Doing a house sit in Hillsborough, gave us the opportunity to check out the Eno River State Park. We had one cat to take care of, and an incredible back garden. We got to do a riverwalk in Hillsborough, the state park, check out some historical homesteads, and take a walk through Durham during our week there. This was our first time going away since Covid, but we did things outdoors that didn’t require us to come into contact with people closely. Besides, many museums and other places were closed anyway.
Eno River State Park is located in the Piedmont region of Durham and Orange counties in North Carolina, and offers almost 30 miles of walking trails. There are 16 trails to choose from (although some may overlap), and 5 different access points. This is 1 of 41 state parks in NC.
Before European settlements, the Eno River was inhabited by a few Native American tribes that eventually merged and created a village near present day Durham. (Durham was a great place to check out by the way!) The Europeans came and later developed farms and mills along the river.
Originally we wanted to do the Cole Mill Trail mostly because it was one of the shorter easier ones since we had the baby to carry. The parking lot is smaller than some of the other accesses so we had to change plans because the lot was full. The park ranger told us where we could park down the road, so we ended up doing the Dunnagan Trail. This was a 1.8 mile loop with ¾ of the walk along the river. It was an easy walk, and the baby was able to be in the carrier the whole time. We stopped about midway and found a place along the riverbank to stop and have a break and snack. It was a popular place for families to come, kids brought rafts and were swimming in the river! There was enough space to keep distance from the other groups.
This was the only trail we did. Other trails lead you to a mountain, historic houses, and old mills. Feel free to let us know what the other ones were like if you’ve done them! Paddling, fishing, picnicking and camping are available at the park if you bring your own materials. For more information on hours and directions, check out the official park website.
The last state park we went to was Goose Creek in NC so go and check that one out if you are in NC.
If you are looking for a cheap way to travel, and you love animals, Trusted Housesitters is the bomb. Click the link to get 25% off when you sign up, and it helps us get free months too. Below is the sweet kitty we got to play with for the week. The backyard was an oasis and the baby loved watching the butterflies, fish, and frogs in the ponds! Even if you have kids, there are family friendly house sits to choose from. This was the first time for us to do a house sit since the baby was born, and we did not regret it. You pay a yearly membership fee, create a profile, a background check is done, etc. It operates in much the same way as Airbnb actually, you just don’t pay the house sitter or owner.