Explore the most popular walking trails near Hillsborough with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The trail goes under and follows high tension power lines. At one point you travel under the metal tower legs of the power lines. The trail is not well maintained. You can hear the interstate highway at every point on the trail. The overlook trail takes you to the edge of an old rock quarry that overlooks the power lines. Not exactly a commune with nature. Can't figure out how this became a North Carolina State Park.

A relatively quick, and moderately challenging trail, with a nice variety of views. I use this as my go-to training trail as I ramp up my carry weight. There's a fair amount of traffic here, including people out for a walk and folks with their dogs (no complaints from me on that count!). This is only problematic in some stretches of the trail that can be fairly narrow. The views transition nicely between tree canopies, the Eno River, a former rock quarry, and then a worthwhile panoramic view from the top. As a heads up: Don't expect a jaw-dropping view of the river. This stretch is very brown, and offers barely perceptible movement. Better river views can be had a few miles away at Eno River State Park if that's your preference. I suggest starting the trailhead at the top of the parking lot, instead of the one down the gravel road. The start takes you fairly close to I-85, and you'll hear a good bit of traffic noise for the first 10-20 minutes, but the further you get into the woods the more it fades away into the sounds of nature. It's cathartic. You feel like you're actually taking a mini-break from society. Plus that way you don't have end by coming *back* to highway sounds. The trail winds up a steady incline, before winding down to the river. At that point it starts a steeper climb back up. You can hop off on a little spur to check out the old quarry, or continue up a steep incline toward some power lines, before entering back into the woods. An optional climb to the top will provide the great view you see represented in the photos. Fair warning: This trail system is very accessible, so you will find a good and steady number of other guests there who will be far less sweaty than you. The rest of the trail is fairly easy. After a moderate incline through a beautiful tree canopy, you'll crest a hill where the trees start to open up. From there it's an easy, gentle walk back down, highlighted by two ponds you can optionally stop off to look at. All-in-all, it's a great little hike that has a little bit of everything.

Nice walk in the woods. Narrow trail. I would go again later in the day and let someone else clear out the spiderwebs. I would also be more careful about following the blazes as the signs were a bit confusing. I wish I had taken a map with me.

Trail came as advertised with some good views as well as a short walk along the Eno river. There was one unobstructed view if you took a side path to a look out area. The cliff that you overlook is a by product of a long ago quarry and you would not know it without the signage. All in all a good hike while not extremely strenuous enough ups and downs to get your blood flowing.

hiking
1 month ago

Didn’t quite adhere to the Riverwalk during this excursion though we did manage to walk IN the river when crossing over to Ayr Mount. Both beautiful and magical with fireflies lighting the way to the Poets Walk. Came back along St. Mary’s Rd and through downtown to really get a feel for this awesome town. Loved it!!

Good climbs make me happy. Nice trail close to home for me. Walk along the river for a dog cool off.

It is an easy walk most of the trail, but there are some cool stuff along the way, like a huge bee hotel!

I can't thank you enough for posting this! I would never have been bold enough to go through the textile mill parking lot, or past the bogus sign at the state park that warns to get permission to enter private property (the segment of trail it is in front of is actually still all on state land -- I think side trails do extend onto private property but not the main trail). This trail is a great way to connect the state park trails with the riverwalk, and you can add even more hiking at the speedway for added fitness.

I was surprised by how tired I got on this trail. The distance made me expect it to be rather easy but the ups and downs left me winded. It’s not an easy trail but it isn’t too long so you can get it done in about an hour.

Nice, peaceful, easy walk

good cardio with intervals! Beautiful views from the top.

nice loop. trail was well marked and had several nice views. had a great time.

Great overlook and hiking down the Mountain to look at the rock quarry from the bottom was great! And walking right next to the Eno!

hiking
6 months ago

Really well kept trail. Started off wanting to do cox mountain but went counterclockwise and missed the turn off for the rest of the trail ...just follow the signs!!! Was a nice short trail with a really neat bridge. I may take my kids next time. Would recommend

Easy walk along the Eno River. Part of the walk is paved and very easy to walk.

great little trail with a view of the river!

A way of extending Occoneeche Mountain Park with a pleasant easy river walk.

on Holden's Mill Trail

hiking
7 months ago

Nice moderate hike with plenty of river time for the dogs.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a beautiful hike along the river. It was more difficult than I had thought (some climbing over rocks.) There is a long uphill climb, but it wasn't too strenuous.

Very pretty trail! Had some steep climbs but the overlook was really nice!

Short, but has some steep hills. Lots of rocks and roots along the path. The view from the top is worth it though. Absolutely breathtaking!

Lots of gangly roots on the trail, so runners beware. Otherwise, pretty, moderate trail.

Very nice hike. Pretty basic but great morning hike.

This trail was a disappointment. Only one area with a view. Trail was shaley and without interest in the woods. We ended up going back to the Eno River State Park 15 minutes away to have a picnic lunch along the river.

amazing hike! so many gorgeous views and a good workout! definitely will go again, but with a lunch to enjoy the views

This was a pretty cool trail. First impressions were this why is this a moderate rating?!? It starts off with nice flowy trails, slight inclines and just a nice walk in the woods. That was the Chestnut Oak trail --just a pleasant walking spot. The the other connecting trails are where the moderate rating comes. The Occoneechee Mountain loop was pretty cool, better inclines and a bit more strenuous. Literally, all the trail systems were pretty rocky, though well defined and nicely maintained.

It had rained hard for two days prior to my walk and the trails were as dry as can be, they have a great run off so it wasn't muddy at all.

If you're looking for more adventure, there is some fun scrambling around the overwatch. There are many 'strong' warning about doing so, but if have any scrambling experience, they aren't that challenging. It's predominantly made up of shale so it's not all that stable, and the granite is extremely slick --I may or may not have attempted it :) That was clearly the highlight of the walk, and pretty much why I went. Overall nice trail system. Easy parking, outhouses at the trail head, and very few people.

A nice way to spend your morning. Only took us about an hour including our time spent resting at the top. Really beautiful view and a surprisingly steep rock face down the north side.

Great trail.

LOVED this hike. Yes, the noise close to I-85 is annoying, but the views up at the overlook are beautiful! Love the rocky terrain, the rivers, and the interesting vegetation around the area. Definitely some more difficult spots due to incline, but a great workout. Bring a lunch and spend some time at the overlook!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wow, what a beautiful trail with both mountain and lazy river views! I feel as if I traveled west to hike without the drive. Don't skip the overlook trail, it offers a gorgeous view. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars for me is the close proximity to I-85 at the start....it is a bit noisy.

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