Unity Center of Peace, Chapel Hill, NC

The Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill posted their space on the World Wide Labyrinth Locator and I finally saw it when I was in the mood to walk a different path.  It is magnificent.  The volunteers from the congregation have done a spectacular job.

They have used glacial rocks and deadfall to make a Serenity Walk in the woods behind the church after creating a spiral labyrinth and medicine wheel at opposite ends of the property.

Trail map

The church property is at one end of the Carolina Forest and you can walk to it from the forest.  Or you can simply park in the church parking lot.  It is diagonally across the street from the Carolina Center for Educational Excellence and Smith Middle School, somewhat  hidden in the trees but with a sign by the road.  I overshot when I first got there, but there are places nearby to turn around if you follow my stellar example.

There are steps into the path to the left of the church building.


It takes you to the Serenity Path, about midway between the medicine wheel and the labyrinth.  Alternatively, you can walk between these posts  toward the Carolina Forest and arrive more immediately at the labyrinth.

Alternate entrance

That path is broad, but the way to the labyrinth is marked with a sign. The stones along the path into the woods are obvious, too.

Secondary labyrinth entrance

I walked the Serenity Path and the medicine wheel before I walked the labyrinth.

The Serenity Path has 10 stations that remind you to rest your heart, breathe and be aware of your surroundings in Nature.

Serenity station

And there are directions.

not actually Oz

Eventually, it leads you to the medicine wheel.

right this way

The Wheel is more complicated than a labyrinth.

Medicine wheel

But they have instructions on and in a box at the entrance.

Walk this way

(Yes.  I folded it up in my pocket so it’s a little bent.)

Meanwhile, back at the labyrinth…

or this way

The path to the labyrinth dumps you straight into the spiral with only a turn to the right to set your foot on the path.

immediate entrance

There is a comfortable bench in the center.


This is a very peaceful, restful place.  They have used what was already there, with conscious additions, in  ways that are harmonious and effective.


Stone Knoll Spiral in Calvander, NC

There’s an interesting place on the side of the road on the way to Carrboro from I-40 on Old Hwy 86.  It’s a stone spiral that was built by architect John Hartley at the entrance to Stone Knoll neighborhood.

Stone Knoll is  a very nice subdivision with large, interesting houses on large, wooded lots that tend to be ornamented with flowers, gardens, yard art, hammocks and comfortable lawn chairs, play sets and a general air of happy, affluent families.

The side closest to the highway is a field of wildflowers and there is a little turn off from John Woods Road into the field.

There are 4 tall standing stone in the cardinal directions and a flat stone in the middle.  These five have plaques with poems on them.  Hotlinks are to other websites that have the texts of the poems.

In the East is Maya Angelou’s Inaugural Poem  written for Bill Clinton in 1993

To the North is Wilderness by Carl Sandburg

Wendell Berry has a poem in the West.

And in the South, Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi

There’s a memorial tree over to the side but still within the spiral.

It appears that Donna Lotstein was a lover of horses.

The stone in the center has the Navajo Way Blessing Prayer

I’ve seen a couple of places online refer to this installation as a “stone circle”, but it isn’t a circle.  If you are actually in it, you can see the spiral winding into the trees and outward, eventually petering out in the direction of Old 86.  It is even clear if you look  using Google maps.