Paddling is a great way to explore the Eno River. Opportunities for both flatwater and whitewater paddling are available. View this PDF with more details and suggested trips for paddling the Eno River.
Check the Eno River levels before you go:
Park staff have established a rough correlation between the USGS gauge readings and paddling conditions:
- below 2.25 feet is poor
- 2.25 to 2.5 feet is fair
- 2.5 to 3 feet is good
- 3 to 5 feet is excellent
- above 5 feet is dangerous
There are three flatwater sections of the river that maintain adequate river levels of between three and ten feet deep in all seasons. These quiet stretches of the Eno River provide the opportunity for gentle paddling, watching for wildlife and natural history meditation.
- West Point Point on the Eno City Park – Paddle 3/4 mile upstream from the mill dam to Sennett Hole. Launch is approximately 100 yards from parking lot.
- Kings Highway Park (AKA Dimmock’s Mill Dam) – This one mile paddle takes you under an old railroad trestle. Launch is approximately 100 yards from the Kings Highway Park parking area. Some of the land you pass when paddling will be private property, so please remain in your boat.
- NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Eno River Boating Access Area (Eno River Boat Ramp) – This access features a boat ramp, lots of destination options, and is popular among fisherpeople. Paddle two miles upstream to the Eno River’s confluence with the Little River, or paddle two miles downstream to reach Falls Lake. In both directions the river is bordered by game lands.
Please note, Pleasant Green Access is no longer an option for flatwater paddling. The dam was removed in spring 2006 because of safety and environmental concerns. View this PDF with more details.
The Eno River also provides an opportunity for whitewater paddling, but only after a period of significant rainfall. To enjoy paddling downstream requires an adequate water level. The best times are normally in the winter and spring. It is best to check the USGS streamflow websites before heading out. View this PDF with more details.
Trips and rentals
Canoeing and Kayaking: Frog Hollow Outdoors is located in the Eno River basin and offers day trips, rentals and instruction for both kayaks and canoes. Individual and group rentals are available as well as customized excursions.
- A river in flood is very dangerous. Know the river and know your abilities.
- Carry a map and know where you are.
- Do not paddle alone. A buddy boat is a good idea.
- Wear appropriate wet or dry suits in cold weather. Hypothermia can kill.
- Always wear a life vest. (In NC, anyone younger than 13 is legally required to wear one.)
- Depending on conditions, consider also wearing a helmet.
- Bring drinking water, snacks, and an extra paddle. No alcohol.
- Expect to spill, and be prepared. The upstream side of your boat is safer than the downstream side.
- Consider leaving a trip plan either with the park office (if your trip is within Eno River State Park) or on the dashboard of your vehicle.
It is difficult to get lost on a river, but a map can help you know where you are and what’s around you. The following maps are suggested:
US Geological Survey Maps:
- Hillsborough Quadrangle (Highway 70 bridge to Pleasant Green Road) scale, 6 inches equals 1 mile.
- Durham North Quadrangle (Guess Road to Old Oxford Highway) scale, 1 inch equals 1 mile.
N.C. State Highway Commission County Road Maps:
- Orange and Durham Counties, scale 1 inch equals 2 miles.
These maps are available from the Highway Commission in Raleigh or the District Office, Stadium Drive, Durham.