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, registration required..
  • Hike schedule is subject to change. Check back here before each hike to confirm hike details and meeting locations.
  • Updates and weather cancellations for the next hike can be heard by calling (919)620-9099 and selecting option 4.

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

January 3, 2021

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 outcrops, 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                                               To register click COX MOUNTAIN

January 10, 2021
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)             To register click CABELANDS

January 17, 2021
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.                         To register click OCCONEECHEE MOUNTAIN

January 24, 2021                                                                                                     Eno River State Park, Cole Mill Access 2:00 pm Hike past rocky out crops and rapids, quiet river and steep bluffs to one of the iconic places on the Eno River.  Bobbitt Hole is the deepest known spot in the river.  Half this hike will be on the river and half through rolling hills of forest, is 2.6 miles in length and of moderate difficulty.  We will make frequent stops to look at interesting, plants, animals and history that we encounter. To register click: BOBBITT HOLE                                                                                        Directions:  Meet in the Cole Mill Access parking lot at the intersection of Cole Mill, Old Cole Mill, and Umstead Roads.  The address is 4390 Old Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC 27712

January 31, 2021                                                                                                           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.                                                                    To register click CONFLUENCE

February 7, 20201                                                                                                        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 the Pump Station Trail head, at the bridge over Nancy Rhodes Creek, on Rivermont Drive in Durham. Rivermont runs between Cole Mill and Valley Springs.  The address is 4023 Rivermont Road, Durham, NC 27712.  Carpooling recommended due to a small parking area.                                                                                        To register click PUMP STATION


February 14, 2021                                              

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.’                      To register click SEVEN MILE CREEK


February 21, 2021                                                                                                          Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access                                                                    Fannie Breeze Homestead History Hike 2.7 miles                                                   2:00 pm          Hike 2.7 miles of trails overall to reach the home site of Fannie Breeze, the foundation remains of which lie on top of a bluff overlooking the Eno River. Fannie was a woman enslaved by the Breeze family in the 1800s. She was a practicing midwife up and down the Eno River, and 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.                                                                                   To register click FANNY BREEZE

February 28, 2021                                                                                                   Eno River State Park, Cabelands Access 1.2 miles                                           2:00 pm       This Sunday hike will be mostly on trail, but be prepared to step off into the woods and the river floodplain. Our guide will also interpret history of this former mill and farm site.                              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)             To register click CABELANDS

March 7, 2021

Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access
Bacon Quarry  5.5 miles
2:00 pm          This is the northernmost property in the Eno River State Park. Is a hardwood forest surrounding an old rock quarry, left behind from building Orange County Roads. It is a scenic, historical, and ecologically significant spot. Our guide will take us there with a combination of hiking trails and hiking through the forest. A hiking staff is strongly recommended for exploring the stony quarry. This hike includes a nearly steady 1 mile uphill and other rolling hills..   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.                                                                                      To register click BACON QUARRY

Eno River Association Hikes Info

1. Hikes are free but we encourage hikers to make a donation 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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