A photo gallery of places of note along the town of Chapel Hill’s Morgan Creek Greenway.
To access the greenway by car, you need to approach from the Eastbound lanes of NC54 from Smith Level Road. Just after you pass the Kingswood Apartments, be on the lookout for this sign. You can access a parking lot from here!
On nice days and weekends, the lot can get full. This is a testament on demand and need for greenways throughout town. We understand the town does have plans to extend this lot in the future, perhaps with the extension of the greenway west.
Once you are at the start of the trail, you will notice this ‘bridge to nowhere’ This will be where the western extension of the greenway will continue, all the way to Smith Level Road. This will be awesome!
Beginning of the greenway from the western end (parking lot)
As it winds along the easement along Morgan Creek, the trail is very flat. This makes it great for little ones learning to ride balance bikes and families riding together. It’s also great for wheelchairs and others with mobility challenges
There is also an unpaved, parallel path that follows the power line easement. It is easy to see why a paved trail is better for most as when it’s been wet, this path gets muddy and slippery.
The town has a policy of leaving downed trees and brush in the natural areas along the trails and park. This allows shelter and habitat for wildlife who thrive in the Morgan Creek area. It slowly rots into the ground, providing nourishment for the natural plants that live here
About midway, you will encounter the junction with the Fan Branch Trail, which is covered in a different article. From this junction you can head all the way into Southern Village and also Dogwood acres. It is the primary access to Morgan Creek for people who live in those two areas.
The Fan Branch bridge at the junction. You can get a good view over Morgan Creek here. It is also a popular fishing spot for local kids
As you continue to head East, you come to this boardwalk section. Because of the topology and constraints, there was no other choice but to use a boardwalk. However, as the rotting planks indicate, these should be used only when necessary. These planks have been replaced twice, and the town is currently arranging to repair this section again.
Once past the boardwalk, the trail descends below 15-501 /S. Columbia Street. This is a great way to avoid all the traffic above, and these underpasses on Chapel Hills Greenways are why , once more sections are completed, we will have a great, car free bike paths to move across town safely.
Along the Morgan Creek , as well as the Fan Branch trails, there are these nice natural looking benches than server as a spot to monetarily rest, along the way
The trail ends at Merritt’s Pasture. This small park is a gem in Chapel Hill. While it’s hard to access, the .8 mile walk from the West end of the Morgan Creek Trail is worth it. This park is a beautiful park to walk at any time of day, and is a popular spot for birders.
There is also a nice loop trail around Merritt’s if you are inclined for more. The far end winds through some woods and the park is often full of frolicking deer. If you bring your dog, please keep it on a leash