Tuesday, May 14, 2013

West Point on the Eno-Natural Play Area

What it is:  As everyone knows, we love the Eno.  We love to head up and hike, wade in the water, or just explore.  Festival for the Eno is one of our favorite Durham events, period.  So, when we heard about this new feature at West Point on the Eno, we had to head up and check it out.  West Point on the Eno is a fabulous park located in N. Durham off of the Eno River and the location of the Festival for the Eno.  It has several historic houses including the mill, over 5 miles of hiking trails, the river itself with plenty of wading opportunities, a great clearing with teepee for exploring, picnic shelters, and more.

This time, we headed back to check out the Natural Play Area.  Of course, we started off by exploring some of the other great features that the park has to offer.  We headed up by the mill to watch the water coming under the bridge.  Then, we walked over to the overlook over the dam.  In that general area there are several great areas for dipping your toes in the water, so the boys might have dipped a little bit more than that in, having a great time!  Then, we hiked up into the park and stopped at the teepee for a snack break.

Then, it was back toward the parking lot to check out the new Natural Play Area.  It's located just behind the small picnic shelter which is adjacent to the big parking lot at the entrance.  It's just what it looks like in its picture, a clearing filled with stumps and other pieces of logs.  At first, one of the boys said, "Where is the playground?"  He was expecting slides and other sorts of brightly colored play structures.  However, we encouraged the boys to go play and after a while they got into making log towers and digging under the logs for critters.  They found one of the coolest caterpillars I've ever seen, and while it might not have looked that exciting, we had to pull the boys away before they were ready to go.  It's a nice change to let the kids just creatively explore nature and see what happens, and this spot was just the spot to do that.

What we liked:  We loved how this area gave the kids an area to explore in an open-ended way.  It was also great to combine with other attractions in the park such as the hiking trails, river itself, and teepee.

What we would change:  If this area was standing alone, I might say that there wouldn't be enough to warrant a trip specifically for it, but since it's in the middle of a great park, it just serves to make the park that much better and give people yet another reason to head up to the Eno!

Website and other important information:

Website: http://www.enoriver.org/what-we-protect/parks/west-point-on-the-eno/

Address: 5101 Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704

Hours: 8am-Sunset


(the natural area)

(the sign)

1 comment:

Megan said...

Thank you so much for this site! I feel compelled to add that this little play area looks like it is no longer maintained. We drove out from Apex to explore and were disappointed to see this play area was mostly gone. There is a small creek close though, perfect for my 3 year old to wade and throw rocks! Still a fun day :)

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