In terms of population, Raleigh is the second-largest city in North Carolina, Durham is the fourth-largest and Cary is the seventh-largest. In the hustle and bustle of suburban life, there is rarely peace and quiet with cars honking, construction crews working and jets soaring overhead.
However, a few miles west of Durham, there is a refuge of silence and tranquility: Eno River State Park.
Straddling the Orange/Durham County border, Eno River State Park stands as a more quiet alternative to William B. Umstead State Park and a more local alternative to Uwharrie National Forest. Unlike Umstead, which is boxed in by suburban neighborhoods, highways, and an airport, Eno River is in a more rural location, its entrances branching off of a winding country road. The sound of passing jets is replaced by the sound of the river splashing over the boulders. The sound of passing cars is replaced by the sounds of fellow hikers crunching leaves beneath their boots as they go by.
The park is home to nearly twenty-eight miles of trails, varying in difficulty from an almost steadily flat Bobbitt Hole Trail to the Cox Mountain Trail which takes you up and down steep inclines and declines.
Also present at the park is an old mill house, where you can learn about the workings of one of the most crucial industries in nineteenth and early-twentieth century America.
The park is certainly a mark of beauty on the otherwise cookie-cutter house filled area of the Triangle, allowing visitors to take in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. The sound of the Eno trying to get to the Neuse is very relaxing, offering a sense of tranquility. The park is also wonderfully maintained, with its well-marked and well-maintained trails and bridges.
Perhaps instead of watching movies and TV shows on Netflix all weekend, students could take a small voyage to the Eno River State Park and take a short hike, or maybe even go camping at one of the many hike-in sites with some of their friends or family. If they aren’t up to that, they could take an afternoon venture to the Eno Rock Quarry, where they can jump off of the steep sides into the cool, crisp water below. If they don’t to get in the water, they can grab hiking sticks and vault onto the rocks that make up the short waterfall at Bobbitt Hole, where they can sit on the rocks and listen to the Eno trickle by.