COVID-19 Precautions: In coordination with public health measures implemented by Duke University, masks are now required when passing others in the Duke Forest and when social distance (>6ft.) cannot be maintained. So, please carry a mask with you, and put it on when passing others.

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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