A photo gallery of places of note along the town of Chapel Hill’s Bolin Creek Greenway. Established in 1997
This plaque commentates the dedication of the greenway in 1997
The playground at the Community Park at one end of the greenway
The eastern end of the trail starts here at the Chapel Hill Community Park
A little over a half of a mile out, there is a forest trail that heads uphill to coffee shop tucked away in the woods. Cafe Driade. It’s a challenging hike, about 200 yards, so be aware it’s not for everyone, but is a nice stop on the way or on the way back.
About a mile and a quarter out, you will come upon some brightly painted OWASA sewer pipes that have been painted by local artists.
Opened in 2020, this underpass tunnel allows greenway users to safely cross under Martin Luther King Blvd. It has a beautiful painting on it, is lit and connects the remainder of the new section. The town commissioned J Massullo to work with Chapel Hill High School students to paint the OWASA pipes near the Florifauns mural. The result was a collaborative creative experience.
Just beyond the tunnel is a bench made by local artists Mike Waller and Leah Foushee Waller that commentates the continuation of the greenway. Dedicated in 2018, prior to the tunnel section being fully completed. The bench and the statues were funded by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation.
The trail crosses Umstead Road, and offers another off path excursion if desired. Just across MLK is the Root Cellar and Lucha Tigre, as well as Flyleaf books. There is a crosswalk signal, permitting safe crossing of the road and definitely worth stopping for a snack or beverage.
At about the 2 mile point, the trail passes under Pritchard Ave Extension. This is another great trail access if you live near by. There are some stairs as well as a path for bikes that drops down to the greenway. There is also another beautifully painted tunnel by artist Daniel LeClair, who teamed up with high school students from the Boomerang and Volunteers for Youth Programs to create this vibrant and eye-catching mural.
A little farther, about 2 and a quarter miles from the community park, we have Umstead Park. Another town park, that offers a great way to access the greenway. Umstead Park also has another awesome playground for children and creek access for splashing and getting wet on hotter days.
If you continue on past Umstead Park, there is a beautiful new memorial bench, installed by the Parks and Recreation Department and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and created by artists Michael Waller and Leah Foushee Waller. Made possible through private donations, the artistic bench commemorates Eva Metzger’s contributions and advocacy for greenways and trails in Chapel Hill. There are also some connections into the Northside neighborhood and into downtown. This trail is a great recreational resource, and this extension, actually called the Tanyard Branch trail, is a practical connection for families in Northside and nearby to access Umstead park. Way-finding signs and unpaved trails head up off the greenway and are well marked.
As you near the end of the greenway, there is a cool bridge with silhouettes of typical greenway activities. Near the end is another sign and a split that leads up into Northside and another path that takes you to Jay Street , Village West condominiums and onward towards Carrboro.
John Rees lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. Other job is Chapel Hill Planning commissioner. He serves on the board of the Bicycle Alliance of Chapel Hill,...
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