Day Hike 1: U.S. 501/Roxboro Road to Guess Road, Durham

West Point on the Eno City Park

Distance: 1.8 miles, plus 0.1-mile connector trail

  • Difficulty: Easy.
  • Camping: No.
  • Land manager: Durham Parks & Recreation.
  • Volunteer Task Force Leader: Fred Dietrich, fred.dietrich@duke.edu.
  • Piggyback trail: Eagle Trail.
  • Connecting trails: Additional 3 miles of trail in West Point on the Eno city park.
  • Trailhead/access: West Point on the Eno city park, 5101 North Roxboro Road, Durham, and at the Eno River Association headquarters (the red brick house) on north bank of the Eno River at Guess Road. Park at your own risk. Overnight parking is prohibited. Gate hours at West Point on the Eno are 8 a.m. to sunset. Click on map below for more detail.

Sennett Hole.

There’s a secret on this hike that you discover about 0.6 mile in. After losing touch with the river for a short period, you come over a rocky passage and there it is: Sennet Hole. This rock-rimmed pool (a little smaller than a community pool) is a favorite for folks looking to cool off on a steamy summer’s day. It may be tepid on top, but dive down five, 10, 15 feet in the middle and a chill is guaranteed. Ample rocks for sunning afterward.

The trail proceeds along the river upstream before taking a turn upland with about a half mile to go. Keep an eye out for the white blaze; well-trod neighborhood trails are notorious in this stretch for luring hikers off the mark. And don’t be concerned if it appears your hike winds up in someone’s backyard. That brick house is actually home to the Eno River Association, which has been preserving land along the Eno since the 1960s.

A popular way to hike this trail is as a 3.8-mile out-and-back from West Point on the Eno. A shuttle isn’t really justified on a 1.9-mile hike, and you avoid the issue of parking at the Eno River Association headquarters, which can be tight at times.

Day Hike 1 Map

Click on the link below the Google map to open it up in a larger version which includes definition of the map symbols, hiking notes, and an interactive option for driving to the trailheads. Note: state park boundaries are not accurate.


View MST / Eno River / Day Hike 1 in a larger map

Disclaimer

Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way (east » west)
Trailhead: From the parking area for West Point on the Eno (a Durham city park), on the north side of the river, turn left on the road, then left again on a short paved walkway.
At the end of the walkway, turn right onto the MST.
By a view of the dam, the trail heads right onto a narrower footpath. Using stepping stones to cross Crooked Creek, the trail ascends slightly and turns left by a bench (the first of several) onto a more open path.
The MST returns to the riverbank. It goes right, slightly uphill, and then to the left by an unmarked path. The trail narrows as it passes through a rocky area known as Sennett Hole. This is a popular place for cooling off during the heat of the summer.
Cross a small footbridge over a narrow creek.
By a bench, the Eagle Trail heads uphill to the right for 0.7 mile to reach the Eno River Association’s headquarters. The MST continues to the left, along the river’s edge.
Note rapids, left, and a rock wall on the opposite bank. As the trail continues by the river, pass an unmarked path to the right. This leads gently uphill 0.2 mile to parking by the Eno River Association’s headquarters on Guess Rd. The MST stays by the river’s shore.
On a rocky, narrow path, cross under Guess Rd. On the other side, the MST turns sharply right to ascend on a series of steps. At the top, the trail goes right and then left.
Reach the sidewalk and turn right to walk south on Guess Rd. to cross the Eno. At the end of the bridge, by signage, head right to enter Eno River State Park as the MST now runs conjunctively with the yellow-blazed Laurel Bluffs Trail (LBT). Descend on steps and cross two boardwalks. At the end of the second boardwalk, note the millstone and other remains of a former gristmill.