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 will be posted at the top of this page. You can also email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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

February 21, 2021 – FULL
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 – FULL
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.                             
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 – FULL
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 2:00 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.


Previous 2021 Hikes———————————————–

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 


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)


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.


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.
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 – CANCELED DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER                   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 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.                   


February 14, 2021
Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve

Willie Duke’s Bluff 2 miles   2:00 pm           
Take a hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to Willie Duke’s Bluff, with a side trip to the abandoned train trestle over the river.  These high bluffs with rock outcrops provide great winter views. Along the way we will hear some history and Eno lore. Typically, in the winter, the trail is muddy so be prepared. This is a moderate hike with some hills.   
Directions: Coming from the west, take Duke Street North from I-85 (Exit 176). Turn right on Murray Avenue (sign to the Museum of Life and Science), go until it reaches Roxboro Street, turn left and look for the brown sign to Stagville. [Coming from the east, you can take Roxboro Street directly from I-85.] Turn right here on Old Oxford Road. Go about three miles until Old Oxford crosses the Eno. Immediately after the bridge, turn left on Snowhill Road. Penny’s Bend parking lot will be on the left immediately after you turn.        


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