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Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is a 140-acre preserve in Cary.  Most of the land is owned by the state as Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area.  The town of Cary owns the rest and leases the state's land to operate as a nature preserve and environmental education center.  The preserve protects unusually steep bluffs above Swift Creek that are home to a population of Eastern hemlock, normally found in the mountains at higher elevations.  The Stevens Center at Hemlock Bluffs has educational exhibits on the natural and human history of the area.  There are about 2 miles of mulched trails and boardwalks that lead throughout the preserve.

Contact Information:

2616 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27518

Phone: (919) 387-5980



One of the most unique species found in the preserve is the eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis).  Normally, these trees are found in the mountains, but the steep north-facing bluffs along Swift Creek provide a montane microclimate that supports the Hemlock right in the middle of Cary.

The Swift Creek floodplain support a great number of wildflowers.  Eastern spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring.

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

I'm not sure what these are, maybe some type of sorrel.

Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) is a species of lizard that lives in the preserve.

Blog Entries:

15-Apr-2018: Wake County Wildflowers

External Links:

Town of Cary website: https://www.townofcary.org/Departments/Parks__Recreation___Cultural_Resources/Parks_and_Greenways/Parks/Stevens_Nature_Center_At_Hemlock_Bluffs_Nature_Preserve.htm

Friends of Hemlock Bluffs website: http://www.hemlockbluffs.org/