Hiking trails and nature preserves are a great way to get some exercise and stress relief right now. Here’s plenty of options for you throughout Durham and Orange County so one spot doesn’t become overcrowded and have to close!

As you recreate on these parks and trails, model social distancing by maintaining a safe distance (at least 6 feet) between you and other users. Also, be sure to bring doggie bags with you and clean up after yourself. These places are important to our community and the planet all year long, please consider donating to the Eno River Association or Triangle Land Conservancy!

Have another trail to add or closing to report? Send us a message! This list was updated last on April 23, 2020.

Duke Forest

Address: NC-751, Durham, NC 27705

Duke Forest consists of over 7,000 acres of forested land and open fields in Durham, Orange, and Alamance counties. Gravel roads and dirt foot trails throughout the Forest provide opportunities for running and hiking. Duke Forest requires that all dogs be leashed and that visitors and their pets stay on established roads and trails.

Wes Point on the Eno

West Point on the Eno

Address: 5101 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704

West Point on the Eno is free 404-acre park along the Eno River with five miles of scenic trails. Enjoy a picnic and stroll around the grounds, or take a hike through the woods on one of the park trails (PDF).

Penny’s Bend Nature

Address: 3706 Snow Hill Rd Durham, NC 27712

This 84-acre preserve is a peninsula, bounded on 3 sides by the Eno River as it flows eastward towards Falls Lake. There are two trails open that are 1.0 mile and 1.5 miles.

Confluence Natural Area

Address: 4214 Highland Farm Road, Hillsborough, NC

This 200-acre preserve is open for low-impact recreational uses, such as hiking, picnicking, and photography.

You can find a checklist of all the trails open throughout the Eno River basin here

Hollow Rock Nature Park

Address: 692 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC 27707

This relatively new nature park is located at 692 Erwin Road. Its two main trails are both less than one mile long and feature mostly flat terrain. Though short in length, these trails include several notable facets such as a spacious meadow and beautiful views of New Hope Creek. Hollow Rock Nature Park also includes an access trail to Duke Forest, where longer hiking loops are available as well as highly recommended. Overall, this hidden gem is perfect for a casual jaunt or summer walk. 

Brumley Forest (South)

Brumley Forest Nature Preserve

Southern parking lot: 3055 New Hope Church Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Northern parking lot:
3620 Old State Hwy 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

The preserve is divided into two sections, the South has dual trails for both hiking and biking, while the North is exclusively for hiking. With 613 acres and over 15 miles of biking and hiking trails, there’s plenty of space to keep your social distance!⁠⠀

Horton Grove Nature Preserve

Address: 7360 Jock Road, Bahama NC  27503

Horton Grove Nature Preserve is Triangle Land Conservancy’s largest public preserve. Visitors can currently enjoy approximately eight miles of hiking trails, including the That Makes Sense Interpretative Trail for kids. These trails wind through mature forests, including upland oak-hickory forests, beech slopes, and several stands of mixed pine and hardwoods. TLC has restored two small native plant meadows here, including a 20-acre warm season grassland surrounding the main parking area. Open meadows and grasslands are important for numerous species but have become rare throughout North Carolina’s Piedmont. TLC restores habitats with native grasses to provide nesting and foraging opportunities for a variety of birds and pollinators, including monarch butterflies and honeybees.

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve

Main Entrance
: 2713 Mt. Sinai Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Secondary Entrance
6001 Turkey Farm Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514

At TLC’s 296-acre Johnston Mill Nature Preserve you’ll find many of the same natural attributes as you will at its bigger, better-known neighbors Eno River State Park and Duke Forest, minus the crowds.

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve’s roughly three and a half miles of trails may be a fraction of what you’ll find elsewhere, but you can see a lot of scenery in that short distance. And, you can enjoy it in relative peace and quiet.

More Triangle Land Conservancy Nature Preserves here and consider donating to keep these important places around

Riverwalk in Hillsborough


Riverwalk is a paved, accessible, urban greenway that stretches about 1.8 miles along the Eno River between Gold Park in western Hillsborough and trails east of town. 

  • Downtown Hillsborough — the main entrance is by the Eno River Parking Deck at the end of Nash and Kollock Street, adjacent to the Gateway Center.
  • Gold Park — the town park is located at 415 Dimmocks Mill Road.
  • River Park — the Orange County park is located at 140 E. Margaret Lane behind the Orange County Justice Facility.
Occoneechee Speedway Trail

Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail

Address: 320 Elizabeth Brady Road, Hillsborough

The Occoneechee Speedway Trail is 44 acres and 4 miles of trails that takes you along the banks of the Eno River, where you’ll walk around the only surviving dirt speedway from NASCAR’s inaugural 1949 season.

The original track was a half-mile horse track built by Julian S. Carr for Occoneechee Farms and it was later expanded and used by NASCAR.

  • Trails are very wide and allow for social distancing
  • Handicap Accessible and dog friendly

Kings Highway Park

Address: 1001 Ben Johnston Road. Hillsborough

Kings Highway Park is an 18-acre natural area. The property is bounded on the south and west by Lake Ben Johnston. The park was developed by volunteers. It has almost 1 mile of nature trails.

Little River Regional Park

Address: 301 Little River Park Way, Rougemont, NC 27572

The Little River Regional Park & Natural Area features over 7 miles of hiking trails and 8 miles of single-track mountain biking trails. 

Tag us in your Instagram stories and posts with your favorite hiking views and we’ll share them there to spread the outdoor love!

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Best of the Bull Staff
Author: Best of the Bull Staff

We’re here to make your life a little easier by bringing you the best things to do, places to eat, drink, and see in Durham.