Where Are The Best Winston-Salem Greenways?

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Greenway bridge in Winston-Salem, NC.
Image credit: Dan and Ruth Photography, Shutterstock

Greenways are ribbons of lush, natural, open space filled with trees and plant life winding around and through an urban area. Sometimes called linear parks, they follow a natural corridor formed by a stream or forest or are created using old roads or abandoned railroad tracks. Greenways can connect to each other, as well as parks, destinations, historical locations, business areas, and more. They are an alternative means of transportation for pedestrians and bike riders, providing activities for healthier lifestyles. They also offer environmental benefits, like protecting large areas of plants that create oxygen and filter pollutants from the air. In addition to these benefits, greenways stimulate the economy, attract new businesses and residents, and raise property values in the area.

Winston-Salem is fortunate to have over 25 miles of greenways throughout the city. The trails consist of paved and unpaved areas, boardwalks, and bridges, and many connect to each other. You can walk or bike on the trails. Bike share stations are at Salem Lake Park and the Salem Creek and Muddy Creek Greenways. Dogs are permitted on the trails but must be on leash. Motor vehicles are not allowed, except for electric bikes and Segways. See our list below, get to know the greenways available, and take advantage of walking or riding along these peaceful natural paths. To see maps of the routes, go to the City of Winston-Salem Greenways.

A New Greenway Coming To Winston-Salem

Governor Roy Cooper and US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined Mayor Allen Joines and the City Council in breaking ground for a new greenway on July 2, 2024, in Winston-Salem. The Salem Parkway path, a 1.3-mile bike and pedestrian urban trail, will link Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist to Truist Field and surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. When completed, it will run parallel to Salem Parkway, connecting Lockland Street and Liberty Avenue.

Bethabara Greenway

  • Length – 2.7 miles
  • Trail Surface – 8 feet of paved, gravel, single track dirt and sand, wood chips, boardwalk
    • There are steep stairs and rugged areas that are not accessible to bikes or strollers

The Bethabara Greenway runs along Mill and Minorcas creeks, from Reynolda Commons Shopping Center through Historic Bethabara Park. It travels through the wetlands and forest of a 183-acre wildlife preserve home to 126 bird species. The trail starts on Reynolda Road and ends on Hayes Forest Drive. But you can park and access the trail at Historic Bethabara Park Visitors Center, 2147 Bethabara Road.

Bowen Branch Greenway

  • Length – 0.3 miles
  • Trail Surface – 12 foot paved trail

Bowen Branch Greenway begins at Bowen Blvd/Hansel B Thomas Park on Bowen Blvd. The tree-lined greenway runs along Bushy Fork Creek to New Walkertown Road, which connects it through a sidewalk with the Newell-Massey Greenway. It also connects to Ashley Middle School, Winston Lake Aquatic Center, and Twin City Little League Complex.

Brushy Fork Greenway

  • Length – 0.55 miles
  • Trail Surface – 12 foot paved trail

Brushy Fork Greenway begins at Brushy Fork Park, 1860 E 1st Street. It is a lush forest area that runs along Brushy Fork Creek from Old Greensboro Road to Lowery Street on the other side of Business 40. On the Brushy Park end, it connects to the Newell-Massey Greenway and will eventually connect to the Salem Creek Greenway on the Lowery Street end.

Gateway Commons Greenway

  • Length – 0.8 mile loop
  • Trail Surface – 8 foot paved trail

Gateway Commons Greenway is a loop through Gateway Commons Park, which features a great play area with two different playground sets and climbing structures. The loop begins and ends at Northwest Blvd and travels down Oak Street to S Glenn Avenue and back up along Wilson Terr. Connections can be made at Glenn Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

Little Creek Greenway

  • Length – 0.77 miles
  • Trail Surface – 10 foot paved trail

Little Creek Greenway runs along Little Creek from The Shoppes on Little Creek shopping center, where you can park and gain access through the Little Creek Park and Recreation Center, which has a play area, restrooms, water fountains, mister, and a splash pad, to a dead-end near Atwood Road. You can also access the trail at Aztec Court and Little Creek Neighborhood Center, 610 Foxcroft Drive, where you can park.

Long Branch Trail

  • Length – 1.6 miles
  • Trail Surface – 10 foot paved trail

Long Branch Trail is the newest greenway in Winston-Salem and reaches the most downtown places. The north-south path runs from Martin Luther King Drive through Innovation Quarter and Bailey Park, under Business 40, and connects to Salem Creek Greenway, where you can head east to the Salem Lake Loop or west to The Strollway. Connections include Center For Design Innovation, Fifth Street, Fourth Street, Third Street, and Stadium Street.

Muddy Creek Greenway

  • Length – 2.9 miles
  • Trail Surface – 10 foot paved trail

Muddy Creek Greenway is a beautiful path through meadows and forest following the Muddy Creek. Its endpoints are at the intersection of Jefferson School Lane and Robinhood Road, and off Meadowlark Drive, near Meadowlark Middle and Elementary Schools, 301 Meadowlark Drive. There are parking areas and trail access at both those points. The greenway connects Country Club Road and Jamison Park, goes under Robinhood Road, and goes through five neighborhoods. The trail is popular for biking, walking, and running. There are many birds to see along the path and on the creek bank, as well as a dog park and playground at Jamison Park.

Newell-Massey Greenway

  • Length – 1.2 miles
  • Trail Surface – 12 foot paved trail

Newell-Massey Greenway runs along Brushy Fork Creek from Waterworks Road to Old Greensboro Road. It is a pleasant wooded trail with some shade and runs alongside a cemetery. It connects to the Bowen Branch Greenway (through a sidewalk connector) on one end and the Brushy Fork Greenway on the other. When the greenways are combined, they are great for long walks or biking through quiet tree-lined spaces. Newell-Massey connects New Walkertown Road, Skyland Park, Twin City Little League Fields, and Winston Lake Aquatic Center.

