winter hike series

Photo by David Page

Eno winter hikes have been a tradition since 1971 and start on January 1st with the annual New Year’s Day hike (more info…) and continue each Sunday afternoon through February (Sunday hikes continue from March through early May with a wildflower theme-  Click here for more info).

The following hikes start at 2:00 pm and last 2 – 2 1/2 hours unless otherwise listed.  Arrive 10 minutes early to find your hike leader and sign your hike waiver.  Hike leaders will display a white Eno River bandanna.

Hikes are geared towards adults, but children are welcome with an accompanying adult. Well-behaved dogs are permitted but they must be kept on leash at all times.

  • Free, no registration required.
  • Hike schedule is subject to change. Check back here before each hike to confirm hike details and meeting locations or call 919-620-9099 extension 211 for recorded updates.

Some access areas for these hikes have limited parking. Carpooling is encouraged whenever possible.

January 5, 2020

Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access                                                              Cox Mountain Trail 4.1 miles 

2:00 – 4:30pm  This hike through the beautiful oaks of Cox Mountain will focus a lot on the geology of the mountain and river, but we also talk some about the history and natural history. We will pass big rock outrcrops, old abandoned roads, and the ruins of a mill. This is a good trail but does include a 300-foot elevation gain and descent.                                     Directions: Meet at Fews Ford Picnic Area at the end of Cole Mill Road.  The address is 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC   27705

January 12, 2020
Eno River State Park, Cabelands Access
Cabe Lands to Sparger Lodge   2.2  miles
2:00 pm          This hike is an opportunity to visit history left behind by early residents of the Eno. We will hike to the ruins of the old Cabe Mill and Sparger hunting lodge, along with a visit to the Cabe/Shields cemetery.  Be prepared for short excursions off the trail into the woods, including hiking up and down wooded slopes.
Directions: Meet in the Cabelands parking lot, at the end of Howe Street, off of Sparger Road in Durham (4950 Howe Street, Durham NC, 27705)

January 19, 2020
Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area                                                              2:00pm    This 3.5 mile hike of medium endurance is an opportunity to explore the history of early residents, the geology and flora along the Eno River at Occoneechee Mountain.  We will be hiking parts of the Occoneechee Mt Loop Trail, Chestnut Oak Trail, and Overlook Trail along with some off trail visits to the Panthers Den and some creeks in and around the mountain.

Directions: Meet along Eno Mountain Road on the south side of the Eno River in Hillsborough known as the “historical entrance to Occoneechee Mountain.”  Take exit #164 from I-85. Turn north toward Hillsborough on Churton Street. Turn left on Mayo Street; go past a small shopping center. Turn left on Orange Grove Road. In short order turn right on Eno Mountain Road. As you go down toward the bridge over the river, park on the wide road shoulders. If you cross over the river you just passed it.

January 26, 2020
Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access                                                                    2:00-4:30pm    Buckquarter Creek/Holden Mill Trails, 4.1 miles                          Hike the most scenic stretch of the Eno River past many rock outcrops and rapids to the stone ruins of the old Holden Mill.  This includes a long walk along the river as well as up some long hill climbs through beautiful old hardwood forest.  The hike along the river includes climbing over rock outcrops of moderate difficulty. A hiking staff is recommended.                                                                                                                                                                     Directions: Meet at Piper-Cox House off Cole Mill Road.  The address is 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC   27705.  After entering the state park gate take the 2nd right to the parking lot.

February 2, 2020                                                                                                           Confluence Natural Area                                                                                         Two Forks/Shepherd Mill Trails 2.25 miles                                                               This is a great chance to see the Confluence in winter. This hike will include the East and West Forks of the Eno, the confluence where the main stem of the Eno River begins, and the old Shepherd Mill site with the mysterious stone etchings.                                                                                                                 Directions: Meet at the pavilion beside the parking lot. The address is 4214 Highland Farm Rd, Hillsborough, NC 27278.

