Also see the Volunteer page for volunteer opportunities.
UPCOMING EVENTS (free unless otherwise noted)
September 23, 2023 - Annual Membership Meeting
Friends of Lower Haw will hold its Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, September 23rd from 3:00 to 4:15 pm at the Bynum Methodist Community Building (former Bynum Ruritan Club). Address is 28 Charlie Fields Rd, Pittsboro NC 27312. We will have elections, and our speaker will be Brian Baker of Alamance County. He was their first Haw River Trail Coordinator, then headed up their Parks Department before becoming Assistant County Manager. He will speak on Alamance's successful approach on developing land and paddle trails and the benefits of getting state trail status for the Haw River Trail. We will also have a thank-you drawing for volunteers - a paddle trip certificate donated by the Haw River Canoe and Kayak Company! After the meeting you are invited to hike down the Bynum footpath with naturalist Adam Prince.
April 1, 2023 - Birding by Ear Walk at 8:30 AM
Join Friends of Lower Haw board member Matt Spangler for a birding-by-ear walk around Bynum Mill and Bynum Bridge. We'll focus on experiencing and learning birdsong of year-round residents as well as migrants that are establishing territories along the Haw River. We'll also try out some apps that can help us identify birds by song. Feel free to bring binoculars to see the beautiful creatures we'll be hearing, but the morning will focus on the auditory experience. We will start at 8:30 AM. Plan to walk less than a mile, but wear sturdy shoes that can handle wet grass. For the best experience, download the free Merlin App by Cornell Lab of Ornithology prior to the walk. Register for Birding by Ear event using this link. For questions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 1, 2023 - First Day Outdoors Hike from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM
Hop off your cozy couch and join Friends of Lower Haw for a First Day Outdoors hike on Sunday January 1, 2023 from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM. We will be hiking a section of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area located off US 15-501 upstream of the Bynum Dam. This is a relatively easy loop hike of about 1 mile. Dress in layers for the weather and wear sturdy shoes. All ages are welcome. Pets are welcome but must be on leash at all times. Please note there are no restroom facilities at this location. This hike is free and open to the public with no registration required. Meet in the large parking lot on US 15-501 at the Haw River between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro. If headed south on US 15-501 from Chapel Hill, the parking lot is on the right before crossing the Haw River. If headed north on US 15-501 from Pittsboro, make a U-turn after crossing the Haw River then head south on US 15-501 and the parking lot will be a short distance on the right.
December 10, 2022 - ecoEXPLORE Family Outing from 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Families with children in grades K-8 are invited to hike the lower Haw and learn about ecoEXPLORE, a citizen science program for kids in grades K-8 developed by The North Carolina Arboretum. The program encourages kids to explore the natural world, record their observations with phones or tablets, and submit them to the ecoEXPLORE website to earn badges and great prizes. The Lower Haw River State Natural Area has been designated a HotSpot for the program. Our hike leader will give an overview of what it means to be a citizen scientist, explain how to participate in ecoEXPLORE, and then lead a short hike to practice making scientific observations.
September 24, 2022 - Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation
Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area held its Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation on Saturday afternoon, September 24th, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm in the Bynum Methodist Church Community Building (formerly the Bynum Ruritan Club). There was a brief business session with elections by our membership and an update on our activities and accomplishments. Guest speaker was Matt Spangler who gave an entertaining and informative presentation about the Secret Life of Animals captured by our wildlife cameras placed throughout the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. Matt's presentation is available here and on our Publications page.
May 21, 2022 - Birding with Ranger McMurray from 9:30 to 11:00 AM
Ready to see what’s hanging around the Haw River? Join Ranger McMurray on the historic Bynum Bridge for an hour or two exploring the areas around the bridge. We will try to locate what birds are in the area and discuss bird identification and songs. Anyone is welcome, from beginner to expert, from young to old. Dress for the weather, bring binoculars and anything else you may need. A spotting scope will be available for those birds that perch long enough! Meet on the historic pedestrian bridge in Bynum. Event is free and open to the public. No pre-registration required. Parking is available in the small parking lot next to the bridge and in the larger parking lot off Bynum Church Road, downhill from the bridge in the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. For further information contact Ranger McMurray at email@example.com. Find location at this link.
