Our Top 5 Places to Explore in the Triangle this Summer for Free!
Posted on 2019-06-22
We always have grand plans for all of the crazy cool things we're going to do during the summer. It usually involves things like paragliding, weekend getaways to the beach, driving to Florida, and all sorts of other dreams that we would love to do, but in reality we never get to because of budget and time. The other truth is, there is a ton of cool stuff to do around the triangle itself. So while we might not hit all of our intended activities, here are the things that we make sure not to miss around home...
# 1. Eno River Rock Quarry
![blogPics](/static/img/Top5/top0.jpg "Eno River Rock Quarry")
This is a nice 1.2 mile hike through some woods to reach a rock quarry that is now full of water for swimming. The scenery is pretty, the water is deep, and there are plenty of great spots to hang a hammock! Definitely bring some sort of tube or float if you plan on swimming. There's also some good places to cliff jump if you're a strong swimmer and comfortable with that sort of thing. Be warned that it gets really busy, especially on holidays, so you may have difficulty finding a parking spot. Definitely a great place to check out and enjoy the summer sun!
PSA - PLEASE pick up your trash if you go.
# 2. Jordan Lake Recreation Area
![blogPics](/static/img/Top5/top1.jpg "Jordan Lake")
This place almost makes you feel like you're at the beach! There's sand, calm waters to swim in, and even some charcoal grills to cookout in some areas. There are also some hiking trails and places to camp! As with most great places, it can get pretty packed so be prepared for crowds and consider arriving early to stake out your spot.
# 3. Lake Crabtree
![blogPics](/static/img/Top5/top2.jpg "Lake Crabtree")
A little more low key than Jordan Lake, Lake Crabtree is a great place to throw up a hammock and enjoy some peace and quiet. You'll catch some folks out boating or paddle boarding, but usually it's pretty quiet. There are also some good mountain biking paths and some areas for picnicking and camping.
# 4. American Tobacco Trail
![blogPics](/static/img/Top5/top3.jpg "After the marathon")
22+ miles of trails that cuts through Durham. Great place to go on a long run or bike ride. There are quite a few parks to stop at and other attractions along the way. This is where we do the majority of our marathon training.
# 5. Duke Gardens
Beautiful place to walk around and read a book, relax, put up a hammock. Parking is very limited and you may have to pay a fee depending on where you find a spot.
# 6 Maple View Farm ($)
![blogPics](/static/img/Top5/top4.jpg "Icecream at Maple View!")
So this one's not free... but totally worth a mention.
I'm honestly not sure which one I like more here, the icecream or the beautiful farmland views. Which is saying a lot because I REALLY like icecream. Grab yourself a cone of their trademark Carolina Crunch and enjoy it in a big wooden rocking chair on the porch. Sunset is the best time in my opinion. Expect a line when you get there though, this place is not a secret and everyone loves it!