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Group secures Eno tracts

By Susan Dickson
Staff Writer

The Eno River Association is another step closer to completing the gaps in the Eno River State Park with the recent acquisition of 65 acres of river frontage, some of the last remaining missing links.

The acreage, located on the east side of the river near Cabe Ford Road, is made up of two tracts separated by existing parkland. The association worked with the Brame family, who owned the property, for several years to acquire the land through a combination of
sale and donation.

“This is an area in the park that for a long time we’ve been trying to acquire,” said Klugh Jordan, director of land protection for the association. “It’s also an area [in which] the park is trying to expand its trail system.”

In addition to expanding the park, the acquisition will also permanently protect an old slave cemetery as well as rare species of mussels on the property, which has been designated as a Nationally Significant Natural Heritage Area by the NC Natural Heritage Program.

The Eno River Association has been working to protect the land around the river and in the watershed area since 1966 with the goal of completing the gaps in the Eno River State Park to create a 6,000-acre park with 16 miles of river frontage. The association also works to acquire land outside the state park, protect as much of the watershed area as possible and minimize the amount of sediment and nutrients that flow into the river.

The 33-mile river, which winds through northern Orange County into Durham, flows into Falls Lake, a major source of drinking water for Wake County residents. The state park stretches along the river from Pleasant Green Road in Orange County to Roxboro Road in Durham. Occoneechee Mountain, though not adjacent, is part of the state park as well.

The most recent acquisition was funded through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, as well as with association funds.

Thus far, the association has acquired about 4,200 acres within the borders of the state park. While the association doesn’t expect to acquire any more land in the immediate future, Jordan said there are a number of park properties that could be obtained within the year.

“We’re continuing to focus on the larger pieces,” she said. “Larger pieces are high priorities. And of course, we always jump at opportunities.”

Once the missing links are completed, the park plans to expand its trail system, which will become part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, according to the association.

“It’s really important for us to get these missing pieces,” Jordan said. “It’s also really important because these pieces are riverfront. It’s really important from a resource standpoint.”

For more information, visit www.enoriver.org

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