2023 is the Year of the Trail in North Carolina! This statewide campaign encourages every North Carolinian to get outside onto the trails, greenways, and blueways that stretch across the state.
On August 10th, 2021, the NC legislature passed HB 554, designating 2023 as the “North Carolina Year of the Trail.” This historic designation underscores the tremendous energy behind showcasing, promoting, and celebrating North Carolina’s trails, both in terms of their incredible positive impact on quality of life for NC residents, as well as significant economic impact on individual communities who benefit from ‘trail tourism’. The Great Trails State Coalition (GTSC) is leading the Year of the Trail efforts in North Carolina. Made up of over 50 organizations working to build more opportunities to hike, bike, walk, run, roll, paddle, and horseback ride, the GTSC proudly proclaims that North Carolina IS the Great Trails State. The Great Trails State Coalition has partnered with communities across the state to highlight trails and encourage residents to get outside and enjoy local trails, as well as new trail experiences across NC.
To celebrate the Year of the Trail, we will be highlighting a different Eno trail each week this month, and this week’s spotlight goes to Cabelands Trail in Eno River State Park! This 2.2-mile loop traverses some elevation changes and features a beautiful section of the Eno.
This trail is associated with some fascinating history. For instance, Cabelands intersects with Fish Dam Road, which was originally a footpath created by Indigenous Peoples living along the Eno. This path served as a connection between the Neuse River and the Occaneechi Native Americans in Hillsborough, and it could also be used to connect to the Great Trading Path which went from Petersburg, VA to Augusta, GA.
Fish Dam Road got its name from a type of fish trap created and used by Indigenous Peoples in the area. The trap involved a funnel created with rocks, which trapped fish in a specific area of the river and allowed for their easy removal using a net. According to local Eno historian Beverly Scarlett, Fish Dam Road was later used by soldiers in the Civil War, who were known to raid nearby homes for livestock. Today, Fish Dam Road represents an important part of history for many community members whose ancestors lived on Eno land for generations.