Stevens Nature Center At Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

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A visit to Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is sure to captivate and delight. Whether you are an avid birdwatcher or simply seeking solitude, Hemlock Bluffs offers a variety of outdoor opportunities.

Beginning Photo Collage

Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve is home to a unique community of Eastern Hemlock trees and other mountain plant species, access to approximately 3 miles of mulched nature trails, scenic overlooks, excellent bird and wildlife watching opportunities and areas for quiet nature reflection.

The Stevens Nature Center provides interactive, educational nature exhibits and historical exhibits from the Piedmont of North Carolina. The nature center also provides nature interpretation and environmental education programs for all ages throughout the year.

Prescribed Burn Season is January-April 2017


Wednesday, February 1, members from the Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve staff, the NC Forest Service, NC State Parks, and the Town of Cary Fire Department conducted the 2017 controlled burn at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. This is the fourth controlled burn conducted at Hemlock Bluffs. As a part of Hemlock Bluffs’ natural resource management plan, this burn is used to reduce the build-up of dead vegetation on the forest floors, which can serve as fuel for wildfires. Prescribed burns are also used to reduce competition, release seeds, and add vital nutrients for many plants and animals. These burns promote the growth of many plants, including wild blueberry and huckleberry, which produce fruits eaten by birds and other wildlife.

As part of its long-term fire management plan for Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, between January and end-April 2017 the Town of Cary will perform its annual prescribed burn at the Preserve. Weather permitting, the North Carolina Forest Service or North Carolina State Parks will implement and supervise the burn. Town staff will provide logistical assistance and a Town fire truck will be on site during the burn.

Because of stringent weather condition requirements for a prescribed burn, the burn notification window may be only hours. The burn itself will be over in minutes. Citizens who wish to receive more details on the timeframe of the burn can sign up to receive updates at

While certain sections of select trails will close for the day, the Preserve and Steven’s Nature Center will remain open and visitors are encouraged to enjoy as usual; trails will be well-signed and natural resource managers and preserve staff will patrol as needed.  

Wildfires are a common threat to structures in many areas of North Carolina, especially during drought and times of high winds, and prescribed burns are a proven and safe way to clear dead vegetation and flammable underbrush that can serve as fuel for wildfires.

Prescribed Burn Fact Sheet
Prescribed Burn at Hemlock Bluffs (Video)

Stevens Nature Center at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

2616 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27518
Phone: 919-387-5980

Program Offerings

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Nature Programs And

 Junior and Senior Explorer
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At The Bluffs

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