After several consecutive rainy weekends, my wife and I were eager to get outside for some Sunday morning walking. Armed with our Fitbits and a camera, we set out for our favorite of the many walking trails through Duke Forest in Durham.
The parking lot for this trail is on Mt. Sinai Road, between Twin Mountain Road and Murphy School Road. The lot is small, so be on the lookout or you’ll drive right past it.
This section of Duke Forest was designated as a teaching and research laboratory by Duke University in 1931 after much of the area was cleared for timber and farmed. The plot is used to study forestry practices, natural regeneration, prescribed burning, thinning and harvesting.
Not far into our walk, we ran into our first creepy crawler: a marbled orb weaver spider. As spiders go, this one was beautiful. When looking it up online, I read that marbled orb weavers spin a new web every day. I’ll have to remember that so I can sound smart the next time I see one.
The walk back up from the creek isn’t particularly arduous in October, but it would have been a challenge for me in 90-degree weather. From the parking lot down to the creek and back was about 3 miles, just right for a fall morning walk.
Duke Forest is one of North Carolina’s treasures, covering 7,000 acres in Durham, Orange and Alamance Counties. You can find details on its many trails online. Now get outside, North Carolina!