Last Updated on September 8, 2021
Last Updated on September 8, 2021
If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.
Winston-Salem is home to beautiful museums, delicious restaurants, and the historic town of 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
Our personal favorites are Moore’s Wall Trail and the Hanging Rock Trail, but there are many more!
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.