Rich Fork Preserve is the perfect spot for hiking and mountain biking in High Point, NC. It’s also a piece of land trapped in time. The world around it developed while it stayed still. You can imagine walking this land in the late 1800s, that is until you’ll hear a siren or construction work in the distance. But that’s the amazing part of this preserve: it’s 120 acres of peace just two minutes from High Point’s Main Street.
There are three trails in this preserve. Two trails are hiking only: Conner Trail Inner Loop and Conner Nature Trail. These pass by the structures of the old Hedgecock Farmstead.
The third trail, Rich Fork Multi-Use, can be used by both mountain bikers and hikers. It takes you on a winding tour of the beautiful natural features here like trickling streams, interesting boulders, and a hilly topography.
Conner Nature Trail (0.22 miles) is an out and back that slopes gently down to the sandy banks of the creek that eventually joins in with the Yadkin River. Deer, raccoon, and other tracks by the creek give you a sense that this place is special to humans and wildlife alike. Conner Trail Inner Loop (0.33 miles) takes you along the ridgeline that overlooks the sandy creek below. The trail shows you forests both young and old. It takes you past a particularly notable giant Oak tree that has been here much longer than you. Along these trails are homestead structures (13 in total) that still remain from the late 19th century.
If you’re not a mountain biker already, the Rich Fork Multi-Use Trail (2.33 miles) will make you consider becoming one. The popular trail is beautifully created and maintained thanks to Piedmont Fat Tire Society and Guilford County Parks and Recreation. This area is cut up by streams and has unique landforms with raised banks and ridges. With many tight turns and ups and downs, this trail is lots of fun to ride. Be sure to download a map of the trail or take a photo of the signage by the parking lot to figure your way around the trail.
Tommy Hedgecock (the great nephew of Junius Hedgecock who built the house on the property) and his horse Shadow attend the Piedmont Fat Tire Society Grand Opening of trails at Rich Fork Preserve. Tommy remarked, “It’s nice to see that others are also going to be able to enjoy the beauty of these woods on the new trails you worked hard to build.”
Thank you to Andrew Krech and Mark Gatehouse for many of the photos.