Trails on the Eno River
Eno River Trail Guides
Contact Information for the Eno River Trails
Area Trails on the Eno River
Map of the Trails on the Eno River
Area Trails on the Eno River
OCCONEECHEE MTN. AREA
All trails in the OCCONEECHEE AREA 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 completely 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 - This Summit trail to the lookout towers is now closed to the public, with a large sign proclaiming it is for Authorized Personnel Only); the Chestnut Oak Trail which is brand new and cuts across the entire park east-west on the high ridgeline; and the Brown Elfin Knob Trail which explores the bluffs on the east side of the park. ( * = See Below.)

FAVORITE COMBINATION TRAILS FOR LONGER HIKES IN THIS AREA:
This is such a small park that you could easily do all the trails, or a combination of loops and figure-eight's to take in much of the trail system in on afternoon hike. I recently did a large figure-eight encompassing all of these trails in less than 6 miles.

OCCONEECHEE MOUNTAIN TRAIL: NOTE: 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.
View from this Eno River Trail

The Occoneechee Mountain trail begins at the parking area at the end of Virginia Cades Road. To do it counter clockwise, go to the northeast corner near where you drove into the parking lot and look for a clearing, and a partially hidden trailhead sign. You start off heading for the larger fishing lake at first, then cut into the woods to the left. There's a fairly steady rise in the trail to where Brown Elfin Knob trail splits off to the left headed to the Summit Trail.

At the far northeast corner of this loop trail, you'll pop into a powerline cut with the main trail turning to the left. Take a few moments to bushwhack to the left on an obvious trail, for a great view of the city beyond and an open quarry in the near distance.

You COULD walk the powerline cut, but it is not a pretty trail - regain the Occoneechee Mountain Loop Trail and you will find a trail split leading uphill. This is the Overlook Trail. My suggestion would be to go on this trail only up to the wooden fence overlook, above the quarry face, and then return to this trail split. Once regained, continue to the west a short distance. There is a very short viewpoint trail, perhpas 40 feet long, that stands on the edge of the quarry - good views here. A bit further to the west is a much longer social trail headed back east on a ridge line. You can follow this all the way to Eno Mountain Road, which has roadside parking for several vehicles.

My preference for off-trail bushwhacking would have me suggest you access the bottomlands north of this trail, closer to the river to a place I call Ghosttown. See my Trail Journal HERE to see how to best find the Panther's Den. Otherwise, stay on the loop trail, which cuts close to the river before heading slightly uphill, meanders to the south and then uphill to the east and back to the Parking area. Some of these trails are somewhat steeper than usual, use caution.

Most people combine several of these trails into one longer one.
 

Map of this Eno River Trail
BASEMAP COPYRIGHT GOOGLE MAPS; OVERLAY DATA COPYRIGHT EnoTrails.com - RIGHT CLICK & VIEW IMAGE TO DISPLAY IN NEW WINDOW AND PRINT (LANDSCAPE.
Join me on recent hikes along the Eno. Presented in Slide format with descriptions. CLICK below:
Trail Journals for Hikes on the Eno River
ver. 2.0 ~ 2011-