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 11 1/2 – 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 for recorded updates. Dial extension 211 to get the most up to date information on hike.

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

January 7, 2018
West Point on the Eno City Park
Mountains-to-Sea Trail 4.5 miles
2:00 pm      Hike the scenic gorge between West Point and Guess Road, including the scenic and mysterious Sennett Hole.  This is an out and back hike with little elevation change. Allow 2 1/2 hours
Directions: Meet at the West Point Mill.  The address is 5101 Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

January 14, 2018 (Two choices this week)
Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access
Bird Watching Hike   2 miles
2:00 pm          We will hike a loop trail around Fews Ford to look and listen for winter birds.  The loop is about two miles on easy trails.  The trail may be muddy and wet so wear appropriate shoes and long pants.  Bring binoculars or spotting scopes if you have them.  An extra set of binoculars will be provided.
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

January 14, 2018 (Two choices this week)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Eno River State Park, Cole Mill Access                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bobbitt Hole 2.6 miles  Hike past rocky outcrops and rapids, quiet river and steep bluffs to one of the iconic places on the river. Our guide will lead you into history and natural history with half this hike on the river and half through rolling hills of forest.                                                                                                                                                                                                                Directions: Meet at the Cole Mill Access at the intersection of Cole Mill and Umstead Roads.  The address is 4390 Old Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC 27712

January 21, 2018
Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access
Hike to the Ford 2.1 miles round-trip
2:00 pm           From the modern swinging cable foot bridge to historic Fews Ford, millions of people have found a way to cross the Eno River.  We’ll cross over the bridge but not the ford, so no worries about wet feet!  Between crossings sites, we’ll hike through mature hardwood forest, intersect with the old Hillsborough Coach Road, view historic sites, and observe forest life.   This easy hike from the parking area is to Fews Ford and back.

Directions: Meet at Fews Ford Picnic Area at the end of Cole Mill Road.  The address is 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC   27705

Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access

2:00          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.

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 4, 2018

Confluence Nature Preserve

Two Creeks/Shepherd Mill Trails 2.25 miles

The Confluence Nature Preserve is not yet open to the public so this is a great chance to see it 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


February 11, 2018 Decent chance of rain but we are hiking.

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. You may want a walking stick, 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 18, 2018

Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access

Eno Wilderness Backcountry 5.0 miles
2:00 pm     Rocky Creek is a beautiful tributary feeding the river through the Eno Wilderness.  Most of this hike will be off trail following the creek through the forest.  There are moderate hills going to and from the creek.  The grade on the creek is gentle and the woods fairly open but it will require walking on uneven ground, stepping over and under obstacles and rock hopping across the creek in some locations.  There will be hills going to and from the creek. If you bring a dog just remember you have to hold onto the leash even if it gets tangled on the trees. Allow 3 hours.

Directions: Meet at Fews Ford Picnic Area at the end of Cole Mill Road.  The address is 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC   27705


February 25, 2018
Eno River State Park, Few’s Ford Access
Fannie Breeze Homestead History Hike 3 miles
2:00 pm           We will use a combination of hiking on and off park trails to reach the homesite of Fannie Breeze.  The foundation remains of this homesite 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 a 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.

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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