Mountain Biking at Clayton Legend Park
Johnston County offers an abundance of rural landscapes, farms, parks and recreation from corner to corner and all points in between to get fit. Today, more communities are offering trails for walking and hiking, bike club riders are found on our rural roads on Saturday mornings, and new events are popping up like the Color Run at Howell Woods this November.
If you love to get outdoors and away from the highrises and high population areas in the triangle, we invite you to drive east of I-40 or US Hwy 70 out of Raleigh to the rolling hills and flat farm land of Johnston County. Here’s just a sample of ways to get fit and have some fun too!
Sam’s Branch Greenway Trail and Clayton River Walk on the Neuse
Enjoy this beautiful 1.25 mile, 10-foot-wide paved pedestrian and biking trail that connects to the Clayton River Walk, a 4-mile section of the Mountains to the Sea Trail (MST) great for hiking, biking and viewing nature along the Neuse River. Trail head at 1358 O’Neil St., Clayton. 919-553-1550 www.townofclaytonnc.org
Buffalo Creek Greenway
Trail entrance located at the back of Smithfield Community Park for this 3-mile greenway that runs along the Spring Brand to the Neuse River Walk at Smithfield Commons. Part of the MST through Johnston County, the ten foot wide path accommodates hikers, runners and bikers. 600 Booker Dairy Rd., Smithfield. www.smithfield-nc.com, 919-934-2148
Hexagon Wake Park at Tucker Lake
Fun and supportive environment for beginners to advanced wake board riders with daily lessons for wake boarding and wake skating. 3025 Allen’s Crossroads Rd., Benson. 1-877-253-7275 www.hexagoncablepark.com
Legend Park Mountain Bike Trail
From beginner to advanced riders, this 8-mile bike trail offers rock gardens, boulders, jumps, and bridges. Trails are multi-directional. 550 City Rd., Clayton. 919-553-1550, www.townofclaytonnc.org
Neuse Adventure Canoe & Kayak Rentals
Two hour canoe trips along the scenic Neuse River begin 9am and 1pm weekends or 6-8pm weekdays during the summer. Groups up to 16-20 welcome. Trips are self-guided. 2975 Covered Bridge Rd., Clayton. 919-553-3295www.neuseadventures.com
Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center
This 2,800 acres outdoor classroom offers 25 miles of unpaved roads and trails for small group horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching, long-distance hiking, no-trace camping and fishing. Reservations are required for horseback riding, camping and fishing.
6601 Devil’s Racetrack Rd., Four Oaks. 919-938-0115, www.johnstonnc.edu/howellwoods
Clemmons Education State Forest
Features of this managed forest include well marked trails, educational exhibits and displays, ponds, picnic shelter and a selection of talking trees and rocks which are a favorite of children visiting the forest. Forest open March to November. 2411 Old US 70 W., Clayton. 919-553-5651 www.ncesf.org/cesf/home.htm
Wow, this is just a sample of outdoor get fit options in Johnston County! For complete listings and planning ideas, visit our website, www.johnstoncounty.org