The Piedmont Land Conservancy has set the bar high with the Knight Brown Nature Preserve, its first preserve open to the public.

The 189-acre oasis in Rockingham County is dominated by a heavily wooded valley through the middle of the property, two streams, a variety of ferns and spring wildflowers and a rarity: the eastern leatherwood shrub. Three loop trails totaling nearly three miles expose the hiker to much of the tract.

  • Beechwood Bottom Loop Trail, 0.5-mile loop. From the parking area, the trail loops down to the creek, taking in a bottomland forest.
  • Creekside Loop Trail, 1.1-mile loop. Near the north end of the Beechwood Bottom Loop, cross a bridge to pick up the Creekside Loop. Hiked counterclockwise, the trail makes a mellow ascent, before dropping to the creek for a nice ramble back to the bridge.
  • Leatherwood Loop Trail, 1.1-mile loop. Near the conclusion of the Beechwood Bottom Loop, hiked counterclockwise, the trail encounters a bridge that crosses to the Leatherwood Loop. This trail also involves a climb out of the valley and passage along the creek, as well as exposure to the rare eastern leatherwood shrub.

The preserve is the ideal antidote to the hectic demands of modern life. It’s accessibility is a big plus as well, located just a half hour from downtown Greensboro.

More info here.
Map here.
Getting there from downtown Greesnboro
Difficulty: easy
Distance: 23 miles from downtown Greensboro (34 minutes; see “Getting there”)
Time to complete: 1.5 hours
County: Rockingham
Latitude: 36.3117 Longitude: 80.0041