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 . . .




Tall trees, many of them well over 200 years old, are the dominant feature of the landscape in Battle Park. Because the area was never clear-cut, Battle Park offers a glimpse today of what Piedmont forests were like centuries ago. Beech, oak, and tulip poplar trees are the dominant species, with an understory consisting of viburnums, ferns, mosses, and wildflowers.



Battle Park supports a variety of wildlife within its borders, including raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and white-tailed deer. Keep an eye out for some of the numerous species of reptiles and amphibians that inhabit this woodland habitat. Besides frogs and toads, be on the alert for copperheads, water snakes, skinks, and turtles.


At Battle Park you can—

  • search for wildflowers
  • follow a creek downstream
  • admire tall trees
  • listen for songbirds
  • traverse a network of trails

Follow the example of former University President Kemp Plummer Battle, and countless other students and professors, and enjoy the serenity of this mature woodland retreat. Amble along the trails that flank shallow Battle Branch, or climb steeper trails up and down the hillside. Along the way numerous benches invite you to stop and contemplate the wonder around you. Battle Park is a rare treat indeed, just steps away from the bustle of Franklin Street.

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.


Battle Park

consists of 93 acres of mature upland forest on the eastern end of the University of North Carolina campus. While the land was acquired by the University in 1793, it was not until 1975 that Battle Park assumed its present form. In July 2004 management of Battle Park was transferred to the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Since then over 1.5 miles of trails have been developed and efforts have started to replace invasive exotics with native plants. Battle Park is named for Kemp Plummer Battle, who served as University President from 1876 to 1891. In addition to establishing the first trails through the forest, Battle also attached names to some of his favorite places, including Anemone Springs, Fairy Vale, and Trysting Poplar.

Located on Country Club Road on the UNC Campus.

Metered parking available on Country Club Road.

Paid parking available in UNC Visitor Lots.

Free parking available at Community Center Park.

Bus routes CL, D, F, M stop nearby.

No drinking water or restrooms.

Park hours are dawn to dusk.

Dogs on leash permitted.

Bicycles are NOT permitted.

Administered by North Carolina Botanical Garden.


[PDF]   Printable Brochure



Numerous trails meander through Battle Park, trails with such picturesque names as Deer Track Trail, Sourwood Loop, Solitary Hill Trail, Bent Beech Trail, Cedar Top Trail, and Copperhead Curve Trail. Maps of the network of pedestrian trails are available at kiosks at the six main points of entry. Most of the trails traverse steep terrain and are slippery when wet. In addition to the trails maintained by the North Carolina Botanical Garden, OWASA access trails cross the site, following Battle Branch down the hill. At the eastern end of the park, the trail system connects to Battle Branch Greenway (maintained by the town of Chapel Hill), leading to Community Center Park.