Make the Most of Fabulous Fall! Get Outside

Molly Devine RD, LDN

It’s Fall, Y’all! In North Carolina, we really have it made. With its crisp cool mornings, warm sunny afternoons, and mild evenings, fall is the best season to discover new outdoor adventures right in your backyard. If the hot sticky August days left you less than inspired to stick to your walking/jogging routine, have no fear; fall is here! There is a plethora of hiking trails in the triangle area that are ideal spots for getting out and enjoying the season while attaining your healthy lifestyle goals.

Places to check out:

Eno River State Park and Trails:

Spanning Orange and Durham Counties, there are lots of options for hiking with various entrances. Dog-friendly, and many trails follow the river, so if you bring your furry friend, pack a towel. Most trails not recommended for strollers.

Duke Forest Trails:

These are hiker/walker/runner friendly and offer some variety on terrain. Dog and stroller friendly.

 Duke Gardens:

Duke Gardens offers trails and paths with beautiful scenery and many open spaces that are ideal for a picnic when you are done. This is a great venue for kids!

 Downtown Hillsborough Riverwalk:

This is a paved trail ideal for walking/jogging with many options for learning about the history of downtown Hillsborough along the way. Dog and stroller friendly.

 Brumley Forest Nature Preserve:

A relatively new set of trails, you’ll find mountain bikers, hikers, runners, and nature lovers out on this beautiful piece of nature. Dog and stroller friendly.

Occoneechee Mountain State Park:

Did you know Hillsborough had a mountain? It’s small, but this is a great hiking spot for novices and regular lovers of nature alike. You can couple it with either the Riverwalk or Brumley Forest Nature Preserve (above) for a full day in historic Hillsborough.


If falling autumn leaves and the sweet crisp fall air don’t inspire you to get outside and move, try these ideas for further motivation:

  •  Listen to a book on tape. Your local library offers a wide selection of books to download for free. Check out their website for more details.
  • Learn something new; Check out a podcast. Some we recommend: Stuff You Should Know , Aviva Romm Podcast,  or This American Life.
  • Remember mix tapes from the 1990s? Create a fun inspirational mix using Spotify or Pandora. Eye of the Tiger, anyone? · Find your inner zen with a guided walking meditation. The Insight Timer App offers a wide variety of guided and timed meditative exercises.

Many of the places mentioned above offer places to picnic after you walk around and explore. Check out these lunchbox-friendly recipes on our website to give you some inspiration for healthy fare.

· DIY Trail Mix

· Fall cottage cheese salad

· Baked Pumpkin Fritters

· Apple, Spinach and Arugula Salad

· Avocado Tuna Salad Sandwich

The smell of fall is in the air – get out there and soak it up!