Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Eno River State Park - Durham, NC

By Donna L. Watkins

Determined Tree Chooses To Reach For The Sky
Minutes from downtown Durham, Hillsborough, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Eno River State Park offers 28 miles of secluded wilderness trails with the beauty and sound of a river drifting and cascading over a rocky stream bed. All trails are blazed and signed.  We picked up a map at the visitor center.

The Eno River is a chain of rapids, pools, and rippling water meandering through a forest on a bed of rock. The valley of the river is narrow and steep walled.

The rugged landscape is carved and sculpted by swift flowing water. This State Park lies in the beauty of more than 3900 acres of natural resources.

Archaeology tells us that men first walked trails along the Eno long before recorded history. Indians of the Eno, Shakori, and Occoneechee tribes, lived along the river when the first European explorers passed through. Some of the tribes merged in the late 17th century and established a village near present day Durham.

Settlers moved in during the mid 1700's to set up farms and gristmills. More than 30 mills were located along the length of the Eno.

One of those farms included the restored Piper-Cox House which is also within the park.  It gives you a glimpse into pioneer life in the early 1800's, with some display information on mills.

Piper-Cox House Within Eno River State Park
Efforts to establish Eno River State Park started in 1965, when the city of Durham proposed building a reservoir in the river valley. A group of concerned citizens led a campaign to save the Eno and proposed a state park be established. In May of 1972, the state of North Carolina approved the idea.

With help from the Eno River Association and The Nature Conservancy, the park opened with more than 1,000 acres of land.

Together with the adjoining West Point on the Eno city park, the two parks preserve over 9 miles (15 km) of the river in its natural habitat. Eno River State Park provides opportunities for camping, hiking, canoeing, fishing and picnics. There are many educational activities scheduled each month.

View the photo album for Eno River State Park and Piper-Cox House.

Eno River State Park

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