Eno River State Park (8-21-14)
The Eno River, at a somewhat underwhelming 40-miles in length, might seem to get get more attention than it deserves. I'm here to tell you, it ought to get more. This short tributary of the Neuse River is one of the most pristine and scenic waterways in the Piedmont and perhaps anywhere in North Carolina. It's clear waters surrounded by lush forests and sprinkled with boulders and ledges provide a wonderfully wild place to escape and unwind in a region of North Carolina becoming increasingly filled by people and development.
Eno River State Park, established in 1975, protects some 9-miles of this valuable waterway within it's 3,900 acres. Five main access areas provide a gateway to the river and also a fairly extensive network of trails. On this day I'd be heading for the Few's Ford Access, the westernmost in the park. My intent was to follow a figure-eight loop of the Buckquarter Creek and Holden's Mill Trails past some of the most rugged portions of the river as well as a couple historic sites dating back to when this stretch of river bottom was a busy commercial location. Numerous mills and home-sites have been located along the Eno in the last 250 years but little remains but piles of stone and old foundations. It was my intent to experience both a bit of the history of the Eno as well as its widely acclaimed scenic beauty. It was a hot one this day, but it was time to put a few more miles on my boots and explore yet another of North Carolina's State Park gems...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 36.078024, -79.007112
Route Type: Loop Difficulty: EASY
Hike Length: 4.5 miles Hike Duration: 2:00
Trailhead Temp: 90'F Trail Traffic: 25-50 people
Min. Elevation: 425' Max. Elevation: ~600'
Total Vertical Gain: 200' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 45'
Trails Used (blaze color): Buckquarter Creek (red), Holden Mill (yellow)