Durham Nature Forays

Durham is replete with natural beauty. Nature aficionados will enjoy bird-watching, hiking trails, and scenic river views, while history buffs will revel in the past with historic buildings and tobacco farmland.

  • From I-85 take the Cole Mill Rd. exit, number 173, and go 5.5 miles to the park entrance (15 min.)

Eno River State Park

6101 Cole Mill Road, Durham, NC 27705 | 919-383-1686 | www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/enri/main.php

The Eno River State Park is Durham’s largest park with 3,900 acres of secluded wilderness along the banks of the Eno River in Durham and Orange Counties. Visitors enjoy picnicking under shelters, bird watching, canoeing, rafting, fishing, and hiking. (Allow one to two hours.)

  • Take Cole Mill Rd. to Pleasant Green Rd. Turn left and follow for 4 miles, then then turn right onto St. Marys Rd.; after 3 miles turn left onto Guess Rd.; after 3 miles, entrance is on the right (20 min.)

Little River Regional Park & Nature Trail

301 Little River Park Way, Rougemont, NC 27572 | 919-732-5505 | www.enoriver.org/what-weprotect/little-river-regional-park/

History lovers swoon when they realize they’re standing at the intersection of history and nature at Little River Regional Park & Nature Trail. This 391-acre park and natural area was developed from tobacco farmland. Historic barns, houses, and sheds now serve as picnic shelters, information centers, and landmarks accompanying the more than 15 miles of walking, hiking, mountain-biking, and horseback-riding trails. There is also a playground for children and wildlife, bird watching, picnicking, and rockhounding. Hours vary. (Allow one to two hours.)

  • Take a left onto Guess Rd. and drive 3.3 miles to Mason Rd. Take a left on Mason, which becomes Snow Hill Rd., and go 7 miles. Parking is on the right just before Old Oxford Hwy. (20 min.)

Penny’s Bend

3706 Snow Hill Rd Durham NC 27712 | www.enoriver.org/what-we-protect/parks/pennys-bend/

Visitors don’t need to flip for heads or tails to decide whether or not to visit Penny’s Bend. Hikers are pleased to discover unusual wildflowers and unique molten rock formations on the 84-acre peninsula formed by the Eno River. Open dawn to dusk. (Allow one to two hours.)