Hiking Challenge

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What is the TLC Hiking Challenge?

Explore new places, challenge yourself, and win fun prizes by participating in TLC’s Hiking Challenge. Anyone can enroll in the Hiking Challenge, regardless of if you are a current TLC member. It consists of completing six hikes at our six public TLC Preserves, with the option of replacing one hike with any outdoor TLC event. You have one year from the date you enroll to conquer the challenge – finish 3 hikes and receive the badge pictured here; complete all 6 requirements to be listed on our Hiking Challenge Wall of Fame and win more prizes! Participants who are nonmembers when they finish the Challenge will receive a year’s TLC membership while current members will get a TLC prize pack, including goodies like a TLC water bottle, TLC canvas bag, and a $25 gift card to the Great Outdoor Provision Company!

Share photos of your Hiking Challenge on social media – use the hashtag #hikeTLC on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Hiking Challenge Rules:

  1. Before beginning, please read the rules and hiking challenge safety guidelines.
  2. Anyone can participate in the Challenge; prizes will be awarded based on membership status at time of Challenge completion.
  3. Participants may either complete hikes at each of the 6 TLC preserves or replace one hike with a TLC outdoor event at any preserve. Hikes completed as a part of TLC events can be logged as hikes for the Challenge. These 6 preserves include our newest preserve, Brumley Forest Nature Preserve.
  4. You must complete the Challenge within one year of the date of enrollment. Hikes must be logged within one week of completion.
  5. Hikes may be completed alone or with a group.
  6. Hikes must be logged on the TLC Hiking Challenge website. When logging your hike, you have the option to either write a sentence describing your hike or to post a photo of yourself on your hike on social media, or email the photos to americorps@triangleland.org. For social media submissions, use the hashtag #hikeTLC and mention us at @TriangleLandConservancy.


Public TLC Nature Preserves:

Brumley Forest Nature Preserve

Flower Hill Nature Preserve

Horton Grove Nature Preserve

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve

Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve

White Pines Nature Preserve

You can share your hikes and photos using the interactive Hiking Project app. Search for a TLC nature preserve on Hiking Project to get detailed information about the preserve and its trails, including trail length, elevation, and photos.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I do the TLC Hiking Challenge? It’s a fun way to challenge yourself, explore the Triangle, and win fun prizes! Everyone who completes 3 hikes will receive a one-of-a-kind TLC badge and those who complete the Challenge will receive either a TLC membership or a TLC prize pack based on current membership status.

Do I need to be a TLC member to participate? Nope. The Challenge is open to everyone, regardless of membership status. We want anyone to be able to get outside and enjoy our preserves! Complete the challenge and you’ll get to experience the benefits of membership for the next year, including discounts and special access to events. However, if you do become a member before completing the challenge you will receive the Hiking Challenge prize pack when you finish!

Is there a time limit? From the date you enroll in the Challenge, you have one year to complete it.

When can I start counting my hikes toward the challenge? Hikes must be logged on our website within one week of completion to count toward the Challenge.

Can I bring my dog? Yes! Dogs are allowed on all of TLC’s public nature preserves. We ask that while visiting TLC’s public nature preserves you keep pets on their leash and clean up after them.

Can kids and families participate? Yes! The TLC Hiking Challenge is for people of all ages. We encourage you to complete the hikes with family or friends. Just remember that each person participating in the Challenge should register themselves on our website and log their hikes. Parents may register and complete the hike-log for their children.

Can I hike and go to an event at the same TLC preserve and count it towards two of my six Challenge requirements? Yes! If you choose, you may replace going to one of the six TLC nature preserves with attending any TLC-hosted outdoor event. This means that, for example, you may log Horton Grove Nature Preserve twice — once for a self-directed hike and again after attending a TLC event there.

If I have additional questions, who should I contact about the hiking Challenge?  Please contact our outreach coordinator Margaret Sands, at msands@triangleland.org or at 919-908-0056.

The TLC Hiking Challenge Hall of Fame

Joan Curry, Finished 5/8/2015 — “Great hike; Horton Grove has beautiful trails. [We] enjoyed seeing new growth coming in where the recent prescribed burn was done. P.S. The observation platform in the prairie is an excellent place for a picnic lunch!”

Pam Timmons, Finished 5/9/2015  — “My favorite part of this hike was the high ridge on the Old Field Bluff Trail [at Johnston Mill], overlooking Old Field Creek. The tender spring green of new leaves added a welcome touch to the expansive winter view of the bluff without obliterating it. Very beautiful. Spring migrants were singing and flowers were still in abundance.”

Jack Blackmer, Finished 10/14/2015 — “I wanted to enjoy the Catawba Rhododendrons again after not seeing them for a few years. I knew I was a bit on the late side but many were still in bloom. Flower Hill is a very special place and it is truly amazing that the Catawbas and Galax are growing here so far from their natural habitat!”

Bruce Hathaway, Finished 4/22/2016 — “Beautiful setting, well maintained trail, many wild flowers starting to bloom. Would highly recommend [Horton Grove]!”

Pam Hathaway, Finished 4/22/2016 — “The bench at the convergence of the Rocky and Deep Rivers is a great place to eat lunch. Would highly recommend this hike [at White Pines Nature Preserve].”

Virginia Stell, Finished 5/3/2016 — “I made the trip out to Flower Hill to see the rhododendrons and to complete the Hiking Challenge. It was a short, easy (except for one steep part) hike. The rhododendrons were in full bloom and I also got to see a large black snake lounging right in the middle of the trail.”

Josiah Knight, Finished 11/7/2016 — “This was a very nice surprise, a cool walk among tall trees down by the creek and up on the bluff. We saw good sized black oaks, white oaks and poplars, but the stars are the old beeches, some of them 4 feet in diameter. I’m glad to see [Swift Creek Bluffs] preserved.”

Christina Cesarz, 5/7/2017 — “I went to a Piedmont Picnic Project event at Walnut Hill, and I absolutely loved the excursion. I’ve never foraged before, and I’m excited to identify plants on my next hike. The picnic at the end was unbelievable! I want the recipes to the cheese and the cake. Not to mention that the tea was phenomenal, too!…So glad TLC’s Wild Ideas led me to this experience.”

Marguerite Cox, Finished 5/21/2017 — “I hiked [Swift Creek Bluffs] by myself and it was a nice way to start the weekend after a stressful week. I really liked the Stairway to Heaven –it was challenging and offered a nice view of the creek. It was still a bit too cold for reptiles and there wasn’t a lot of green flora except the ferns and moss. Definitely recommended!”






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