Eno River Area - Swim near Durham, North Carolina
Durham,North Carolina
36.0701185, -78.9184697
5.1 miles N of Durham, North Carolina
GPS: 36°4'12.4"N 78°55'6.5"W
Maps | Directions
State: North Carolina


Several swimming places north and west of Durham in the vicinity of the Eno River. For details...Courtesy of swimmingholes.org

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  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel & camp on durable surfaces
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Leave what you find
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  6. Respect wildlife
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From Durham, North Carolina

  1. Head southeast on E Main St toward US-70 BUS E (72 ft)
  2. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto N Roxboro St (449 ft)
  3. Continue straight to stay on N Roxboro St (1.5 mi)
  4. Turn left to merge onto I-85 S/US-15 S/US-70 W toward Greensboro (2.0 mi)
  5. Take exit 175 for NC-157 N/Guess Rd (0.3 mi)
  6. Turn right onto NC-157 N/Guess Rd (3.8 mi)
  7. Turn right onto Latta Rd (0.7 mi)
  8. Turn right onto Lochaven Dr (0.4 mi)

Directions are from I-85 in Durham:

SENNET HOLE [SENN]: Swimming place in the Eno River with a rope swing. From I-85 Exit 176, go north on Duke St. (RT 501) about 4 miles to West Point On the Eno Park. LINK TO PARK INFO. Turn left to enter park. There are multiple trail options for accessing the swimming hole, see TRAILS INFO . Most of the trail names are not designated by signs, but they are marked with colored blazes that correspond to the colored circles on the map.

The Eagle Trail (blue blazes, about 2 mile round trip) is on the north side of the river, starting at the steel pedestrian bridge near Roxboro Road. It is little longer, but it is flat, has no major creek crossings, and runs all the way from the east end to the west end of the park. The Buffalo Trail (white blazes, about 1 mile round trip) starts at the far southwest corner of the parking/roadway area is the most direct path to Sennett Hole, but it involves a wide creek crossing with no bridge and sparse stepping stones. (There is also a picnic area and family wading spot just upstream at the Grist Mill and Blacksmith shop.)

Here is a report as of summer, 2005:"Incredible place to swim. It is secluded, plenty deep, and large. There have been deaths there, though. Snakes and rocks too" PHOTO , PHOTO , PHOTO , PHOTO . CAUTION! There was a drowning here in April 2005, circumstances unknown, DO NOT SWIM HERE IF CONDITIONS APPEAR UNSAFE FOR YOUR SKILL LEVEL! LAT, LON lat=36.0701185, lon=-78.9184697(source: measured by another) (accuracy: approximate) LINK TO GOOGLE MAP. Very confident. Verified by another. Updated 9/2014.

ENO QUARRY [ENOQ]: Although somewhat remote from park trails, there are informal, well-worn trails that lead to this traditional swimming hole in a quarry. PHOTO . Despite attempts by the former owner to actively discourage trespassing, it remains a popular swimming hole. Its continued use is indicative of public demand for swimming. One drowning occurred in 1993. The quarry has some steep sides that rise up to 18 feet above the water. The steep slope and rocks make egress from the water difficult. Low bank is very limited, and gently sloping bottom exists in only one area. The water is clean and clear and supports waterfowl and fish. Water depth is believed to be 60 to 80 feet. A gravel road (chained off) provides vehicular access to the site only on the side that has the bank where you can get into the water. The other side where the face is like 20 ft and there is no vehicle access.

According to a sign on the trail, swimming is not recommended and there are no lifeguards. Park rangers routinely patrol the quarry and remind swimmers that the quarry is not an official swim area, the water is not tested for toxicity or bacteria, and many people have been injured jumping from the cliffs here. According to the rangers, swimming in the quarry is permitted, albeit discouraged. Lots of people swim there, though, and it is great. There is only one beach-type area and it is very small. The quarry sides are steep and high off the water. Not good for small children at all. Since the water is very deep everywhere, inner tubes and life jackets would be a good thing to bring if you want to stay in the water. Wear sneakers because you will be climbing in and out on sharp rocks and steep banks. People need to be pretty good swimmers here. The rocks at the bank are pretty sharp and drop off once you get a few feet out then you're on your own. Use plenty of caution here - don't go if you are not a good swimmer - THERE HAVE BEEN DROWNINGS HERE IN RECENT YEARS!

To get here: From I-85 exit 173 (west of Durham), take Cole Mill Rd. north about 3 miles and turn left onto Sparger Rd.. Continue on Sparger almost to the I- 85 overpass (about 1.5 miles) and turn right onto Howe St.. Go about .5 mile down Howe St. and turn into the Cabe Land Access State Park parking area on the right. This parking area fills up and the rangers will turn you away, so get there early. The lot is open 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. This lot is prone to car break-ins, according to signs posted on the information display. The trail head is easy to find. From the parking area, take the Cabe Lands Trail. When the trail forks, keep left to the upper portion of the loop and follow it to the junction with the Eno Quarry Trail (to the left). Follow the Eno Quarry Trail to the quarry. link to park/trail info. It’s about a mile and a half walk from the parking lot to the quarry. Not difficult but don't bring a lot of stuff.

If you are turned away from the Cabe Lands Access, you can park at the Pleasant Green access and follow the Laurel Bluffs Trail 1.4 miles downstream to the quarry. To get to the Pleasant Green Access, take exit 170 from I-85 and head north on US 70 (you will need to make a u-turn after getting off the exit ramp if you are exiting from I-85 North). At the first stoplight you come to, turn right onto Pleasant Green Rd. Drive 0.4 miles, and the parking area will be on your left just before the bridge. LAT, LON lat=36.042773, lon=-78.9998(source: measured by another) (accuracy:approximate) LINK TO GOOGLE MAP. Very confident. Verified by another. Updated 4/2014.

BOBBITT HOLE [BOBB]: A swimming place in the Eno River. PHOTO . From I-85 take exit 173 North onto Cole Mill Rd. Go north on Cole Mill Rd. for about 4 miles and turn left onto Old Cole Mill Rd. Drive to the end and park. From the parking area, walk the Cole Mill Trail toward the river, and follow the river upstream. When the trail forks, keep left to the Bobbitt Hole Trail and continue to follow the river upstream. As you approach Bobbitt Hole, the trail will veer away from the river, but a short spur to the left stays with the river and will lead you to the swimming hole. It’s about a mile walk from the parking lot. LAT, LON lat=36.050049, lon=-78.987622(source: measured by another) (accuracy:approximate) LINK TO GOOGLE MAP. Very confident. Verified by another. Updated 4/2014.

HAW RIVER [HAWR]: A swimming place in the Haw River in Pittsboro south of Chapel Hill. PHOTO .Apparently a part of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area WEB INFO. Seems like the Haw River used to be pretty polluted but has been cleaner in recent years. There is a low dam here - DO NOT GET IN THE CURRENT BELOW THE DAM AND DO NOT SWIM AT ALL IF THE CURRENT IS STRONG DUE TO RAINFALL. There is also lots of poison ivy here. To get here from Pittsboro (south of Chapel Hill), take RT 15/501 north toward Chapel Hill. After you cross the bridge over the Haw River, see a parking area on the left. Park and follow the obvious trail to the river. If you swim across the river, there is an island that has a rope swing. LAT, LON [] lat=35.77381, lon=-79.14705(source: map) (accuracy: approximate ) LINK TO GOOGLE MAP. Pretty confident. Not verified. Updated 4/2014.Courtesy of swimmingholes.org

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