American Tobacco Trail

MODERATE 47 reviews

American Tobacco Trail is a 16.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Durham, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

16.8 miles
439 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

trail running






wild flowers



13 days ago

This trail runs from downtown Durham through the Getto. The drug dealers, the drunk people peeing on the sides of the path to the gang of thugs We had to turn back. Please google this trail before starting it. I think that t was a good idea when it was planned but not anymore. Truly take a big dog or a gun do not hike this trail alone Or better yet not at all!

5 months ago

Well-maintained and well kept. The southern restroom is clean but waterless. The other restrooms are much better. Great ride for the family. Gets more crowded as you head north but what do you expect for free?

7 months ago

very bad I got robbed there by three guys and its very unsafe at the American tobacco trail. WATCH OUT!!!

8 months ago

great for bikes, quite boring and crowded

road biking
10 months ago

Very crowded. If you time it right it's perfect to get in some great mileage for stamina.

10 months ago

I've only been on the more urban sections so I found this trail very crowded. Lots of bikers so not recommended for dogs. Not very quiet and peaceful but good for local exercise.

Monday, January 02, 2017

We have only completed a relatively small urban section of the trail at its northern end. In addition to getting some exercise, we also enjoyed exploring the restored American Tobacco Historic District before ending with a nice meal and a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Not a bad way to spend a few hours!

Friday, December 02, 2016

I'm on the north side of the trail, and u hear the south side is better. it's still beautifu, great for walking, and lots of people. I get uneasy in some parts though.

road biking
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I am fortunate to live near the entrance to the American Tobacco Trail that is at the 7 mile marker so it is about a 15-mile round trip whether I go north to downtown Durham or south into Chatham county.

The northern section of the trail from downtown to the I-40 bridge is more urban and has roughly 10-11 street crossings which makes for unwanted stops for cyclists.

The southern section from the I-40 bridge at SouthPointe mall to New Hope Church Rd in Morrisville/Chatham is more woodsy. It's a great ride with about 4-5 crossings and at least three areas with water/restroom facilities.

mountain biking
Thursday, January 28, 2016

It was like an interstate hwy. No curves, hills or different scenery. Maybe I'm use to the Neuse River Trail which is awesome!

trail running
Saturday, December 26, 2015

I have used this trail a fair number of times over more than 10 years. It is an excellent trail for running and is well used by local runners. The best portion is the southernmost section in Wake County, which remains unpaved. Here the trail is wide and presents a smooth well-drained hard-packed surface. The trail goes mostly through woodlands, some parts of which are protected as state game reserves. Quarter-mile splits are accurately marked. Restrooms are provided at several trailheads,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

This is THE best trail in all of Durham! Always be on the look out for those secret trails off the main trail!

Saturday, August 08, 2015


Monday, June 01, 2015

This trail is just what you'd expect. A wide, paved multi-use path that winds through the woody, populated neighborhoods. Its surroundings are lush and there's lots of other folks around. The whole thin is totally level, and best for putting in lots of miles in one go.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This was a great ride for Rails to trails enthusiasts. The best section is the southern part. The best place to start is on the Scott King road or at the Herndon Park nearby. From here you get a nice ride for 12.5 miles to where the trail begins in Wake County making for a 25 mile round trip. The trail surface starts as tar and changes to a hard packed clay that is in some ways better than the tar. There are Alena waterless bathrooms at mile 0 and Herndon Park as well as about halfway along the trail. The northern leg of the trail is OK but has many busy road crossings and less scenic. The two sections are still no connected so you have to do out and back on both sections. My five star rating is for the southern section only. I would only rate the northern section as 3 stars.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Not really my style. The rail-to-trail means it's a nice wide path, limited elevation changes, and little interaction with the surrounding nature. Good views though.

Monday, July 02, 2012

This is a Rails to Trail trail. I hiked a few miles of it with my brother in the early fall. The weather was hot but their was a good amount of shade from the trees. Lots of other hikers and bicyclists. A nice long bridge went across a river with numerous turtles.

mountain biking
Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This trail is great rails-to-trails success story. The final phase of construction is soon to be under way, with a completion in 2013 targeted which will result in a continuous stretch of trail over 20 miles long. Construction equipment will be taking up some of the trail near Massey Chapel and Scott King Rd beginning in June 2012, but that should still leave about a 9-10 mile section of trail open.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Great trail that is fun to bike on. Open year round! No water and two bathrooms.

mountain biking
Thursday, December 01, 2011

great place for training for a run or a bike ride - watch out for equestrians

Load More