Saturday, January 19, 2013

Eno River State Park- Bobbits Hole

               ENO RIVER STATE PARK
            Cole Mill, Bobbit Hole, Pea Creek Trail

Late Saturday afternoon we decided to travel down I-85 to visit the eastern section of Eno River State Park....we have discovered that there are many nice river trails in this wonderful park on the border of Orange and Durham Counties between Hillsbourgh and Durham....wilderness is where you look for it!

To get to this section of the Park, you follow the signs off NC 70 to Pleasant Ridge Road but when the sign points to a left turn onto Cole Mill Road....turn the next stop light take a right and you are at the Cole Mill Trail access of the Eastern Portion of the Eno River State Park.  

This section of the Park follows the river....we started on the Cole Mill loop and then took the Bobbit Hole Trail to the river.....and Bobbit Hole...

I understand that Bobbit Hole is a popular swimming hole in the summer but on this winter's day it is a quick flowing rapid.  Not going to see the Fat Bald White Guy make this a cotton tail falls today....too fast....too muddy!
Bobbit Hole marks the end of the trail on the western side of the Eno River in this section of the park....and there we spotted a couple sharing a bench and the scenery....don't worry about them...they passed us on the trail about a mile down stream from Bobbit's Hole!

The trail from Bobbit Hole follows the western bank of the Eno River until it intersects with the Cole Mill Loop Trail.....which also follows the western bank of the Eno River....and if you like river views this is the hike to take....

The river was swift muddy and high but there were several interesting rapids

We saw several kayaks in the parking lot but never saw any on the river. Today would have been a good day to take a ride down the river....

The western bank of the Eno River is a series of rocky bluffs.  I understand that the Mountain to Sea Trail runs along these bluffs ....but the only crossing is the Cole Mill Road about a two miles downstream from Bobbit to make that hike this winter before the leaves come back and obscure the view of the river.

Several times along the trail we were reminded that Eno River State Park lies on the border of Durham and Orange Counties.... not sure why that is important but decided to memorialize it in a picture nonetheless.

As the trail hugs the bank of the river we found ourselves slipping and sliding ....and my hiking companion actually fell twice....I laughed the first time ...but thought better of it the second time!

As we got closer to the Cole Mill Road bridge the river calmed and cleared.....and we were treated with many great reflections!
The river turns northward and the setting sun produced some nice shadows and spotlights.

Looking upstream a single Carolina Pine was bathed in sunlight while the river rapids flowed in the shadows.

“Where are there lots of colors, Colton?" "In Heaven, Dad. That's where all the rainbow colors are!” 
― Todd BurpoHeaven is for Real

We even photographed a rainbow....but found no pot of gold along the trail.

The Cole Mill Trail ends within sight of the Cole Mill Road bridge and turns into the Pea Creek Trail which leads under the bridge and then loops to the right and just over the ridge it follows the banks of Pea Creek.  There is a bridge crossing Pea Creek to the Dunnagan Loop Trail. Due to the lateness of the hour we elected to bypass the Dunnagan Loop and follow Pea Creek back to the river. It was there that we experienced one of the best reflective views I have ever seen.....see what you think?
Can you tell which picture is upside down?

Eno River State Park is full of surprises.  Like all of the State Parks we have hiked, it is well maintained and enjoyed by many. There are several more trails left for us to hike.  If you want to hike this trail hike it reverse of our trek.  Start out on the Pea Creek Trail and take the Dunnagan Loop and then follow Cole Mill Trail to Bobbits Hole. It should be about 6 miles long and a great day hike for all ages.  The Trail is an 8....the scenery a 7 and access is an 8....great overall 8 grade.  We had fun and so will you!   

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