Every Wednesday through Thanksgiving, GetGoingNC.com will feature a hike in North Carolina that just about anyone can do. It won’t be a long hike (though we may throw in a recommendation for going longer), it won’t be strenuous hike (there could be a hill-climb option as well). The hikes will be timed to coincide with the changing colors of fall. This week, the 1.5-mile Buckquarter Creek Trail in Eno River State Park.
Buckquarter Creek Trail, Eno River State Park
Distance: 1.5 miles.
Type of route: Loop.
Getting there: From I-85 in Durham go north on the Cole Mill Road exit. Take Cole Mill a little more than six miles, to it’s conclusion in the park. Take the first right past the ranger’s station and park. Perhaps a map will help.
Map: A trail map is available at the ranger station just up from the trailhead.
Highlights: A ridgeline hike and a riparian ramble, all on the same hike.
Why it’s easy and what you’ll see: A year ago, this hike wasn’t so easy. The trail along the Eno was ill-defined in spots, hugging a rocky bank that, especially when the river was up, required some scrambling over boulders that tumbled down to river’s edge. That was before a $140,000 trail renovation project turned a 1,100-foot portion of treacherous trail into an amiable amble. There is the ridgeline to contend with, but it’s a relatively tame trek along the old road (think horse and cart days) to Hillsborough. Not that it matters, but most folks seem to hike the ridge out, the riverbank back. You’ll get a different take on fall on both.
Go long: If you take the ridge out and, upon reaching the turnaround at Buckquarter Creek, decide a mile and a half won’t be enough, cross the bridge and add the 2.6-mile Holden Mill Trail to the mix. It’s a similar ridge/river loop with perhaps a little more elevation a few less hikers.
More info: Call the park office at 919-383-1686, or visit the Web site.
Photo: A happy hiker hikes a section of the new and improved Buckquarter Creek Trail.