For two miles, Bolin Creek winds its way through more than 400 acres of lush, urban Carolina forest in the Chapel Hill area. Eventually, the creek feeds into Jordan Lake which happens to be the water supply for more than half a million locals. Rich with historical value, ecological significance, and diverse wildlife Bolin Creek has much to offer Triangle residents.
Hit the Trails
With many trails, the creek is a popular site for bikers, hikers, and dog-walking. Bolin Creek Trail is 3.1 miles long and it winds beside a river but it’s perfect for all fitness levels. Occasionally, organizations host races on the Bolin Creek Trail. In upcoming May, Philosopher’s Way Trail Runs will host a 7k race that passes Bolin Creek and the surrounding area. Bolin Creek Trail and Greenway are hot-spots for locals looking to commune with nature. What’s more is that they’re accessible year round.
The Creek in History
Bolin Creek is firmly rooted in the history of Chapel Hill and the Triangle region. By 1752, European settlers populated the area. Benjamin Bolin bought several hundred acres of the land in the Triangle area, including the Bolin Creek watershed and what is now the University Mall. The area even saw events of the civil war. In 1865, the president of UNC worked to come to an agreement with Union General Sherman. By surrendering Raleigh, UNC’s campus was sparred from Sherman’s destruction.
The Friends of Bolin Creek
The Friends of Bolin Creek work to preserve this ecological site. Unfortunately, the creek has been labeled “impaired”, meaning it no longer passes state regulations for drinkable, fishable water. The Friends of Bolin Creek work to promote awareness of the significance of Bolin Creek, and they also help educate local residents about its wildlife. Some residents or visitors report seeing a variety of wildlife creatures in person, too. The creek and the area surrounding it is home to the rare four toed salamander. Others have reported seeing Eastern Red bats, owls, and full grown bucks around the greenway.
This organization also works to promote awareness of the importance of Bolin Creek. Last fall, the Friends of Bolin Creek were approached by film maker Charles Morris. He had heard the town of Carrboro desired to pave a bike trail directly next to the creek. This meant forest would be cut down, habitat would be destroyed, and the creek (home to many animals) would be violated.
Bolin Creek Unpaved: Saving Carrboro’s Last Forest is the film created by Charles Morris. Of course, showings of the film are offered often. Take a look at the Friends of Bolin Creek blog or newsletter to catch an upcoming showing. Interested in learning how to help preserve the habitat? Sign the Bolin Creek Petition here.
Mary Sonis, Naturalist and Wildlife Photographer, will share her love of Bolin Creek and its wildlife at the Chapel Hill Public Library. Check out her “Walk in the Carolina Woods” albums and join the Friends of Bolin Creek for her annual talk this Saturday, March 11th at 3 PM.
We’re Here to Help!
There are a number of neighborhoods providing access not only to Bolin Creek but the surrounding trails too. These neighborhoods, communities, and subdivisions are located in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Ironwoods and Bolin Forest are two neighborhoods backing to the creek and trails.
If you are interested in learning about the neighborhoods surrounding Bolin Creek and other properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online. Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at
[email protected] for additional information.