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10 Great Outdoor Activities in Winston-Salem to Keep You Moving!

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on May 29, 2024.

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Winston-Salem is home to beautiful museums, delicious restaurants, and the historic town of Old Salem Museums. But in addition to these well-frequented things to do are also some truly wonderful outdoor activities in Winston-Salem!

That’s what we’re going to share in this guide to North Carolina‘s Camel City.

From biking around Salem Lake trails to teeing off at Tanglewood Park, get ready to explore all the outdoors in Winston-Salem (and its surroundings) with this guide!

This post is part of our series on all the awesome places to visit in Central North Carolina, including Winston-Salem. A few of these attractions are featured in our guide covering things to do in North Carolina, too!

Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Winston-Salem area and are wondering, “What are the best outdoor activities near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!

Outdoor Activities in Winston-Salem

Salem Lake

Address: 815 Salem Lake Rd, Winston-Salem, NC

Salem Lake pier on a calm fall afternoon, when the trees are just beginning to change color

Salem Lake is the first and most ultimate of outdoor activities in Winston-Salem? This 365-acre lake and park with scenic views will make you forget you’re still in the city.

The trail runs nearly 7 miles and is a mix of dirt, sand, and gravel. Start at the fishing station on the west end of the lake and walk, bike, or run all the way to Peters Creek Parkway. 

Reynolda Gardens 

Address: 100 Reynolda Vlg Wy, Winston-Salem, NC

A manmade waterfall along the path to Wake Forest University
Along the path to Wake Forest University

There is nothing like walking through the living history at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. It’s not only one of the best outdoor activities in Winston-Salem, but the gardens at Reynolda are also one of the best free things to do in Winston-Salem.

No matter the season, there is always something blooming in the gardens, and there’s also a wonderful walking path from Reynolda to Wake Forest University.

Bailey Park

Address: 445 Patterson Ave, Winston-Salem, NC

The bailey park amphitheater green space in front of the cityscape.

In the middle of downtown Winston-Salem sits 1.6 acres of public green space known as Bailey Park. With restaurants, breweries, and offices surrounding Bailey Park, the park’s space is used in a variety of ways, from a quiet outdoor lunch spot to a place where families can play outdoor games.

The natural amphitheater makes for great public events including concerts, outdoor movies, yoga classes.

Tanglewood Park 

Address: 4061 Clemmons Rd, Clemmons, NC

A train with Chrismas lights during the Festival of lights in Tanglewood.
Festival of Lights

Fishing, pedal boats, and trails–Tanglewood Park has it all! The newly renovated Championship Course at Tanglewood is perfect for teeing off while the Manor House Bed and Breakfast makes for an excellent wedding venue. 

The Tanglewood Festival of Lights is also a wonderful Christmas tradition that draws visitors from all across the state! The drive-thru Christmas Light display follows a 1.5-mile route and features over a million twinkling lights. 

Read More: Christmas in North Carolina (the Best Holiday Events)

Downtown Arts District

Address: 564 Trade St NW, Winston-Salem, NC

Art installation of red pillars in the Downtown Arts District in Winston-Salem

You can spend hours walking Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District (DADA), located between 4th and 8th streets on N Trade and Liberty streets. Full of public art, these four blocks of town are filled with murals, art installations, and artist studios.

DADA has an excellent walking tour map available for you to plan your next trip!

Quarry Park

Address: 1790 Quarry Rd, Winston-Salem, NC

I came across Quarry Park by accident while looking for skyline views of Winston-Salem. The overlook pier is the park’s highlight, extending over the water of the quarry for stunning views of the dark and deep water.

Operating as Piedmont Quarry from the 1920s to 1970s, the park has brand new facilities and a short walking trail. Along the trail are rocks from different quarries across the state accompanied with interesting geological facts about them!

You can also access the park from the Waughtown Connector Greenway

Triad ECO Adventures

Address: 176 Ywca Way, Winston-Salem, NC

Want an #instaworthy way of experiencing Winston-Salem? Triad ECO Adventures offers Segway, SUP, e-BIKE, and Trolley Sightseeing tours around Camel City.

Your guide will provide you with the city’s history, loads of fun, and a memorable experience! 

Outdoor Activities in Winston-Salem’s Surroundings

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden

Address: 215 S Main St, Kernersville, NC

Mostly known for its display of 20,000 tulips in spring, the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden is an excellent way to soak up nature in the Winston-Salem area! It’s only a 15-minute drive from downtown Winston-Salem, located in Kernersville, and definitely worth checking out.

With 15 different gardens to explore, including Moravian Quilt-style raised beds, walking these gardens is a peaceful and unique experience. 

We’ve included the PJC among the most beautiful botanical gardens in North Carolina! It’s also a big part of why we included Winston-Salem among the best spring break destinations in North Carolina.

Hanging Rock State Park

Address: 1790 Hanging Rock Park Rd, Danbury, NC

Viewpoint over Stokes County at Hanging Rock State Park.

Over in Stokes County, Hanging Rock State Park is a short day trip from Winston-Salem and an excellent way to escape to nature and find a few of the best hikes near Winston-Salem.

It’s one of our favorite state parks in Winston Salem, NC, thanks to several waterfalls (including Lower Cascades Falls) and 20-plus miles of trails or hiking in Winston-Salem, among the best in North Carolina.

Our personal favorites are Moore’s Wall Trail and the Hanging Rock Trail, but there are many more! 

Read More: 20+ Kid-Friendly Waterfalls In NC (Easy Hikes And Swimming Holes!)

Pilot Mountain State Park

Address: 1721 Pilot Knob Park Rd, Pinnacle, NC

The imposing Pilot Mountain Rock near Winston Salem

Of course, we couldn’t mention outdoor activities in Winston-Salem’s surroundings without including Pilot Mountain. It’s one of the closest Winston-Salem parks, just 20 miles northwest of the city, and a unique North Carolina feature worth exploring.

Visitors can drive up to the summit to get an up-close view of this iconic geological landmark. Hiking trails crisscross around the mountain, Little Pinnacle, and along the Yadkin River. Rock climbing is also very popular here!

Another cool view of Pilot Mountain is at an overlook off US-52, heading north from Winston-Salem.

If you’re interested in some Yadkin Valley Wineries, make sure to visit Divine Llama Winery on your way home!

Read More: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)

Which of These Outdoor Activities in Winston-Salem is First on Your List?

We hope you enjoy exploring these outdoor activities in Winston-Salem. If you were to choose, which would be on top of your list?

Also, if you’re familiar with this part of Central North Carolina, we’d love to know your favorites! Let us know here in the comments or share in our Facebook Group.

More Things to Do in Winston-Salem

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