddle trail finished and 15 recreational parks and trailheads open, there is no reason why your free time should not be spent exploring!

Longmeadow Trailhead:

Opening late last year, you may have had the opportunity to walk the two mails of trail alongside the river. Located in Graham, the trail takes its visitors through the Challenge Golf Club, between the Sellar Falls section to the north, and the Swepsonville River Park to the south. Thanks to a grant from Impact Alamance and management support by Alamance Parks and the City of Graham, these two miles of scenic trail have been put to good use.

What exactly does “Longmeadow” mean? Well, the name is derived from a 1922 newspaper article published in The Alamance Gleaner referencing a Boy Scout Troop’s camping trip in the “Longmeadow forests, on Haw River, three miles east of Graham.” The rest is history!

Saxapahaw Island Park and Trail:

A scenic park stretching nearly 30 acres. Walking trails and river access. Even a unique playground and meadow for an afternoon picnic. Once a mill-town located on the banks of the Haw River, Saxapahaw has seen many changes since its days inhabiting the Sissapahaw Native American tribe. After the closing of the mill in 1944, the town continues to bring communities together. Thanks to a generous gift from the Waste Industries and the Clore family, Alamance County and Impact Alamance have implemented a huge, wooden fish slide and other nature-inspired playground equipment.

Standing at 45 feet long, 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide, the fish slide weighs six tons! Built by Asheville Playgrounds, it was transported to its new home in Saxapahaw.

Get Involved:

The 5th Annual Trialathlon will be held on October 27th throughout the Haw River recreational areas. No matter your skill level, you are welcome to enjoy the natural resources and scenery along the way. Beginning with a two-mile round trip paddle on Saxapahaw Lake, then onto a seven-mile countryside bike ride and ending with a 5k trail run, you can be sure that you’ll learn a much deeper appreciation for the river. The Trailathlon is not a timed race, but we encourage you to put your best foot forward! Register online: www.alamance.recdesk.com

All proceeds continue to benefit the Haw River Trail!

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