April 10, 2022 - Upland Explore Hike from 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Friends of Lower Haw invites you to say goodbye to winter's open forest views on our Upland Explore Hike along the lower Haw River. On this walk you can enjoy the last of the eastern vista across the Haw before the trees and their leaves block the view. This is a ramble in an area that is not heavily used along the river by US 64. The hike is somewhat strenuous due to an elevation change. A hiking pole/stick and sturdy shoes are suggested as well as water. No dogs please. The hike should take about 1.5 hours. There are no restroom facilities at this location. The hike will be limited to 16 participants. Pre-registration required by signing up at this link and more details will be provided. For questions about the hike or if you are having difficulties with our new online pre-registration form, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 20, 2022 - Spring Explore Hike
We are offering a free Spring Explore Hike on March 20th to members and donors and their families to show our appreciation for your support of Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area. This guided hike will be on the section of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area located above the Bynum Dam, known as the "Pegg tract". This 82-acre section contains a variety of habitats, from river bottomland to mixed hardwood and pine forest. This area is also home to a rare species of spring ephemeral wildflower known as Phacelia covillei or Eastern Buttercup Phacelia. Our hike will be led by Megan Lynch, who is on our Board of Directors and a former trails specialist and park superintendent with NC State Parks. The hike will be easy, mostly along level ground, but may have muddy spots and will include a creek crossing. Sturdy closed toe shoes are recommended. Bring water. There are no restroom facilities in this area. Dogs must be kept on leash at all times and bring your own baggies to pick up your pet's poop. Hike will last for about one hour. Please RSVP using this link to let us know you are coming. We are implementing a new online registration form so if you are having difficulties with the link to RSVP, please contact us at email@example.com. For questions about the hike, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 12, 2021 - Annual Membership Meeting
Due to concerns about the delta variant, our Board of Directors decided again this year to hold a scaled-down annual membership meeting. This year we did not have a guest speaker or special program, but held the Annual Membership meeting for elections and bylaws changes in conjunction with our regular Board of Directors meeting on Sunday, September 12th at 2:00 pm outdoors at Fearrington Village under the tent near The Belted Goat.
September 8, 2020 - Annual Membership Meeting
Due to COVID-19, our Board of Directors has decided to hold a scaled-down annual membership meeting. This year we will not have a guest speaker or special program, but we will still hold in-person elections of officers and at-large Board of Directors. We will hold the annual membership meeting for elections in conjunction with our regular Board of Directors meeting on September 8th at 6:30 pm at the Bynum General Store on 950 Bynum Road. Members are invited to attend for the elections and business meeting.
March 8, 2020 - Spring Ephemerals Walk from 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Spring Forward with us as we take a walk in search of lovely spring ephemerals with botanists Ken Moore and Kathy Buck. Ephemerals are the early wildflowers that emerge on the forest floor, grabbing their share of sunlight before the leaves come out on the trees. This will also be a good time to polish your tree identification skills. Group size limited to 12 so pre-registration is required by contacting email@example.com with "Spring Flowers" in the subject line.
March 14, 2020 - Haw River Stories at Bynum Storytelling from 6:30 to 9:30 pm CHANGED TO VIRTUAL SHOW ON FACEBOOK
Due to public concerns about COVID-19, Bynum Front Porch has changed this event to be a virtual show that will be live streamed on their Facebook page on March 14th beginning at 6:30 pm at this link:
March 28, 2020 - Spring Ag Fest from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm CANCELED
Visit the Spring Ag Fest website for more information.
February 7, 2020 - Not Quite Full Moon Hike - Canceled!
This hike has been canceled due to major flooding at the Haw River. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
February 16, 2020 - Family Nature Heart Adventure from 1:30 to 3:00 pm
Our family nature adventure will begin with a short scavenger hunt, searching for hearts that nature has created along the Haw River. These may be found in leaves, rocks, or lichens. After our hike we will create nature art in the shape of hearts, made from found materials in the woods. Enjoy a walk by the river and make a Valentine nature art project. No pre-registration needed. Meet in the Bynum Mill Area lower parking lot located off Bynum Church Road. Please drive slowly through the village of Bynum!
February 29, 2020 - Explorer Hike at 12:00 Noon
Leap into the New Year on a trail less traveled! Join Ryan Cadwalader, Board of Directors member with Friends of Lower Haw, on our inaugural Explorer Hike. This hike series will take participants off-trail to Lower Haw River State Natural Area locations rarely visited. Participants should be able to hike uphill on uneven terrain (hiking poles suggested), clamber over fallen trees or rocks in creeks, duck and dance through underbrush, and smile while doing it! If this sounds like an adventure you would enjoy, join us. In this hike we will be walking the area south of US 64 on river right, towards Roberson Creek. Hike distance will depend on the group's wishes, but may be up to 5 miles round trip. Please leave your four-legged adventure companions at home. No pre-registration needed. Meet at 12:00 Noon at the Haw River Canoe Access parking lot on 348 River Access Road next to US 64 on the Pittsboro side of the river.
November 2, 2019 - River Clean-up Event from 8:30 to 11:30 am (also listed on our Volunteer page)
Volunteers needed for our fall clean-up event along the Haw River. Sign up by contacting email@example.com with "Clean-up" in the subject line.
