Young couple hiking a trail at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area

Visit Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area

Celebrate the arrival of summer by safely spending time outdoors. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or just like going on long walks, the Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area has something for you. Even better, it’s only a 25-minute drive away from Southern Village Apartments in Chapel Hill.


Just over two miles, the Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail takes you along a winding path through a majestic forest. The trail boasts a variety of flora native to North Carolina as well as scenic mountain views. For a shorter walk, try the Chestnut Oak Trail, a breezy 0.9-mile walk through the woods. You’ll see beautiful, delicate patches of witch hazel and mountain laurel along the way. 

Wildlife Watching

This natural area is home to a wide variety of animals and plants. In the early morning, you might catch sight of deer. Groundhogs and wild turkeys have also been spotted in the forest. Along the mountain slopes, you’ll find a unique species of rhododendron, purple fringeless orchids, and little red sarsaparilla. You may even spy a brown elfin butterfly, which has been traced to the Occoneechee Mountains since the Ice Age. As you hike along the area’s many trails, be sure to enjoy the surrounding wildlife.


The Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area also offers many scenic spots that are perfect for picnicking. You can find picnic tables on the lawn near the parking lot. They’re available on a first come, first-serve basis. Before you head out for your picnic, be sure to prepare a healthy meal with farm-fresh ingredients locally-sourced in Chapel Hill. Then, enjoy a wonderful picnic in the shade of Occoneechee Mountain’s tall oaks. 

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area is a great place for a summer day trip around Chapel Hill. For more information about our luxury apartments at Southern Village, contact us today.

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