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

Last Updated on April 13, 2021

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Winston-Salem is home to beautiful museums, delicious restaurants, and historic buildings at Old Salem. 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 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!

Outdoor Activities in Winston-Salem

Salem Lake

Salem Lake outdoor things to do in Winston Salem

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 

Reynolda Outdoor Attractions in Winston Salem
Along the path to Wake Forest University

There is nothing like walking through history at Winston-Salem’s Reynolda House. The free and accessible gardens at Reynolda is one of the most perfect outdoor activities 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

Bailey Park Outdoor Attractions in Winston Salem

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 

Christmas Lights in North Carolina 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. 

Downtown Arts District

DADA Outdoor Attractions 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

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

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

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 

Hanging Rock Outdoor Attractions in Winston Salem

Over in Stokes County, Hanging Rock State Park is a short day trip from Winston-Salem and an excellent way to escape to nature. Hanging Rock State Park has several waterfalls and 20-plus miles of hiking trails, among the best in North Carolina.

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

Pilot Mountain 

Pilot Mountain Outdoor Attractions in Winston Salem

Of course, we couldn’t mention outdoor activities in Winston-Salem’s surroundings without including Pilot Mountain. It’s 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.

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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