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Bolin Creek Greenway, Chapel Hill

North Carolina, NC, USA


Bolin Creek Greenway is lovely for a long walk. It is a wide paved path that is shady most of the time and follows a creek that is sometimes roaring with water! The path runs from Chapel Hill Community Center Park to Umstead Park (not to be confused with Umstead State Park in Raleigh) with a very steep extension called Tanyard Branch to the end of Cotton Street in downtown Chapel Hill, which borders UNC. One way, this walk is one hour or 3 miles, from Cotton Street to Community Center Park, or 2.2 miles from Umstead Park to Community Center Park.
On the Community Center Park end of the path, unfortunately, there are large sewer vents (big cylinders) that make for a bit of a smelly walk which is probably quite unhealthy. In summer the smell is unbearable. Also there are some odd people hanging around on this eastern end of the path- come with a friend. Some areas along the path here have beautiful overgrown tropical vegetation.
If you walk in May, make sure you stop at Community Center Park and check out the beautiful rose garden!
On rare windy days in Chapel Hill, Bolin Creek is your best choice for a walk because it's sheltered, and you only see the wind in the trees above you, but not blowing on you!
The Umstead Park end of the path is more serene and the river is quite pristine-looking. There is a pedestrian tunnel that is painted with desert-style artwork. It's cool! The next tunnel is covered in graffiti. To get to Umstead Park you drive through some incredibly lush forest- a real treat.

Photo Gallery

The greenway as it begins at Chapel Hill Community Park, with path underneath Franklin Street.

The creek!

Jungly vegetation.

Looking up at the trees.

Tall trees!

Bolin Creek.

A young couple takes a walk.

The path that leads to Bolin Creek Greenway, in Umstead Park.

Looking up at the trees, near Umstead Park.

Tunnel decorated with artwork.

Decorated tunnel- I love it!

Decorated tunnel, near Umstead Park.

Walking the greenway, near Umstead Park.

Greenest greenery.

The tranquil creek.

Owl sculpture and cool wall, on the Umstead Park end.

Moms and kids checking out the creek.

Friends going for a walk, on the Community Center Park end.

Evening at Bolin Creek.

Flowers along the greenway, in May.

Huge, lush vines along the greenway, in May.

Hurricane Florence high water mark, at the colorful tunnel on the trail, near Umstead Park.

Colorful tunnel on the trail near Umstead Park.

Decorated drain on the trail, near where it goes under MLK Jr. Blvd.

Where the trail goes under MLK Jr. Blvd.

Tortoise on the Tanyard Branch Trail, which connects Bolin Creek Trail with downtown Chapel Hill.

Decorations on the railing of the Tanyard Branch Trail.

Deer along the trail.

Baby tortoise along the trail.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Bolin Creek Trail or Greenway starts at Chapel Hill Community Center Park at 120 S Estes Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. It ends at Umstead Park at 399 Umstead Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27516. There are large parking lots and restrooms on both ends.
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