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White Pines Nature Preserve

White Pines Nature Preserve
White Pines Nature Preserve is a Triangle Land Conservancy nature preserve in Chatham County, south of Pittsboro.  The preserve is located at the confluence of the Deep and Rocky Rivers and has a unique environment, which supports ecosystems normally found at higher altitudes.  The Deep and Rocky Rivers carved 100-foot bluffs at their promontory and the north-facing slope has cooler temperatures than elsewhere in the Piedmont.  These conditions allow cold-adapted plants and animals to remain in the normally warmer Piedmont.

The White Pines Nature Preserve is the first property acquired by the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) and due to its unique environment, is considered the flagship property of the organization.  TLC strove to save this area from development in the 1980s and purchased 136 acres from landowners in 1987.  The preserve has grown to its current size of 276 acres with additional land acquisitions.

Directions:

The entrance to White Pines Nature Preserve is south of Pittsboro.  From Pittsboro, travel south on US 15-501 for about 8 miles.  After crossing the Rocky River, turn left on River Fork Road, take an immediate right and travel about 2 miles to a T intersection.  Turn right to enter the preserve and parking is on the right in about a half-mile.

Map:

White Pines Nature Preserve

Trails:

Gilbert Yager Trail

Length: 1.0 mile
Blaze: Green
Difficulty: Easy

The Gilbert Yager trail runs from the parking lot and loops around to intersect the White Pines Trail in between the two intersections with the River Trail.  The trail is named in honor of Gilbert Yager, a TLC board member and advocate for protecting White Pines.

River Trail

Length: 0.9 miles
Blaze: Blue
Difficulty: Easy

The River Trail makes a loop from the White Pines Trail down to the Deep River then along the banks to the confluence of the Deep and Rocky Rivers, and then back to the White Pines Trail.

Schoolkids Trail

Length: 0.15 miles
Blaze: Yellow
Difficulty: Easy

The Schoolkids Trail makes a short loop from the River Trail where it meets the banks of the Deep River.  This trail leads to an old cable bridge that allowed people to cross the river in the 1920s.

White Pines Trail

Length: 0.65 miles
Blaze: Red
Difficulty: Easy

The White Pines trail is the main trail running through the heart of the preserve and intersecting the River and Gilbert Yager trails.  The trailhead is at the parking lot.

External Links:

Triangle Land Conservancy Website: http://www.triangleland.org/lands/tlc/white_pines_np.shtml

Photos:

White Pines Nature Preserve