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Wildflowers at Penny's Bend

posted Apr 16, 2013, 11:54 AM by Justin P
On Sunday, Sandy left with my mom to head up to Ohio for 10 days.  The weather was beautiful and it was finally starting to feel like spring, so what better way to enjoy the spring than going for a hike to see wildflowers.  I decided a good spot to see them would be Penny's Bend Nature Preserve in Durham.  The preserve is located right across the street from the western terminus of the Falls Lake Trail.  The bend is a horseshoe-shaped curve in the Eno River just upstream of where it feeds into Falls Lake.  The flow of the Eno River carved out a diabase sill with basic soil allowing a variety of vegetation to grow that is not commonly found elsewhere in the area.  I pulled into the parking lot off Old Oxford Road and Snow Hill Road.  There were a number of people here, but most were fishing, the most popular activity at Penny's Bend.  After hiking a short ways past the trailhead, I didn't see anyone else during my hike.  I followed the George Pyne Trail along the Eno River as it makes its way around the horseshoe bend, stopping periodically to view the wildflowers.  It was definitely feeling like spring today with warm temperatures and the flowers were starting to show.  Besides wildflowers, the trees were starting to get their leaves and some of the dogwoods were starting to flower.  I hiked along the length of the bend then the trail started to turn back near the preserve boundary.  There was a fairly steep hill going up to Little Blowing Rock, a rock outcrop a hundred feet or so above the river with nice views.  Past Little Blowing Rock, the trail went through an open meadow area and I turned onto Cash's Point Trail to cut through the meadow.  I saw a cool old tree here in the meadow that was sort of in the shape of a trident.  Then the trail headed back towards the river and I got back on the George Pyne Trail and hiked back to trailhead.  It was a short hike today, only about three miles or so, but full of pretty spring vegetation to remind me that winter was finally ending.