paddling on the Eno

Section 1: US 70 in Hillsborough to Few’s Ford Access

LAUNCH: US 70 at the Eno River bridge, east of Hillsborough. Park on the broad NC Department of Transportation road shoulder at the northwest corner of Highway 70 and Riverside Road. Portage down the steep bank to the river. Kudzu and poison ivy grow on this bank; use caution as the bank is steep and slippery. There is no developed launch.
TAKEOUT: Few’s Ford in Eno River State Park at the Piper-Cox parking lot. There is a 160-yard walk on a trail between the ford and the parking lot. View a map of Few’s Ford here.

DISTANCE/TIME: 5.37 miles/2.5 hours

ELEVATION DROP: 73 feet (14 feet per mile)

NOTES: A lot of Class I rapids, two Class II rapids, and one Class III rapid just before the takeout. The Class III rapid should be scouted before running. It is best to run it at the slick and stay to the left of the rock. This section of the river, known as the Eno Wilderness, is wild and scenic with little evidence of man. Historic points include the ruins of Berry’s Public Mill, Holden’s Mill and the Few’s Mill Ford site.

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Section 2: Few’s Ford, Eno River State Park Access

LAUNCH: Few’s Ford in Eno River State Park at the Piper-Cox parking lot. There is a 160-yard walk on a trail between the parking lot and ford. View a map of Few’s Ford here.
TAKEOUT: Pleasant Green Access in Eno River State Park. Look for the old dam abutment.  Pleasant Green Road bridge will be in view. Parking lot is 20 yards from takeout, just off of Pleasant Green Road northeast of US70.  View a map of the Pleasant Green access area here.

DISTANCE/TIME: 2.79 miles/2.5 hours

ELEVATION DROP: 13 feet (5 feet per mile)

NOTES: This is a novice section, starting with a few Class I rapids. Stone’s Creek enters from the west 300 yards upstream from the take out. The creek is a scenic cascade, resembling a mountain stream.

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Section 3: Pleasant Green Access to Cole Mill Access

LAUNCH: Below the old dam abutment at the Eno River State Park Pleasant Green Access. This is parking lot on the south side of the river, on Pleasant Green Road just north of US70. A narrow set of steps leads down the riverbank from the parking lot, which is 20 yards from the river. View a map of the Pleasant Green access area here.
TAKEOUT: Cole Mill Access in Eno River State Park. A small landing dock is provided on the left and steps lead up a hill to the parking lot, which is 60 yards from the river. The entrance to the Cole Mill Access in on Cole Mill Road. Turn in at the traffic light at Umstead Road. See a map of the Cole Mill access area here.

DISTANCE/TIME: 3.51 miles/1.5 hours

ELEVATION DROP: 50 feet (14 feet/mile)

NOTES: This is one of the most scenic sections of the Eno as it passes through Cabe Gorge and by several old mill sites. Many short Class I and a few Class II rapids. Dropping into Bobbitt’s Hole is a borderline Class II/III rapid. Technical paddling is needed through the rocks in Cabe Gorge. Historic points of interest include the ruins of John Cabe’s mill, the Alpha Woolen Mill site and the McGown-Cole mill site.

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Section 4: Cole Mill Access to West Point on the Eno City Park

LAUNCH: Cole Mill Access in Eno River State Park. A small landing dock is provided and steps lead down from the parking lot, which is 60 yards from the river. The entrance to the Cole Mill Access in on Cole Mill Road. Turn in at the traffic light at Umstead Road. See a map of the Cole Mill access area here.
TAKEOUT: West Point in Eno City Park. The takeout is on the cleared right bank as you approach the mill’s dam. Parking and the park road are 100 yards from the takeout. View a map of West Point on the Eno here.

DISTANCE/TIME: 5.19 miles/ 2 hours

ELEVATION DROP: 67 feet (13 feet/mile)

NOTES: Many short Class I and Class II rapids. You will pass by the Old Pump Station, Guess Mill Dam (broken through on the right side), and Sennett Hole. The West Point Mill is at the takeout. Use caution above the mill’s dam; there is a dangerous drop and a powerful hydraulic when the water level is high.

View a map of the section from Cole Mill to Guess Road here.

Read about West Point on the Eno here.

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Section 5: West Point on the Eno to Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve

LAUNCH: Concrete spillway on the trail below the mill’s dam at West Point in Eno City Park, about 100 yards from the parking lot.  View a map of West Point on the Eno here.
TAKEOUT: Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve at the Old Oxford Highway bridge. A parking lot is near the river on Snow Hill Road at its intersection with Old Oxford Highway. View a map of Penny’s Bend here.

DISTANCE/TIME: 4.54 miles/2 hours

ELEVATION DROP: 23 feet (5 feet/mile)

NOTES: Frequent short Class I riffles. The river begins to slow down on the Triassic Basin. More development is seen, but the river is still scenic. The river is less rocky downstream.

Read about West Point on the Eno here.

Read about Penny’s Bend here.

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Section 6: Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve to Falls of the Neuse boat ramp

LAUNCH: Old Oxford Highway at Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve. A parking lot is near the river on Snow Hill Road at its intersection with Old Oxford Highway. View a map of Penny’s Bend here.
TAKEOUT: Eno River Boat Ramp on Akzo Boulevard, near Red Mill Road. Take Old Oxford Highway past Penny’s Bend, veer right on Teknika Parkway and go to the end. Turn right and go to the boat ramp at the end of the road.

DISTANCE/TIME: 4.78 miles/3 hours

ELEVATION DROP: 4 feet (1 foot/mile)

NOTES: After leaving Penny’s Bend, there are few riffles. After meandering down the Eno, past the railroad trestle and the confluence with the Little River you will come to an oxbow on river right. The main channel stays to the left. You can explore either arm of the oxbow but more than likely it will be impossible to circumnavigate it. After the oxbow you pass the Red Mill Road bridge and a few minutes later you will see the boat ramp operated by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission on river left. If Falls Lake is at its normal level, you will reach the backwater of the lake 1.6 miles from the launch. The river is deep but not wide. The surrounding lands, relatively flat, are state game lands.

See a map of most of the section here.

Read about Penny’s Bend here.

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