COVID-19 Statement

At this time, the roads and trails within the Duke Forest Teaching and Research Laboratory, as well as the Al Buehler Cross Country Trail and the Sally Meyerhoff Fitness Loop, at Duke University are not closed. According to local and statewide stay-at-home orders, “outdoor activities” are still permitted, but individuals must comply with social distancing requirements. 

We hope these amenities can remain open if they are used in a safe and responsible manner as they provide a wonderful respite during this uncertain time. Please follow all public health recommendations and use your best judgement and common sense to keep you and others safe:

✦ Stay home if you are sick or may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus and the associated disease COVID-19.

✦ Maintain the CDC’s recommended 6-feet between you and others at all times, stepping off the road or trail as needed.

✦ Do not allow your leashed dog to approach other people. Do not touch other people’s pets.

✦ Do not touch surfaces, such as picnic tables, or use the equipment along the Fitness Loop.

Please note that all rules and regulations ( must still be followed, especially the leashing of dogs and removal of all pet waste (including poop bags) from the Forest.

Please visit to learn more about Duke’s response to this global pandemic.

The Duke Forest is private land owned and managed by Duke University as an outdoor laboratory.  Limited public recreation is permitted in the Duke Forest as long as it does not conflict with teaching and research projects and provided that regulations and safety instructions are followed.  Use of the Duke Forest is at your own risk. Group activities must be approved in advance (click here to submit a group use request).

Please note the following:

  • Conditions along roads and trails cannot be guaranteed.
  • Parking is not allowed in front of forest gates.
  • Parking is often only available in road right-of-ways, which are not maintained by or under the authority of the Office of the Duke Forest.


Approved activities

Please click the images below to read about each activity.

Hiking and Running

Running and Hiking

Nature Study

Nature Study

Picnics and Receptions

Picnics and Receptions



On Graveled Roads Only

Horseback Riding

horseback riding

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking


Detailed maps showing all forest roads, foot trail, creeks, and topographic contours may be purchased from the Office of the Duke Forest.  To purchase recreation maps, please visit our map purchasing page, contact the Office at 919-613-8013, or send a check with your name and mailing address made out to Duke University for $8.00 to Box 90332, Duke Forest, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708.

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