River Wander: Saxapahaw & Haw River

Okay, so I know that wander literally means to “walk or move in a leisurely, casual, or aimless way” but I really don’t like the walking part.

Hiking is just not my thing. Growing up in the mountains of Colorado I hiked a lot. Loaded down with a pack and hiking boots, I’ve done day trips and week-long backpacking explorations. It is great to get away from civilization for a bit, but it’s the walk back that’s killer.

IMG_1983Wanting to give nature a second go, I planned an afternoon hike along the Haw River in Saxapahaw, NC. I know I like water so the river expedition would be fun, and walking at near sea-level has to be easier than hiking in the Rocky Mountains…right?

Saxapahaw has newer developments along the Haw River where they are converting an old rivermill into a cute community of housing and small businesses. They host Saturday afternoon farmers markets and a music series during the summer. This up and coming community is well worth the wander.

IMG_1992There is also an extensive network of land and paddle trails in the area. Conserved by the Haw River Trail Partnership, there are varying levels for every fitness level.

We wandered on the 3/4 of a mile River Loop that took off right beside the Saxapahaw Rivermill building. This level trail winds alongside the river before bending back through the woods to loop to it’s trail head. We just walked out the bend and back.

IMG_1986We got to amble over a tiny log bridge, see some turtles (super excited about seeing turtles in the wild for the first time) and came up on a gentleman and his dog camping by the river (which was a bit weird).

So, am I a converted hiker? Will you see lots of hiking wanders on this blog?

No. Sorry, I still don’t totally “get” hiking. I do love to do all other sorts of wandering, but walking to a destination is just not my forte. I had fun strolling and chatting with my family, but I’ll keep my cute hiking sneakers for beating the path to good food, culture, shopping and beach adventures.

Distance from Raleigh: 53 miles, round about an hour – Get the Route

Wander Well Tips:

  • Bring your hiking shoes – if you are into that sort of thing
  • Neat place to live if you want rural and upscale lofts
  • Check out the Saturday afternoon farmer’s market and music series in the summer


About Dawn A Crawford

Communications and Social Media Lover - I am a weaver of words and communities. I live life loudly and without regret. I garden to make the world a more beautiful place. I've achieved my dream to live near the ocean. I enjoy every day as if it was my last.
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