The Eno River holds the key to many of nature’s best-kept secrets. Unlock the door of nature’s classroom and watch the mysteries begin to unfold. You’ll uncover fascinating natural surroundings and make great discoveries about the world in which we live. Bring our state’s rich natural and cultural heritage alive, embark on a learning adventure and discover the wonders of the Eno River.
In spite of dense urban development nearby, the woodlands of the Eno River are a peaceful haven. The timber industry took away much of the forest up until 1941, but the ridges, slopes and flood plains are once again growing thick with vegetation. Pine, cedar, poplar, maple, dogwood, oak and hickory dominate the area.
Mountain laurel, Catawba rhododendron and ferns grow on the slopes and bluffs. Wildflowers bloom beneath the trees in spring and vines such as greenbrier; grape and trumpet flower are part of the backdrop of natural beauty at the park.
Plant communities along the river provide the perfect home for various animals. In the old fields, you can find bobwhite quail and eastern cottontails resting in the weeds. White-tailed deer, raccoons and oppossums feed on the fruits and seeds of the hardwood forest. You might even catch a glimpse of a chipmunk, gray squirrel or possibly a river otter.
The birds of Eno River provide a symphony of music at the park. The calls of the red-tailed hawk, great horned owl and barred owl mix with the melodies of various songbirds. Wood ducks, great blue herons and belted kingfishers thrive around the river.
One of the most intriguing animals in the park is the beaver. This resourceful creature was almost killed off in North Carolina due to excessive trapping but is now back in many parts of the state. Although seldom seen, gnawed stumps and tree trunks are tell-tale signs the beaver has been searching for food. The best times to catch a glimpse of the beaver are at dusk and dawn along the river.
Learn more about the rocks and soil that lie beneath your feet. Visit the Geology of North Carolina website for geological tours of the Eno.