Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about the great outdoors in the Triangle – parks, trails and green spaces under blue skies. So brush up on your trail etiquette, lace up those shoes, slather on the sunscreen and join us for some fresh air and fun times.
To be honest, I could write this latest “21 Days” series focusing on just the Eno River Basin alone. The area is so vast and diverse when you consider the adjoining protected lands and adjacent parks, a month hardly seems enough time. The river itself flows eastward from northwest Orange County, through Durham County until it empties into Falls Lake, about 33 miles later. The Eno River State Park lands include more than 4,000 acres of wilderness, historic mill sites, river bluffs, rapids and wildlife. The largely unspoiled environment within the park can be accessed via five entry points – Cabe Lands, Cole Mill, Fews Ford, Pleasant Green, and Pump Station – where 24 miles of trails await exploration. If you’re interested in exploring all those trails, I suggest you visit the Eno Trails website first. There’s a wealth of information in there from a man who’s mapped it all out for you. Of course, there’s more adventure beyond the hiking trails in the park.
The river is so important that each Independence Day weekend the Eno River Association throws a little party at Durham’s West Point on the Eno park. The annual Festival for the Eno River raises money and awareness to continue to protect the Eno River and watershed, while offering a fun weekend filled with live music performances (over 60 acts on four stages this year), a craft fair and plenty of food and fun. One of the most impressive features of the festival is their “trash free” focus. Disposal stations can be found strategically placed around the park and are attended to by volunteers who will help you sort whatever you need to discard into compost and recycling receptacles. You can get tickets now for the festival (for one day or both) online (or in various local retail locations) and save a few dollars off the admission price at the gate if you purchase before June 29th.
Whether you visit this Summer, during the Fall or next Spring, you’re certain to find a beautiful and inspiring view along the Eno River basin.