Peachtree Greenway

  • Length – 0.6 miles
  • Trail Surface – 10 foot paved trail

Peachtree Greenway is a short trail connecting Salem Creek Greenway to the Waughtown Connector/Quarry Park. It runs from Salem Greenway along a shaded path to Peachtree Street, which you cross, turn right, travel down the sidewalk to a sign that says Quarry Park, and then continue on Peachtree Greenway to the trail for the Waughtown Connector on your left. The closest parking for the Peachtree Greenway is at Quarry Park, which is accessed using the Waughtown Connector.

Salem Creek Greenway

  • Length – 5.2 miles
  • Trail Surface – 8 foot paved trail

Salem Creek Greenway is on the city’s southwest side and is a lush trail that follows Salem Creek from Market Place Mall on Peters Parkway, through Washington Park, under Broad Street, across Main Street, through Happy Hills and Reynolds Parks, to Salem Lake Park. It is a relatively flat path with a couple of slight inclines and plenty of green areas to stop, sit, relax, and picnic. There are numerous places to hop off and on the greenway along the route, including Old Salem (via The Strollway), Washington Park playground and dog park, MLK Jr Drive, Gateway YMCA, and Salem College. There is parking on both ends of the trail. However, a reviewer stated that the Market Place Mall has put up signs saying parking is for shoppers only, so parking at Washington Park, 1490 S Broad Street, is a better option. There are bus stops at Market Place Mall and Central Park, the intersection of S Main Street and E Salem Avenue. Central Park, Reynolds Park, 2450 Reynolds Park Road, and Salem Lake Park also have parking and access. Salem Creek Greenway connects to four other greenways: Long Branch Trail, Peachtree Greenway, Salem Lake Trail, and The Strollway, which leads into the city of Winston-Salem.

Salem Lake Trail

  • Length – 7 miles
  • Trail Surface – 8 feet, some paved, mostly dirt path

Salem Lake Trail, at Salem Lake Park, 815 Salem Lake Road, is a peaceful nature walk along a shaded path between the sparkling lake and the calm, cool woods. The scenic paved and packed dirt trail loops around the lake, providing a great place to walk, run, or bike. There is a Bikeshare Station there if you don’t own a bike. There are benches and water stations along the trail, and a restroom at the park and approximately halfway through the loop. Mile markers help track your progress, and you will likely see some deer, turtles, herons, or other wildlife along the way. Parking is available within the gates near the marina, but be aware the gates lock at 7:30pm. Park outside the gate if you are unsure if you will return on time. There is parking by the playground at Salem Park and at the Linville Road parking area, 226 Linville Road, on the east side of the lake. Salem Lake Trail connects to the Salem Creek Greenway near the marina.

Silas Creek Greenway

  • Length – 0.8 miles
  • Trail Surface – 8 foot paved trail

Silas Creek Greenway is a nice, easy, shaded walk through a wooded area that runs along Silas Creek from Shaffner Park to Robinhood Road. Users take the trail out and back, parking at Shaffner Park, where there is a restroom and playground. The greenway connects Burkeshore Road, Silas Creek Parkway, and Sherwood Forest Elementary School. The path is shaded with many wildflowers, trees, birds singing, and creek views. One reviewer saw hummingbirds; a couple mentioned traffic noise from Silas Creek Parkway.

The Strollway

  • Length – 1.2 miles
  • Trail Surface – 8 foot paved and pea gravel trail

The Downtown Strollway runs from 4th Street by Merschel Park, 122 W 4th Street, a short walk to the New Kaleideum at 120 W 3rd Street on the corner of Town Run Lane. The Strollway travels through several downtown blocks. It uses a sidewalk connector along Town Run Lane NW until you cross 2nd Street. Then, a partially closed one-way road past Corpening Plaza and across First Street before becoming an off-road path. The pedestrian bridge over Salem Parkway is part of the Strollway. After that, you find more green open spaces and neighborhoods for about a mile. You will pass Old Salem and may cross the Old Salem Bridge into the historic district. The Strollway continues to follow W Salem Avenue, then onto a path that connects to the Salem Creek Greenway over a pedestrian bridge. For parking, the central business district trailhead is between Cherry and Trade Streets. You can use the public parking garage on Cherry between 4th and 5th Streets or park at the Old Salem Visitor Center, 900 Old Salem Road.

Waughtown Connector

  • Length – 1.61 miles
  • Trail Surface – 10 foot paved and crushed stone trail

The Waughtown Connector runs from the Peachtree Greenway through Quarry Park to Marble and Waughtown Street. It begins with an uphill climb on a paved trail through woods and greenery from the Peachtree Greenway to the Quarry overlooks. When you reach the overlooks, benches and bike racks are available to rest and take in the views. There are restrooms at Quarry Park as well. As you pass through the Quarry, it is open grass, and the trail becomes stone and sand near the parking lots. It once again becomes a shaded, paved path as you exit the Quarry and a nice trail to Marple Street. Parking is available at the Quarry.

Parks In The City Offer More Green Space

There are many parks throughout Winston-Salem and the surrounding area, featuring hiking, fishing, picnicking, tennis courts, baseball/softball fields, playgrounds, pools, splash pads, and pickleball courts. You can also find kayaking, horseshoe pits and bocce courts, recreation centers, outdoor fitness equipment, and dog parks. There is so much outdoor recreation to enjoy. See our list of area parks for more information.

What outdoor activity do you enjoy? Tell us in the comments.

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