Since its origins in the late 1960s, the Eno River Association hadn’t set aside any of the more than 4,000 acres it saved to create its own preserve. Nearly all of that acreage has gone into Eno River State Park, a linear park that runs along its namesake river in Durham and Orange counties. That changed in 2018 with the opening of the Confluence Natural Area northwest of Hillsborough.
Confluence has about 2.25 miles of trail on 200 acres, some along the east branch of the Eno, some along the west branch — and an observation area where the two meet. There’s also some nice upland forest to explore, as well as open meadows, the exposure making for warm hiking on a cold winter day.
Our guide includes a trail map, detailed route description, video tour, details about the preserve (including how to get there), and an essay on the hiking experience.