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Cooling off in the Eno

posted Jun 24, 2018, 11:05 AM by Justin P   [ updated Jun 24, 2018, 2:37 PM ]
Sunday was going to be another very hot day in North Carolina, so I wanted somewhere to hike with water to help cool off and Eno River is always a good choice for water hikes.  The Eno River Association recently opened Confluence Natural Area to the public.  At the confluence of the East and West Forks, this marks the spot where the Eno River begins.  I started off hiking the Two Forks Trail from the parking area.  The trail passes through an open meadow past the pavilion and restrooms and then follows an old road through the woods to the northern end of the Big Meadow.

From here, it became a regular trail and it was clear not many people had hiked it recently as the spiderwebs were terrible.  The trail followed East Fork Eno River downstream and right before the confluence, a spur led to a nice view at the southern end of Big Meadow.

Right past the spur was a viewpoint at the confluence of East and West Forks of Eno River.

From here, the trail began following West Fork Eno River upstream.  Further on, I found a nice rocky spot to go out into the river.

Past here, Two Forks Trail terminated at Shepperd Mill Trail.  I went left and continued following West Fork upstream.

I never found any remnants of a mill but there was a rocky outcrop.

Where there trail ended at another open meadow, I backtracked to follow Shepperd Mill Trail back towards the start.  Right near the parking area was a rusty old piece of farm equipment.

Then I finished my hike up back at the parking area.  From here, I drove to the Cole Mill access for Eno River State Park.  It was warming up so I switched hiking boots for water shoes and started off on Pea Creek Trail.  It's a loop and near the half-way point, a footbridge crosses the creek.

I got on Dunnagan Trail to make another loop.  About half way around was an old Dunnagan gravestone.

The trail loops around and starts following the river.  I got in the river across from Pump Station to cool off a bit.  The water was fairly warm, but it was refreshing.

Continuing on, I finished up Dunnagan and Pea Creek Trails and the got on Cole Mill Trail to Bobbit Hole Trail.  At Bobbit Hole, I got in the water again and splashed around.

The water level was low but it was moving pretty quick so it was quite refreshing.  A dog was playing fetch in the water and really seemed to be enjoying himself.  After cooling off for a bit, I hiked back to the car to finish up.