Spring Wildflowers

Dutchman’s Breeches. Photo by Duncan Heron.

The Eno River Association invites you to enjoy the Eno this spring with our Spring Hike Series, a tradition since 1969.  Our spring hikes will showcase the wildflowers that bloom along the Eno, and some will visit a historical site or follow a scenic path along the river. The Eno River is home to a large variety of blooming flowers, including hepatica and trout lily in March, Dutchman’s breeches and yellow lady slipper in April, and rhododendron and mountain laurel in May.

View Wildflower Portfolio

These free, guided hikes are open to the public. See directions, highlights and schedule below. Hikes begin at 2:00 pm and are typically 2 hours long. 

In the event of cancellations or weather emergencies, please check the top of this page, our social media or email hikes@enoriver.org.

Eno River Association Spring Hikes Info

1. Wildflower highlights listed will vary based on the weather and flowering times each year. New hikes and programs will be added to the schedule as soon as details are confirmed. Not all spring hikes lead to a destination with blooming wildflowers.

2. Hikes are free but consider becoming a member of the Eno River Association by making a donation!

3. Hikes start at 2:oo pm  and are 1 1/2 – 2 hours unless otherwise listed.

4. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to park, get to the meeting location, and sign in with the hike leaders.  Your hike leader will be displaying a white Eno River bandanna.

5. Wear good walking shoes or boots.

6. 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.
  • A wildflower guide is also a nice option. Not all hike leaders are wildflower experts, so come prepared to do your own research & make your own discoveries as well. Don’t have a field guide? Check one out from your local library or borrow from a friend.
  • Most hikes allow for well behaved, leashed dogs unless the hike description indicates “no dogs”.
  • Relevant updates and weather cancellations will be posted at the top of this page.


2021 Spring Hikes Schedule 

Sunday, April 11, 2021
Confluence Natural Area Spring Wildflowers
2.25 miles 2:00 pm
Join us to hike the trails where the East and West Forks come together to form the Eno River.  We will see both forks of the river and their junction, visit the historic Shepherd Mill site, and identify flowers in bloom along the way.  Terrain is easy to moderate.
Directions: From Hillsborough Highway 70 north of town, take Hwy 86 north and turn left on Coleman Loop Road at Major Business Forms.  Take the 2nd paved left on Highland Farm Road.  Cross the East Fork of the Eno (unmarked) bridge and the driveway is the next left. The address is 4214 Highland Farm Rd, Hillsborough, NC 27278.

To register click here: Confluence Natural Area Wildflowers

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Eno River State Park
Pump Station Wildflowers    
1.5 miles 2:00 pm
This is a hike on a well maintained trail.  With luck and the right flowering time, you might see a Ladyslipper orchid! This is an easy hike with a few gentle hills and is known for the beauty of the wildflowers that bloom each spring. Walking sticks are recommended as we will step off trail.
Directions: Meet your hike leader at the parking lot at the Northside Christian Church at the corner of Cole Mill and Sparger Roads, Durham. The address is 3901 Cole Mill Road, Durham, NC  27712.  You will carpool a short distance to the trail head to begin your hike.

To register click here: Pump Station Wildflower Hike


Sunday, April 25, 2021
Eno River State Park
Bobbitt Hole Wildflowers
2.6 miles. 2:00pm
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.
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

To register click here: Bobbit Hole Wildflowers


Sunday, May 2, 2021
Eno River State Park
Fews Ford Access
2:00 PM 1 Mile
This guided wildflower walk will take us through fields, forest, and river flood plain. Habitat variety will also give us wildflower variety. We will identify the flowers and talk a little about their life history. The leisurely hike will be on trail, with modest hills, but there are muddy places so wear appropriate shoes.
Directions: Meet at the Fews Ford Picnic Area at the dead end of Cole Mill Road, 3/10 mile after you enter the state park gate. The address is 6101 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC 27705. Parking can be tight at Fews Ford on a Sunday so arrive early in case you have to park farther up the road from the picnic area.

To register click here: Fews Ford Access Wildflowers

Sunday, May 9, 2021
Panther Branch Natural Area Wildflowers
2:00 PM  2 Miles
Panther’s Branch is the newest natural area on the Eno River, purchased by the Eno River Association in 2016, who also manages it.  It is not yet open to the public so this is your chance to explore it.  We will seek out wildflowers on the river, its tributary Panther Branch, the forest upland, and visit high bluffs above the river.  There are trails to walk but we will use stepping-stones to cross the creek and step off trail and walk through some forest to view flowers. A walking stick, tick repellant, and shoes that can get muddy are recommended.
Directions: Exit 160 off I-85. End of the long ramp make a right onto Mt Willing Rd and go 0.3. Right on Forrest Ave and then a quick left on Brookhollow Rd for 1.6 miles. Right on Lebanon Rd for 0.8 miles. Look for the hike leader in an Eno tee-shirt and white hike leader bandanna, if you get there before the hike leader look for the cable across the driveway. Park on the shoulder on both sides but not in front of anyone’s house.

To register click here: Panther Branch Wildflowers