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Top 5 Walking Trails in Durham, NC

Top 5 Walking Trails in Durham, NC

October 18, 2017 / by Steven Wright

The city featured in this week’s Top 5 Walking Trails is very dear to Lock Laces’® heart — Durham, N.C.! And since we are located in Durham, we’ve got lots of inside knowledge about the top walking trails the Bull City has to offer:

Eno River State Park

In addition to 30 miles of trails to explore, Eno River State Park is a local favorite because of two main perks: swimming holes and nature immersion. Whether you’re venturing out to walk, run, swim, kayak or simply sightsee, Eno River State Park has it all. Eno State River Park stretches from Orange County to Durham County, so it can be intimidating to explore at first. If it’s your first time exploring this state park, stick to entering at the main access area — Few’s Ford off of Cole Mill Road.

American Tobacco Trail

Not everyone knows that the American Tobacco Trail was once an expansive railroad network. This 22+ mile walking trail impressively stretches across Durham, Chatham and Wake counties and offers a wide range of city and wooded areas. Unless you’re a marathoner, it may take more than one trip to fully explore this beautiful walking trail project completed in November 2013. But something tells us you’ll be wanting to return to this popular trail more than once, anyway.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

If you love plants, butterflies and beautiful landscapes, look no further than Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Situated on 55 acres, this specialized garden has quite a few attractions — so for first-time visitors, we suggest walking slow so you can learn about all the diverse plant life. The Bloomquist Wildlife Garden is our favorite, offering a “lush garden…home to a diverse collection of Southeastern wildlife” (Sarah P. Gardens, Duke University).

Duke Forest Walking Trail

Like Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Duke Forest is owned and managed by Duke University. While in Duke Forest, explorers can walk, run, hike, fish and even bike or ride horseback (on forest roads only). Duke Forest’s 7,000 acres of forest and fields stretch across three North Carolina counties: Durham, Orange and Alamance. Since Duke University owns this walking trail, they’re mission is to “fascilitate research that addresses fundamental and applied questions concerning forested and aquatic ecosystems” and “to aid in the instruction of students so that they will be informed citizens and effective stewards of our natural resources” (Duke Forest, Duke University).

Eagle Spur Trail

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, then take a quick trip down to Eagle Spur Trail! Like the American Tobacco Trail, Eagle Spur Trail is a rail-to-trail project spanning 2.5 miles. According to Triangle Rails to Trails Conservancy, the trail is part of the original route from Durham to Duncan, N.C. Eagle Spur Trail is differentiated from the other walking trails on this list because it offers a connection to Jordan Lake State Recreation Area that surrounds the 13,940-acre lake.


Walking is always more fun when you’re outdoors with nature. So the next time you think about heading to the gym treadmill, consider choosing a new or favorite walking trail to explore instead! If you don’t live near Durham, N.C., leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite walking trail in your city!



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