Bailey and Sarah Williamson Preserve
Triangle Land Conservancy’s Newest Nature Preserve
Facts & Figures
Address: 4409 Mial Plantation Road, Raleigh, NC 27610
County: Wake and Johnston
Size: 405 acres
Hours: Open daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm
Phone: (919) 908-8809
Management: Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC)
- Mountain Biking
- Nature Exploration
Opened in late September 2020, the Bailey and Sarah Williamson Preserve is the Triangle Land Conservancy’s newest nature preserve in the Triangle area of North Carolina. With nine miles of hiking and mountain bike trails, the preserve is a prime place for exploring nature and wildlife. Situated on the border of Wake and Johnston Counties, the 405-acre preserve lies along the Neuse River and is accessible from the main parking lot off of Mial Plantation Road, as well as along the Neuse River Greenway. The preserve is managed by the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) “with a shared vision and commitment to open space by Wake County, the Land and Water Fund, Johnston County, the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program, individuals who supported TLC’s Our Water, Our Land campaign; and the Williamson family who donated more than 60% of the land’s value.”
I first found out about the preserve through a local Parks and Recreation Director before the preserve was opened to the public, when the trails were being developed. Although the ribbon cutting was initially scheduled for the spring of 2020, it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The preserve officially opened to the public in late September of 2020.
I had kept my eye on their website and Facebook page in anticipation of the opening, as my oldest son and I had recently gotten into mountain biking together in late summer of 2020. Once the preserve was open to the public, my son and I hit the trails with our mountain bikes the first week it was open one weeknight after dinner. We had just enough daylight during our first visit to ride a few miles of the looped trails towards the front of the preserve. We made a second trip later in October, riding almost five miles over several loops throughout the preserve. Although we’ve only ridden a few parks on our mountain bikes here in the Triangle, the trails at the Williamson Preserve are truly spectacular for mountain biking!
On the Sunday following Thanksgiving, my four children and I returned to the preserve for a Sunday morning family hike on the Twin Ponds Loop trail, which is only open for hiking. It was an absolutely beautiful hike that my children were easily able to do. The scenery varies, from old farmland to meadows to open fields to wooded forest. With mild temperatures in the upper 50’s, abundant sunshine and Carolina blue skies, it made for a gorgeous day for hiking!