Trails on the Eno River
Eno River Trail Guides
Contact Information for the Eno River Trails

Map of the Trails on the Eno River

 
WARNING: I'm going to assume you're in decent enough shape that you're not looking for my impression of how strenuous these trails are. From my perspective, ALL of these trails are bunny-slope trails, and I am 6'4" 275lbs - no athlete by any means. I see writeups of Cox Mountain, for example, that is rated as strenuous. If you consider Cox Mountain strenuous, you might be more interested in finding a trails-site that rates trails more conservatively than I do. Cox Mountain has a moderate slope for a measly couple hundred feet... with a bench to rest at!
I've been on trails in the Grand Teton Wilderness that rose 2800 feet in less than a mile - THAT is strenuous.

If you are bringing the kids, or your health or physical condition urges you caution in this regard, just go slowly - none of it is scary. ANY of these trails can be done by most anyone with a little effort and a little sweat. I DO NOT rate each trail for difficulty.

OCCONEECHEE MTN. AREA
All trails in the OCCONEECHEE AREA (excluding RIVERWALK ) are contained within the Occoneechee Mountain State Park southwest of downtown Hillsborough off Orange Grove Road. Take Virginia Cades road past two small fishing lakes and park in the designated parking lot. Trails in this area are: Occoneechee Mountain Trail which goes around the high bluffs that make up this park; Overlook Trail which spurs off from the north side and skirts past an impressive overlook before meeting the Summit Trail to the peak (The actual peak belongs to the Orange County as is used to a communications tower and abandoned lookout; and the Brown Elfin Knob Trail which explores the bluffs on the east side of the park.
They have recently added the Chestnut Oak Trail which spans between the Overlook Trail and west end of the Loop Trail, and parts of the Summit Trail are now off limits. ( * = See Below.)

The RIVERWALK Trail runs through the riverfront through the City of Hillsborough.

