T h i s   W a y   t o   N a t u r e           in Chapel Hill                 @thiswaytonature.com
        Map of Sites   Adams Tract
Anderson Community Park
Battle Park
Cedar Falls Park
Homestead Park
Johnston Mill Nature Preserve
Mason Farm Biological Reserve
North Carolina Botanical Garden
Pritchard Park
Umstead Park

Explore . . .



Bolin Creek

A rocky section of Bolin Creek forms the northern boundary of the Adams Tract. Up to thirty feet wide and three feet deep in places, the stream flows briskly along, tumbling over rocks as it proceeds along its southeastward course. A number of large boulders in the creek draw children like magnets. The bank on the southern side is rather steep, but the one on the northern side is fairly level. Cross the creek on stepping stones if water level permits.



A variety of habitats offers good opportunities for observing wildlife. In the pine woods you may hear woodpeckers tapping on dead trees, or flocks of chickadees and titmice calling to each other as they feed. Near the creek you may see tracks of raccoons. Keep an eye out for reptiles and amphibians, including copperheads, especially in warmer weather. Listen for owls hooting near dusk and hawks screeching during the day as they fly through the woods.


At Adams Tract you can—

  • explore a creek
  • climb on large boulders
  • walk through a pine forest
  • learn to identify trees
  • look for critters in decaying logs
  • hike a one mile trail

A Natural Area of Chapel Hill

One of 10 natural areas in the Chapel Hill area profiled by Boy Scouts of Troop 9 for Daniel Ripperton’s Eagle Scout Service Project to encourage children to spend more time in the natural world.


There are 1.25 miles of trails around the Adams Tract, consisting of a .7 mile loop trail and a number of access trails. The primary access trail leads uphill from the kiosk through a pine forest. You will soon spot markers on trees that you can identify using the guide you picked up at the kiosk—over 20 different species of treees in all. At the northern point of the loop trail is a spur trail that descends to Bolin Creek. Other access trails lead to the Pacifica neighborhood and to Estes Drive Extension. Take time out from your visit to Wilson Park to explore the Adams Tract right next to the park. Visit the kiosk at the eastern end of Wilson Park to pick up a trail map as well as a guide to the trees identified along the trail. Then start on your adventure.

Adams Tract

Just a short distance from downtown Carrboro lies the Adams Tract, a 27 acre woodland preserve, bounded on the north by Bolin Creek and on the east by Estes Drive Extension. Purchased in 1950 by UNC Botany Professor J. Edison Adams and his wife Katherine, the property was transferred to the Town of Carrboro in 2004 through the stewardship of family members Ann Adams and Martha Adams Galli. The terrain of the Adams Tract is primarily hilly with a large area of loblolly pine and a mixed hardwood understory of beech, red maple, sweetgum, cedar, dogwood, and holly. From the ridge the hillside descends steeply to the creek. Here you will find mixed hardwoods, consisting mostly of oak, poplar, black gum and sourwood, along with some maple, ironwood, and dogwood trees. Attractive views of the Bolin Creek valley are available at several points along the ridge.

Located northwest of Estes Drive Extension near its intersection with N. Greensboro St. Access is through Wilson Park on Williams St.

Parking available in Wilson Park parking lot.

Bus routes F stops near Wilson Park.

Drinking water and restrooms available in Wilson Park except in winter.

Dogs on leash permitted.

Administered by Town of Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department.


[PDF]   Printable Brochure

[PDF]   Adam's Tract Trail Map

[PDF]   Tree Identification Chart