  • From Hillsborough take Hwy 86 North away from town 1.6 miles from US70. Turn left on Coleman Loop 1.1 miles. Turn left on Highland Farm Rd 2.4 miles. The Confluence is on the left. There is a large sign and a gravel driveway.
  • From northern Orange County take Hwy 86 south after passing Walnut Grove Church Rd take the first right on Kenion Rd 1.7 miles. Turn right on Highland Farm Rd 0.6 miles. The Confluence is on the left. There is a large sign and a gravel driveway.

February 9, 2020                                                                                                        Eno River State Park, Pump Station Access                                                               Pump Station Trail 1.5 miles                                                                                          2:00 pm          Stroll through history on this hike featuring Durham’s first public drinking water source.   Building foundations and dams still surface in the woods, river, and creek.  We may see signs of spring, including foliage of early wildflowers. Portions of the hike will be off-trail, some sections may be steep, muddy, or on rough terrain. A walking stick is highly recommended, and sturdy shoes are a must. Time permitting, we will hike the remainder of the 1.5 mile loop.                                                                            Directions:  Meet at and carpool from Northside Christian Church, 3901 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC 27712

 

February 16, 2020                                             

Seven Mile Creek Natural Area   3.0 miles 

This 3 mile hike is an opportunity to explore ancient roads, the Mountain to Sea Trail, old graves and birds along a tributary to the Eno River.   This natural area was at one time the “gap” for those heading west.  Now it is a newly opened peaceful preserve with gently rolling trails to explore.  Directions: Meet at Seven Mile Creek Natural Area, 2187 Moorefields Rd, Hillsborough, NC 27278.  Follow the signs to ‘The Moorefields.’

 

February 23, 2020                                                                                                          Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access                                                                    Fannie Breeze Homestead History Hike 2.7 miles                                                   2:00 pm           We will hike trails to reach the home site of Fannie Breeze.  The foundation remains of this home site lie on top of a bluff overlooking the Eno River.  Fannie Breeze was a slave to the white Breeze family in the 1800s and was a practicing midwife up and down the Eno River.  After Emancipation, she continued her services to people of all races.  She was an important member of Pleasant Green United Methodist Church and was instrumental in the founding of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church on Pleasant Green Road.  If we are lucky, daffodils/jonquils planted during Fannie Breeze’s time will be in bloom.                       Directions: Meet at the Fews Ford Picnic Area at the end of Cole Mill Road.  The address is 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC   27705.

March 1, 2020

Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access
Bacon Quarry  5.5 miles
2:00 pm           This is the newest property to be added to Eno River State Park which is expected to be bought before the end of 2018. This 88 acre hardwood forest has an old rock quarry, left behind from building Orange County Roads. It is a scenic and historical spot. Our guide will take us there with a combination of hiking trails and hiking through the forest. This hike requires crossing Buckquarter Creek on the Ridge Trail twice which means crossing on large, uneven, sometimes wet rocks to keep your feet dry. A hiking staff is strongly recommended.   Allow 3 hours for this hike.                   Directions: Meet at Piper-Cox House off Cole Mill Road.  The address is 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC   27705.  After entering the state park gate take the 2nd right to the parking lot.

Eno River Association Hikes Info

1. Hikes are free but we encourage hikers to become a member of the Eno River Association!

2. Hikes start at 2:oo pm at a different location each week unless otherwise listed.

3. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to park, get to the meeting location, and sign in with the hike leaders.

4. Wear closed-toe walking shoes or boots.

5. Recommendations

  • Dress for the weather, whatever it is – sun or rain, cold or hot.
  • Wear long pants due to some poison ivy on off-trail sections.
  • Bring water and trail snacks (you will be out for ~2 hrs+).
  • There are some great photo ops, so consider bringing a camera.

Our Sunday hikes continue from March through early May with a wildflower theme. Click here for more info.

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