Fifteen short hiking trails (none more than three-quarters of a mile in length) allow you to explore this unusual 2,800-acre preserve, which represents a wide range of Coastal Plain ecology. Plus, 15 miles of horseback and biking trails are plenty to justify this as a weekend destination. Add to that the opportunity to hunt feral pigs and squirrel and you’ve got a weekend escape to remember.

More info

Getting there from downtown Raleigh

photo courtesy Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center
Address: 6601 Devils Racetrack Road
City: Four Oaks
State: N.C.
Zip: 27524
Distance: 45 minutes from downtown Raleigh
Latitude: 35.2260
Longitude: 78.1861
No. of campsites: 6
No. with hookups: None
No. without hookups: None
Primitive sites: 6
Reservations? Yes. 919.938.0115
Cost: $5
Year-round? Yes
Gate hours: Sunrise to sunset
Stuff to do nearby: hiking, horseback riding, biking, fishing, controlled hunting areas for feral pig, deer, waterfowl, squirrel and wild turkey.