Day Hike 2: Guess Road to Pump Station Access off Rivermont Road

Laurel Bluffs

Distance: 2.4 miles, plus 0.4-mile connector trail

  • Difficulty: Moderate.
  • Camping: No.
  • Land managers: N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
  • Volunteer Task Force Leader: Fred Dietrich, fred.dietrich@duke.edu.
  • Piggyback trail: Laurel Bluffs Trail.
  • Connecting trails: Pump Station Trail (1.5-mile loop at western end).
  • Trailhead/access: Eno River Association headquarters on Guess Road and Pump Station Access off Rivermont Road. The latter is an access operated by Eno River State Park and has official hours of 8 a.m. until sunset; there is no overnight parking. At Guess Road park behind the Eno River Association office (the red brick house on the north bank of the Eno); parking is at your own risk. Click on the map below for more detail.

Eno River above Guess Road.

The eastern trailhead is a little sketchy. From the Eno River Association headquarters off Guess Road the MST goes under the four-lane (five if you count mid-road turn lane) urban road, then surfaces to cross the bridge. Once across, a stairway quickly escorts you back down to the river.

The trail follows an old mill race and and passes the remains of a dam decommissioned long ago. You hike through floodplain for a short bit, then encounter the quick but mellow up-and-down common to the Eno River Valley. Tempting neighborhood trails beckon; keep your eye on the white blaze.

You’ll come up to a utility easement clearing near the end, follow it down to the river and continue upstream Shortly, you’ll have the option of continuing to the right on the MST or veering left on a 0.4-mile connector to roadside parking for the Pump Station Access. Continue on the MST and shortly you’ll be treated to the brick remains of the old water pumping station for which this area is named. Proceed with caution; this is a rare spot where access remains open to an entertaining (and potentially dangerous) piece of the past. After exploring the pump station, return uphill to the access on Rivermont Road.

Day Hike 2 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 2 in a larger map

Disclaimer

Finding Your Way

Finding Your Way (east » west) Mileage
Trailhead: Eno River Association headquarters, 4400 Guess Road, Durham (cross Guess Road, cross bridge, descend stairs immediately on right; proceed upstream) 0.0
On stepping stones, cross a small creek. Veer left onto steps. Pass the remains of a dam, as the trail starts a gradual ascent away from the Eno. 0.1
Walk by the remains of a homesite. The trail turns right by a wooden directional post. To the left, the unmarked path leads to a residential area. 0.3
After a moderately steep descent, cross a small creek and eventually return to the Eno. 0.6
After a short ascent, the trail reaches a rocky bluff with a good view. On the descent, cross a creek with some pretty cascades. 0.8
With the aid of some stepping stones, cross a narrow creek. Walk across a pair of boardwalks. 1.1
On a large, flat rock, you view some rapids. After going by an unmarked path, use a boardwalk to cross a small creek. 1.4
Cross a small creek with the aid of some corrugated pipes and then walk through an area cleared for underground optic cable. Toward the end of this cleared area, the trail turns sharp left to continue upstream. 2.0
Pass an unmarked trail on the left leading to a residential area. 2.2
Pass an information plaque on the right describing the former Durham water supply pump station, then turn left at the junction with the red-blazed Pump Station Trail. The pump station is just ahead on the right. 2.4
Trailhead: Reach a parking area on gravel Rivermont Rd. This is the second parking area along the road. 2.8