Named for 100-foot bluffs rising above Swift Creek in southern Cary, visitors can hike through a three-quarter-mile-long preserve encompassing historic beech trees that date back to the mid-1700s.
Overall, Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve spans 23 acres and includes just over a mile of trails where hikers can enjoy not only historic beech trees, but seasonal blooms such as bloodroot, trout lily, hydrangea, bigleaf snowbell, witch-hazel and alternate-leaf dogwood. Birding enthusiasts will migration and early breeding season at the preserve, since it has earned a place in “The North Carolina Birding Trail: Piedmont Trail Guide.” The return leg crosses swampland and passes through a mature deciduous forest.
Vernal pools at the bluff’s base serve as breeding grounds for spring peepers and upland chorus frogs, and wildlife such as beaver and muskrat frequent Swift Creek.
Plan to spend about an hour here for the full experience. Leashed dogs are welcome.