Starting at the steel pedestrian bridge near Guess Rd., you’ll depart the paved trail (that leads north to various City Park facilities) to the left and head generally to the river, crossing a small creek a little downstram from the dam, and go play at and on the dam spanning the river. Use caution on the or near the dam as currents can be swift and kids should not be left unattended. You are also on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail at this point. Further upstream some marked trails will come in from the right, from those same park facilities, but you will continue to Sennett’s Hole along the river, the destination of a trail with the same name on the south side of the Eno River. Local lore holds that the first Mill on the Eno River was built here by… you guessed it, Mr. Sennett… and in a big flood, his mill, along with a pot of gold, was swept into the river at Sennett’s Hole. He survived but he claims (?) his pot of gold – life savings at that point – was lost and never found. The legend also holds that, while people have searched for the gold, they come back with reports that the bottom of the hole has never been found. I think the Ale was free-flowing when they came up with that legend! Beyond Sennett’s Hole the Eagle trail, blazed Blue (Eagle) and White (MST) continues to follow the river to a point where a trail turns right, uphill. The Eagle follows that uphill path, while the MST continues along the river.
Once uphill, there’s a spur to the right, leading to Kimlock Drive access. There is little or no parking here except along quiet residential streets. The main Eagle trail turns left. Almost immediately, there’s a small trail, blazed in yellow (covering old purple blazes), that leads to Easley Elementary School. (Access is into the woods from Frisbee Golf hole #2!) This access is likely only used by the school kids on field day trips to the river. Keep straight past that access and you will find a “Social Trail” off to the left, downhill, connecting back to the river and the MST, and a bit further a small trail cutting back to the right leading to a small man-made pond within sight of the main trail. Continuing straight, you will end up in the rear parking lot of the Eno River Association. You can stop in and visit here for trail information, or cut back to the river in their front yard, and return to the pedestrian bridge following the MST downriver to where it reconnects to the Eagle.
If you continue under the Guess Road bridge on this unblazed social trail, there’s a lot of character to the river as it follows upriver to a creek. The social trail turns right upcreek to a point where it crosses the creek on an old wobbly wooden bridge. This is actually now the Sawmill Trail, described elsewhere.