November 3, 2019 - Fungi Walk (rescheduled from October for those already pre-registered)
Explore the fascinating world of fungi with Dr. Van Cotter, fungi research scientist with Duke University. Our walk will take place somewhere within the Lower Haw River State Natural Area, depending on conditions. (This is not a foraging walk to collect edible mushrooms! No foraging is allowed on State Parks land. Please note State Park rules: The removal, destruction or injury of any tree, flower, artifact, fern, shrub, rock or other plant or mineral in any park is prohibited unless with an approved collection permit for scientific or educational purposes.)
November 10, 2019 - Going Nutz Family Hike from 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Join Board of Directors member Megan Lynch as we wander along the Haw River. All the animals and plants are preparing for fall/winter. What do they do? Can we notice their preparations? The program will begin with a story about Mr. Squirrel, the best prepared in the woods. All ages welcome! This is an easy hike. Meet in the lower parking lot of the Bynum Mill area off Bynum Church Road (downhill from the old Bynum Bridge). No need to pre-register.
November 17, 2019 - Animal Skins & Skulls from 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Learn about mammals of the Piedmont through skulls and pelts, and what bones reveal about animals. This is a hands-on family friendly presentation by Patricia Thomas-Laemont with Elon University. Event will be held at the Bynum Front Porch in the village of Bynum. Address is 950 Bynum Road, Pittsboro NC 27312. No need to pre-register.
October 5, 2019 from 9:00 to 11:00 am - Drawing by the River
Join artist Julie Uhler for a charcoal drawing session by the Haw River. This is a wonderful opportunity for nature lovers or anyone wanting to exercise their creative muscles. Designed for beginner artists and the artistically curious. All skill levels welcome. Julie will provide a 20 minute demo covering basic topics such as landscape composition, light effect and value, drawing basic shapes, and perspective. Then enjoy an hour of drawing with charcoal on paper, with the artist using a "follow along with me" approach to guide you along. All materials will be provided. A $5 donation payable to the artist at the event is requested to cover the cost of materials (drawing boards, paper, charcoal, stumps, erasers, and viewfinders). Space is limited to 12 and pre-registration is required by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with "Drawing" in the subject line.
October 20, 2019 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm - Fall Hike
Join Board of Directors members Megan Lynch and Ryan Cadwalader on a fall hike to explore the Pittsboro side of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area in the Hwy 64 area. Pre-registration is required by contacting email@example.com with "Fall" in the subject line.
October 26, 2019 from 10:00 to 4:00 pm - Pittsboro Street Fair
Friends of Lower Haw will have an exhibit booth at the Street Fair in downtown Pittsboro. Stop by to visit us! We'll have animal skulls and a geology display. Look for our booth on West Salisbury Street, between Postal Fish Company and the Kids Zone.
September 19, 2019 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm - Annual Membership Meeting
Join us on September 19th for our annual membership meeting, and help us celebrate our volunteers who contribute so much! We will have refreshments and hold raffles throughout the evening to add to the fun. There will be a special presentation on Eagles of the Haw and Jordan Lake by Ranger Steve McMurray and Doc Ellen. Skilled at spotting eagles, Ranger McMurray with Jordan Lake State Recreation Area regularly holds programs about eagles and other birds of prey. Doc Ellen, aka Dr. Margaret Ellen Tinsley, is a retired veterinarian and wildlife photographer who spends many hours photographing and videoing eagles at Jordan Lake. See her images at www.dreamingsongsphotos.com. Learn more about these majestic birds and see fabulous images of them around the river and lake.
June 15, 2019 at 8:00 pm - Lights in the Night
Join Friends of Lower Haw at our family friendly event at the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. Discover the small lights of fireflies (lightening bugs) as they come out. You will learn some facts about these beetles and catch some for closer inspection. After we release our friends we will walk over to the bridge to see the almost full moon rise to color the Haw with magical light. No pre-registration needed. All ages are welcome! Bring insect repellent, water, and a jar for firefly catching. Also bring a net to catch fireflies if you have one. Please note there are no restroom facilities at this location.
June 29, 2019 at 8:30 am - Whack Attack Invasive Species Workday
Friends of Lower Haw is planning invasive plant species workdays led by State Parks Piedmont Biologist Sean Gough. Our first workday is scheduled for Saturday morning, June 29th in the Bynum Mill section of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. We will meet at 8:30 am in the Bynum Mill Access parking lot off Bynum Church Road, and work until 11:30 am. Learn about invasive plant species and removal techniques. All tools will be provided. Bring work gloves, wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Bring insect repellent and water. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with "Invasives" in the subject line to sign up. Please note there are no restroom facilities at this location.