ENO RIVER STATE PARK
Eno River begins in northwest Orange County, flowing eastward approximately 33 miles until, along with the Little and Flat rivers, it forms the Neuse and flows into Falls Lake. The Eno's waters roll through wilderness passing historic mill sites, river bluffs covered with flowering shrubs and fords used by early settlers. The river can run as swift as the wind and as gentle as a blowing breeze. But, upstream, rapids smash against rocks in the river's path. Further down, the Eno meanders quietly through serene surroundings.
The valley of the river is narrow and steep-walled. The rolling landscape is carved and sculpted by swift-flowing water. Eno River State Park lies here, in the beauty of more than 2,600 acres of natural resources. Five access areas?Cabe Lands, Cole Mill, Few's Ford, Pleasant Green and Pump Station?offer entry into this largely unspoiled river environment.
Park hours*November-February, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.March and October, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.April, September, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.May-August, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.Closed Christmas Day*Park opening and closing times refer to Few's Ford Access. Cole Mill Access opens at 9 a.m.; Pleasant Green and Cabelands accesses open at 8:30 a.m. These accesses close 30 minutes prior to the closing times listed above.
Park office hoursMonday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday, March-October, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m.
Friday, November-February, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday, March-October, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday, November-February, 1-5 p.m.
Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Closed state holidays
Primitive camping: Leave luxury behind and enjoy primitive camping at Eno River. Backpack camping facilities, available to families and groups, offer an opportunity to learn about the outdoors firsthand. All supplies, including water, must be packed to the sites.
Family camping: Follow a secondary trail off Fanny's Ford Trail to reach the primitive family campsites, approximately one mile from the camper parking lot in the Few's Ford access area. Five sites offer tent pads and a pit toilet. Due to the remoteness of the area, open fires are not permitted; fires are restricted to camp stoves. Obtain a camping permit at the park office where sites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis for a modest fee.
Group camping: To reach the group camp, follow the trail from the camper parking lot at Few's Ford and cross a swinging bridge over the river to a shady, wooded ridge. The area has five tent pads and two fire rings, and the camp accommodates a maximum of 26 people. Benches, a fire pit and pit toilet are provided. Reservations are required for group camping, and a modest fee is charged. Click here to download a Group Camping Reservation Request form.
Travel the Eno by canoe and encounter Class I, II and III rapids. Canoe access points are located in several areas of the park. Wear a life vest at all times, and please respect the rights of private land owners along the river.
Canoeing is best after a rain, which slightly raises the water level. Levels are measured on gauges on road bridges. The best canoeing levels are one to three feet. Levels below one foot require some portaging while levels above three feet are dangerous. Information on river conditions and put-in/take-out locations may be obtained at the park office.
The best rapids are located between Hillsborough and Roxboro Road in Durham. The river continues at a slower pace from there to Falls Lake. Watch for dangerous hydraulics below the Pleasant Green Dam.
Native Americans of the Eno, Shakori and Occoneechee tribes lived along the river prior to European settlement. Some of the tribes merged in the late 17th century and established a village near present-day Durham. Settlers moved to the area later to set up farms and gristmills. More than 30 mills were located along the length of the Eno.
Efforts to establish Eno River State Park started in 1965 when the city of Durham proposed building a reservoir in the river valley. A group of concerned citizens led a campaign to save the Eno and formed the Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley. The association proposed the establishment of a state park and, in May of 1972, the state of North Carolina approved the idea. The city of Durham withdrew its efforts to construct the reservoir. In 1975, the state?with help from the Eno River Association and the Nature Conservancy?acquired more than 1,000 acres of land for the park.