Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

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Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve
Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area
North Carolina State Park
Named for: Eastern Hemlock
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Wake
Municipality Cary
Elevation 413 ft (126 m) [1]
Coordinates 35°43′31″N 78°47′11″W / 35.72528°N 78.78639°W / 35.72528; -78.78639Coordinates: 35°43′31″N 78°47′11″W / 35.72528°N 78.78639°W / 35.72528; -78.78639[1]
Area 140 acres (56.7 ha)
 - State Natural Area 97 acres (39.3 ha) [2]
Established 1976 [3]
 - Opened 1992
Management Cary Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Owner State of North Carolina &
Town of Cary
IUCN category IV - Habitat/Species government Area
Location of Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in North Carolina
Website: Friends of Hemlock Bluffs

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is a joint project between the North Carolina state park system and the Town of Cary in Wake County, North Carolina in the United States. Located in Cary, it covers approximately 140-acre (0.57 km2) in the Research Triangle region of the state. The state owns 97-acre (0.39 km2) of the preserve, known as Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area.[2] The Town of Cary owns approximately 42-acre (0.17 km2) of the preserve, and the town leases the state's land for management. The preserve protects a population of Eastern Hemlock trees and other vegetation more typically found further west, in the Appalachian Mountains. The tall, north-facing bluffs of Swift Creek provide conditions similar enough to the mountains to have allowed the plant communities to have survived here since the last ice age.[4][5]

The Stevens Nature Center is a nature center located on Cary's portion of the preserve, which provides the preserve's core visitor facilities. It provides information about the natural history of the area and the plants and animals that live in the Nature Preserve.[6]

The preserve has approximately 3 miles of hiking trails.


  1. ^ a b "Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ a b "Size of the North Carolina State Parks System". North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. January 1, 2015. Archived from the original (XLS) on October 4, 2015. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  3. ^ "Directory of State Parks and Recreation Areas" (PDF). North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. May 1, 2010. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 22, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  4. ^ Biggs, Jr., Walter C.; Parnell, James F. (1993) [1989]. "State Natural Areas/Nature Preserve". State Parks of North Carolina (2nd ed.). Winston-Salem, North Carolina: John F. Blair. p. 285. ISBN 0-89587-071-1.
  5. ^ Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve Trail Guide (brochure), Cary, North Carolina: Cary Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
  6. ^ "Nature Center". Cary, North Carolina: Cary Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources. Archived from the original on May 5, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.

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