Hiking trails here in Sanford are calling you out to enjoy gorgeous spring weather and beautiful scenery! May we suggest taking on the 10K Lager Jogger Trail? Perfect for hikers of all levels, this self-guided, hybrid of natural escape and urban adventure clocks in at 6.2 miles. Along the way, enjoy public art, natural scenery, and so much more!
Camelback Brewing Company
What’s better than a trailhead that involves beer? Camelback Brewing Company serves as both the start and the end of the 10K Lager Jogger, which means you have a choice to make. You can start off sampling the tasty craft beer offering at Camelback before hiking 6.2 miles of trail. Or you can accept that there are indeed miles to go before you drink and savor a cold one once the hike is done. There truly is no wrong answer here.
‘Off to War’ World War II
Stroll through the streets of downtown Sanford for 1.25 miles before making your first trail stop. The first public art piece on the trail, ‘Off to War’ depicts soldiers making their goodbyes to friends and family from a railroad platform. Created by muralist Chris Dalton, the mural honors the men and women of Sanford and Lee County who have and continue to serve and protect.
Herb Thomas & The Fabulous Hudson Hornet
From there, it’s just a short walk to another striking mural. This time, it’s a depiction of one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers posing in front of a famous NASCAR Grand National Series and AAA stock car. For his contribution to the sport, Herb Thomas was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association, International Motorsports, and NASCAR Halls of Fame.
Wild Dogs Brewing Company
If you’ve worked up quite a thirst on the hike thus far, then here’s your chance to wet your whistle. Wild Dogs, the second brewery stop on our trail offers six beers on tap as well as a small food menu. Refuel and recharge for a bit enjoying the friendly atmosphere, patrons, and staff.
Hugger Mugger Brewing Company
Before you get a move on in earnest, how about another beer? Just two blocks away, you’ll find Hugger Mugger Brewing Company, home to the “Hey Buddy” Golden Ale – a must-try favorite and downtown foodie pick.
The Lager Jogger Trail is probably one of the only hiking routes where you’ll see dairy cows grazing in the middle of downtown. From Hugger Mugger Brewing, walk 0.2 miles to Yarborough’s Ice Cream. There, you’ll find a 3-D, parking lot mural commemorating the history of Fairview Dairy which provided milk to all of Sanford in the early 1900s. Pro tip: the best viewing of this pastoral landscape is with an ice cream cone firmly in hand.
Get excited about the return of baseball with a quick 0.2-mile jaunt to see the Sanford Spinners outdoor mural. Portraying pitcher Howard Aumen delivering one of his signature fastballs, the piece recognizes athletes who played for the Tobacco State League baseball team during the late 1940s.
Head down S. Horner Blvd. for less than a mile to gaze upon a photo-realistic tribute to Link Boykin and W.B. Wicker – two men essential to Sanford’s development. A builder and a businessman, Link Boykin built many of the town’s historic homes and buildings, while W.B. Wicker served as the first principal of the South Sanford Graded School.
Continue your journey west for half of a mile along Wicker St. for another piece of public art that celebrates Sanford’s rich agricultural history. Take a second to take in this installation of a 3-D mule pulling a wagon alongside a bunch of 3-D tobacco leaves. What’s more, you’ll hear Sanford and Lee County residents affectionately call this piece “Old Rip”.
Rosemont-McIver Historic District
If historical structures are as much your jam as scenic hikes, then you’re totally in luck. The Lager Jogger Trail provides the opportunity to explore almost two miles of the Rosemont-McIver Historic District. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the district encompasses 169 registered structures including houses that largely date from about 1900 to the early 1940s.
Endor Iron Furnace Greenway
“Old Rip” is the last official stop on the trail. From there, make your way out of downtown proper and hop onto the Endor Iron Furnace Greenway. As Lee County’s premier facility for walking, running, and biking, this 1.44-mile paved path winds through wooded areas and over babbling streams. It offers a taste of nature that is still conveniently close to all that downtown offers. Upon finishing the trail, it’s just a short trek back to Camelback Brewing and a refreshing beer for a job well done.
More Trails for You to Enjoy
From kayaking to mountain biking, Sanford has a trail that’s sure to stoke your enthusiasm for outdoor recreation. Explore the Cape Fear and Deep River on one of four scenic kayak routes. Spin up gravel on your bike tackling seven bike trails including the ever-popular San Lee Park trail. San Lee Park along with White Pines Nature Preserve and other green spaces are also perfect for spring hiking and forest bathing. Last, but certainly not least, various visitor trails offer a taste of Sanford’s art and culture, delicious barbecue, and adventures in antiquing. Enjoy!