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Confluence Natural Area

Confluence Natural Area is a 200-acre nature preserve at the confluence of East and West Forks of Eno River in Orange County north of Hillsborough.  The property is owned by the Eno River Association and was opened to the public in May 2018.  It is currently open on weekends from dawn to dusk for low-impact recreation, including hiking, photography, and birding.  There are several open meadows in the preserve and 2 miles of hiking trails provide access to varied ecosystems.  The confluence of East and West Fork mark the beginning of the Eno River, which flows through Orange and Durham Counties before emptying into Falls Lake.

Address:

4214 Highland Farm Road
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Directions:

GPS Coordinates: 36.13733,-79.16034

From Hillsborough, head north on NC-86 for about 2.5 miles to Coleman Loop Road and turn left.  Coleman Loop Road is 1.6 miles north of US-70 on NC-86.  Follow Coleman Loop Road for 1.2 miles and turn left on Highland Farm Road.  Drive 2.6 miles and turn left into the preserve right after crossing over Eno River.  A short gravel drive leads to the parking area.

Map:

Trails:

Shepperd Mill Trail:

Length: 0.3 miles
Blaze: Yellow

Shepperd Mill Trail starts through the open meadow west of the parking area.  Two Forks Trail splits to the left shortly and this trail leads to West Fork Eno River and follows it upstream a short ways.  The trail turns sharply away from the river and heads up past a rock outcrop and ends at another open meadow.

Two Forks Trail:

Length: 1.8 miles
Blaze: Red

Two Forks Trail starts past the pavilion and privy and follows an old road to Big Meadow.  From here, it is a natural surface trail following East Fork Eno River downstream towards the confluence.  Just before the confluence, a spur trail leads to Big Meadow.  A viewpoint of the confluence is just past the spur.  After this point, the trail follows West Fork Eno River upstream.  The other end of the trail is at Shepperd Mill Trail.

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