Explore Trails

Connecting People to Nature

Stuart & Emma Thomas Memorial Trail

Managed by Crossnore Communities for Children in Winston-Salem

Open Everyday from Dawn to Dusk

Downtown isn’t often where most of us think to find a nature trail, but the protected 92-acres of rolling pastures, forested groves, and beautiful views along the Stuart & Emma Thomas Memorial Trail in the heart of Winston-Salem means you don’t need to go far from the city for a peaceful, pastoral experience.

Visitors to the trail will be able to journey up to two and a half miles and take in views of rolling pastures, large oak trees, and views of the Winston-Salem skyline from the high points along the trail. The trail moves over hills and dips that will provide visitors with a few good climbs, but at a gradual pace. Keep your eyes open for the many varieties of birds flitting between the vegetation.

With a trailhead off Reynolda Road and another on Gillete Street, this public trail connects the historic Boston-Thurmond neighborhood established in the 1890’s with the Buena Vista neighborhood along Reynolda Road, helping to unite Winston-Salem.

PLC's Involvement

In early 2020, PLC purchased a 92 acre conservation easement on Crossnore farmland. This means that the land can never be subdivided or developed. It will always remain open greenspace. PLC then built the trail, parking lots, and signage to open the trail to the public. The trail is now fully owned and managed by Crossnore Communities for Children.

Quick Notes

Note that this land still operates as an active farm. When the cows are out, one of the loops may be closed to the public.

Getting There

The trail can be accessed from two trailheads:

Dr. Charlie Brady “CB” Hauser Trailhead

Located at 949 Gillete St. in the Historic Boston-Thurmond neighborhood near Paisley IB Magnet School, the Dr. CB Hauser Trailhead has 7 parking spaces in a gravel lot, with one paved, accessible parking space. The trailhead features a kiosk with information about the trail, a trail map, and information about Dr. CB Hauser. The trailhead also has two picnic tables.

Reynolda Road Trailhead

Up the gravel road located at 1234 Reynolda Road, and on the right, the Reynolda Road Trailhead has 7 parking spaces in a gravel lot, with one paved, accessible parking space. The trailhead features a kiosk with information about the trail, a trail map, and information about Stuart & Emma Thomas and the Peace of Land Campaign. The trailhead also has two picnic tables.

Stuart & Emma Thomas

A Father and Daughter who Loved the Great Outdoors

This trail is named in memory of father and daughter, Stuart and Emma Thomas, as a celebration of their lives. It is also an expression of gratitude to the community of Winston-Salem, and many others far and wide, who supported Stuart and Emma’s family so lovingly after their passing in 2011.

Stuart and Emma immersed themselves in the natural world and were particularly appreciative of this beloved farmland in Winston-Salem.

This public trail, winding its way through such a special place, is a most fitting tribute to Stuart and Emma.

Stuart Thomas 1962-2011

Stuart, an Eagle Scout, loved leading outdoor adventures as Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 910. He believed that introducing young people to nature and helping foster outdoor skills was one of the greatest gifts adults could pass to the next generation. Stuart was deeply committed to land conservation and was especially appreciative of the natural splendors of his native North Carolina. He relished football, dancing and Southern comfort food. Known for his zest for life, warmth and contagious sense of humor, he delighted in lifelong friends, business associates and colleagues, and many canine companions. Above all else, he loved his family. His five children, Scout, Emma, Bibi, Jack and Annie were his greatest joy. He was a loyal, fun and supportive husband to his wife, Andrea.

Emma Thomas 1995-2011

Emma was a beautiful, kind, thoughtful and bright young person. Born with boundless energy, spark and spirit, she took to running and garnered multiple awards in middle school and high school, many for sportsmanship and character. As a little girl she enjoyed gardening, climbing trees and creating art. A generous and loving soul, she was cherished as a friend by many. She was always ready to help those needing a hand. She loved animals, trail running, and at a young age had a strong commitment to social equity and civic engagement. She was adored by her siblings whom she showered with attention, adventure and laughter.

“When you lose people you love so much, there is a great desire to make sure they’re remembered, and I knew this would be so meaningful to them,” she says today. “They both were great lovers of the outdoors.”
Andrea Thomas

Dr. Charlie Brady "CB" Hauser

The trailhead on at 949 Gillete Street in the Historic Boston-Thurmond neighborhood is named for Dr. Charlie Brady “CB” Hauser, an inspirational educator, legislator, change-maker, and past resident of Boston-Thurmond.  Dr. Hauser was nominated for this naming honor by current residents of the neighborhood.


Peace of Land Campaign

Many people worked to make this trail a reality for decades.

After a long fundraising campaign, dubbed the “Peace of Land Campaign,” 92 acres of land were protected forever by a conservation easement on beautiful land in the heart of Winston-Salem owned by Crossnore Communities for Children in February of 2020. The easement included plans to create a public trail. The campaign raised over $7 million, with support from the City of Winston-Salem, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and many, many individual donors. Everyone who enjoys this special place owes them thanks.

See the full list of Donors: 

Stuart & Emma Thomas Memorial Trail Supporters

In October 2022, ground was broken and trail building began for the Stuart and Emma Thomas Memorial Trail. 

A Grand Opening Celebration was held on Earth Day in April of 2023.

See the full list of Supporters: 

Come Explore!

More Places to Explore

See our list of hiking trails where you can get outside on land that has been forever protected by Piedmont Land Conservancy.

Plan your visit to Knight Brown Nature Preserve, a beautiful wooded valley with 3 miles of hiking trails in Stokesdale, NC.

Our platform to help you discover new trails in the Triad of North Carolina. Check out our trail map and trail guides!

Consider giving to

Piedmont Land Conservancy

to protect more special places like this one.