For a Piedmont river, the Eno is surprisingly montane, especially it’s upper reaches above West Point on the Eno city park in Durham. This stretch, which runs just east of Hillsborough to the Fews Ford Access in Eno River State Park has a number of plucky passages that, when the water’s up, are good fun.

The stretch begins mellow, with a handful of Class I rapids in the first mile. The rapids become more frequent from there, with a Class II thrown in every now and then. A nice Class II a mile from the end and the capper, a stout four-foot drop just before the take-out. Adding to the challenge of this big drop just above the take-out is the presence, river left, of one of Eno River State Park’s most popular trails, Buckquarter Creek, where hikers can pause on a boulder overlook and catch the whitewater action below. If you prefer to avoid the peanut gallery, you can portage this drop river right.

For a complete description of this stretch, including hazards, consult “Paddling Eastern North Carolina” (see below).

More info, including maps and access: “Paddling Eastern North Carolina,” Paul Ferguson (2007, Pocosin Press).

Getting to the put-in from downtown Chapel Hill


Rating: Class I-II, with one III
Drive: 25 minutes from downtown
Length: 5.4 miles
Put-in: US 70 bridge east of Hillsborough
Latitude: 36.0460
Longitude: 79.0423
Take-out: Fews Ford Access of Eno River State Park
Latitude: 36.0466
Longitude: 79.00482
Time to complete: 2 hours
Gauge: USGS Eno River at Hillsborough
Minimum flow: 100 cfs
City: Orange/Durham counties
State: NC