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The Mebane Scoop: Tennis Shoes and UV Rays: Exploring Cate’s Farm Park

April 17, 2023

As the temperatures keep rising and flowers begin blooming, there is no better way to enjoy the longer days than by being outside. Whether it’s the sun on your face or just inhaling fresh air, it creates a sense of bliss or utter euphoria. The endorphins released are so addictive I find me lacing up my tennis shoes any chance I can!

Since moving to the Mebane area, I have prioritized finding scenic nature trails or parks that get me out and about within the community. One highly cherished and talked about trail in the city is Cate’s Farm Park which officially opened on January 21, 2021. Located just five minutes from downtown, the trail is a popular destination for bird watchers, hikers, runners, and dog enthusiasts. Cate’s Farm Park used to be a former pickle farm before Unique Places LLC of Durham acquired the land and then sold the 54-acre property to the City of Mebane. Working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to conserve easements like Mill Creek, the City turned the property into a recreational attraction. Designed to be a moderate hike, the trail consists of 1.5 miles of wooded terrain.

To begin the trail, you pass the outdated pickle barn and head west towards the old cedar grove. The course is well maintained, with signs and markings every couple hundred feet to ensure you stay on the correct path. Unlike most trails in the Piedmont region, this one contains a few hills and a winding path that stimulates the brain and works on building and maintaining one’s cognitive skills. The elevation changes are not drastic enough to make this an advanced or challenging trail by any means, but rather the changes are subtle enough to require some cognitive thought process.

The Cate’s Farm Park trail is designed as a loop, meaning you circle back around and end where the trailhead starts. If you are someone who enjoys the shade and working up a sweat without being in direct sunlight, then this is the trail for you! Most of the trail runs through the forest, providing shade, scenic wildlife views, and access to Mill Creek. While you can see the creek, there is no access point or safe way for you or your furry four-legged friend to access the water. The city asks the public to stay on the trail and not wander into the woods to keep you and the biota safe.

Cate’s Farm Park is open from sunup to sundown and offers the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and soak up those UV rays. While many utilize the park, it is never too crowded, where people are on top of or in each other’s way. The park also offers a large open grass area for picnics, play dates, or animals to run around before reaching the start of the trail. Currently, construction is underway for the first inclusive, ADA-accessible playground in Mebane. The project is projected to be completed by Spring 2024 and will offer interconnecting bridges, a sky hammock, a slide, a wheelchair swing, and more. As summer approaches, make it a mission to boost your serotonin and overall health by getting outside and exploring the Cate’s Farm Park trail today!