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Hiking in North Carolina


  • Eno River State Park-  This is a great state park to go hiking at and it's a short drive from downtown Durham and Duke. There is a western and eastern part of the park. The river runs right through the middle of both sections which makes a nice focal point of your hike. Trail maps can be downloaded from the website (see below).  
  • West Point on the Eno On the weekends you can visit the working grist mill and other historic buildings in this Durham city park.  They still grind flour and grains that you can purchase on Saturday or Sunday.  Details on the webpage. West Point on the Eno is the site of the annual Festival for the Eno, a 3-day festival of music, crafts and environmental education that takes place around July 4 each year. Hiking trails run along both sides of the river. The half mile or so above the dam is suitable for flatwater paddling. Sennett's Hole is a popular swimming hole located in this park. Another link
  • Duke Forest- Some parts of Duke Forest are right near campus off of 751, but it is also spread out around other areas near Durham and Chapel Hill.  It might be worth it to invest in a map of the the trails and fire roads when you get to Duke, so that you can explore more of the area!  Parking is usually just outside the gates, along the shoulder of the road.  Be sure to not block any gates into the forest.  Definitely worth checking out!
  • Little River Regional Park (Durham/Orange Counties) has over seven miles of hiking trails.http://www.enoriver.org/eno/parks/littleriverpark.html
  • Penny's Bend Nature Preserve is a natural area in N. Durham (at the intersection of Old Oxford & Snow Hill Roads)  owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and managed by the N.C. Botanical Garden.  This 84-acre preserve is a peninsula, bounded on 3 sides by the Eno River as it flows eastward towards Falls Lake.  Penny's Bend supports rare plant species, a distinctive type of forest, and human sculpted open space. info: http://www.enoriver.org/eno/parks/PennysBend/pennysbend.htm  map:http://www.enoriver.org/eno/Maps/Pennysbend.htm
  • The American Tobacco Trail is a 22+ mile rails-to-trails project located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina. info: http://www.triangletrails.org/ATT.HTM
  • Durham Bike & Hike map - http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/transportation/bike_hike_map.cfm

Chapel Hill/Orange County

  •  Occoneechee Speedway near Hillsborough was one of the first two NASCAR tracks to open and is the only track remaining from the inaugural 1949 season. The site is now a hiking destination, heavily forested in 40 year old pines and sycamores. This site is one of only three race tracks on the National Register of Historic Places. http://www.enoriver.org/eno/parks/occspdwy.htm
  •  Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area near Hillsborough offers hiking trails, an abandoned quarry, and some of the best views in the Triangle. http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/ocmo/directions.php
  • Ayr Mount near Hillsborough is an historic home that also features the scenic and tranquil one-mile Poet's Walk. http://www.presnc.org/Travel/Ayr-Mount-Hillsborough
  • Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, owned by the Triangle Land Conservancy, protects land along New Hope Creek corridor. The area is home to regionally rare plant, insect and amphibian species. Also contains historically significant mill sites. The preserve is located just a few miles north of I-40 near Chapel Hill in Orange County. Three trails total approx. 5 miles in length. info: http://www.triangleland.org/lands/tlc/johnston_mill_np.shtml

Raleigh/Wake County

  •  Divided into two sections, Crabtree Creek and Reedy Creek, this 5,579-acre park is easily accessible from Interstate 40 and US 70. This park offers hiking, biking, car camping, and boating. http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/wium/main.php

Outside the Triangle

  •  Hanging Rock State Park is north of the Triad, about 1.5 hours from here.  It's a nice hike and a gorgeous view from the top.  Picnic sites and a creek make for a perfect afternoon.

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