OCCONEECHEE SPEEDWAY TRAIL
All trails in the OCCONEECHEE SPEEDWAY AREA are contained within the HOST (Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail) lands, accessed off Elizabeth Brady Road east of Hillsborough. The several trails are described on a single page. ( * = See Below.)
COX MOUNTAIN AREA
Trails in the COX MOUNTAIN AREA are generally accessed from parking areas at the very end of Cole Mill Road, northwest of the intersection where it crosses Pleasant Green Road. Three separate parking areas exist inside the Eno River State Park on Cole Mill Rd., the Ranger Station, the upper parking area immediately past the Ranger Station, and the loop parking area at the very end. To the left of the Ranger Station is a trail that heads to the Eno River. From there, or the more convenient and preferred upper parking area just to the left (southwest) of that, you'll hit Few's Ford. Buckquarter Creek Trail climbs up the ridge upriver from there, leaves the river and follows an old roadbed to a point where the Ridge Trail splits off to the right. Ridge Trail meets the Knight Trail and Shakori Trail up Buckquarter Creek. At Buckquarter Creek, (also accessed on the return section of the Buckquarter Creek Trail that runs directly along the river) there is a small footbridge to the Holden Mill Trail, and a short extension to the old mill remnants. There is also a self-named and unblazed access to the west end of Holden Mill Trail called Dumont Trail found off Dumont Rd. If you park at the very end of Cole Mill at the loop parking area, you more easily access the short Eno Trace Trail, and the swinging cable bridge to Cox Mountain Trail and Fanny Ford Trail. The 5 backcountry campsites located in this area are on the Fanny Ford Trail. There are no established trails south to Pleasant Green Road, but you can read about a very doable Bushwhack to that point on the Cox Mtn Area to Pleasant Green Rd. (Bushwhack) page.( * = See Below.)
CABE LANDS AREA
Trails in the CABE LANDS AREA are accessed from the parking area located down Howe Street off Sparger Road, just north of the I-85 overpass. You can also access it from the Pleasant Green Parking area and approach from the west on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. From Howe Street parking area, there is a prominent trailhead sign in the rear left corner of the lot that begins the Cabe Lands Trail. This goes to the river, loops back counter-clockwise, intersects with the Quarry Trail, and returns to the parking area. The Quarry Trail, spurs off to the west and loops around the old Quarry. See our separate section on how the Mountains-to-Sea/Laurel Ridge Trail traverses this section. ( * = See Below.)
COLE MILL AREA
Trails in the COLE MILL AREA are accessed from the parking area located at the end of the Old Cole Mill Rd, found at the Umstead Road/Cole Mill Road stoplight. This parking area also is used to access some of the trails found in the PUMP STATION AREA. From the parking area, access the Cole Mill Trail from either the river's edge going upriver, or from the middle of the parking lot, into the woods, at the trail sign. The Bobbitt's Hole Trail can be found from either of these starting points also. Bobbitt's Hole Trail essentially extends the trails further upriver and is how you access the five backcountry campsites in this area. See our separate section on how the Mountains-to-Sea/Laurel Ridge Trail traverses this section. ( * = See Below.)
PUMP STATION AREA
Trails in the PUMP STATION AREA are accessed from both sides of the Eno River. The Pea Creek Trail is typically accessed from the end of Old Cole Mill Road, found at the Umstead Road/Cole Mill Road stoplight, (See COLE MILL AREA above) and you would hike under the Cole Mill Road bridge. The Dunnagan Trail is accessed most easily from the unmarked (but well-worn) street parking found on Continental Road, off Umstead Drive. Either trail can be combined with the other and accessed from either parking area. The Pump Station Trail is accessed from one of two trailheads on Rivermont Drive, off Cole Mill Road. Either trailhead goes into the trees to do this loop trail in either direction, and there is a connector trail alongside the road between both trailheads. See our separate section on how the Mountains-to-Sea/Laurel Ridge Trail traverses this section.
WEST POINT AREA
Trails in the WEST POINT AREA are mostly accessed from the parking lot of the West Point on the Eno City Park off Roxboro Road. The Buffalo Trail heads off from the far southwest corner of the parking/roadway area of that park and stops at a small creek that may be difficult to cross after a heavy rain. Straight on, past the creek, is the Sennett Hole Trail which ends up at the Eno River at Sennett's Hole. At that same creek, you can turn right (east) and follow the South River Trail back to the old West Point Mill and dam. On the north side of the river, starting at the steel pedestrian bridge near Roxboro Road, is the Eagle Trail which follows the river most of the way to Guess Road, and the parking lot of the Eno River Association. Unlike these other trails, the Saw Mill Trail is not part of the city park, and is located on the northwest corner of the Eno River and Guess Road, accessed on Stacy Drive at the Red Steel Gate west of Guess Road. See our separate section on how the Mountains-to-Sea/Laurel Ridge Trail traverses this section. ( * = See Below.)
PENNY'S BEND AREA
Trails in the PENNY'S BEND AREA are accessed from the parking area located at the southwest corner of Old Oxford Road, at Snow Camp Road, which is south of the far eastern end of Infinity Road. Park in that lot and go to the northwest corner to access the trails. There is a very short river access trail leading straight south, used mostly for fishing. These trails are located on U.S. Corps of Engineers property, and are not quite as developed, or blazed, as the other trails on the Eno. The Riverbend Trail completely circumnavigates this large elbow bend in the Eno River. The Ridge Trail (at Penny's Bend - as opposed to the trail of the same name in the Cole Mill Area) cuts down the middle of the bend on high ground, and joins with Riverbend Trail as it runs upriver on the Eno on the western side of the tract. See our separate section on how the Mountains-to-Sea Trail traverses this section.
LITTLE RIVER REGIONAL PARK
Not exactly ON the Eno River, but the Little River empties into the Eno just west of Falls Lake, and is a nice hike within a few miles of Durham - plus they have designated Mountain Bike Trails, too.
CONFLUENCE AREA
  • Future
The Confluence Area is a newly acquired tract of land at the confluence of the East and West Eno River branches north of Hillsborough. At this time, no trails are active. There is active work being done on the Confluence, and you are encouraged to get involved in the work efforts to bring this section of the upper Eno into the trails system of the Eno River.
MOUNTAINS-TO-SEA
     / Laurel Ridge TRAIL

The Eno River Association, The NC State Parks and the Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail are actively working toward fulfilling the dream of constructing a trail from the NC mountains to the Sea. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail page will help you determine where the MST trail traverses through the Eno River lands, and which trails are used to connect one section of it to the other. At points, you are actually on other established trails concurrently and can be confusing. For this reason, because the majority of the Eno Park Laurel Ridge Trail is also the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, it is presented in the same pages. 
 
GRAND ENO RIVER TRAIL
By combining several of the area trails described above, you can embark on a leisurely 20 mile, 3-day, 2-night backpacking trip from the far western end of the Cox Mountain Area trails all the way to Roxboro Road, staying completely on the river, traversing only about 100 feet of private lands. It involves fording the Eno River in several spots (identified as typically fordable even in moderately high water), crossing bridges in others, staying in two of the Eno River State Park Campsites, with a few optional side-hikes to take in all of the spectacular scenic areas offered by this magnificent river. It is described as a drop-off at the western end, leaving a car at the eastern end for safest results. Truly a Grand Hike considering you rarely leave the local area. 
 
       *
All trails marked with an asterisk (*) require access to it from another trail. Consult the maps to determine how best to reach this trail, or read the trail description for options and recommended combined trails. Mileages given here ADD to the distance required to access the trail from another.
 
 
ver. 2.0 ~ 2011-