Bradley, P. J. 2007. A Geologic Adventure Along the Eno River, Information Circular 35. North Carolina Geologic Survey: Raleigh, North Carolina. 65 p
During our hike, we used three trails: the South River trail (0.52 miles), Sennett Hole trail (0.15 miles one way) and the Buffalo Trail (0.40 miles) (see trail map). These trails not only revealed fascinating rocks and minerals, but also yielded beautiful trees ablaze with fall color and interesting animal sightings.
Directions: West Point on the Eno is located at 5101 N. Roxboro Road in north Durham. The geology hike described by Bradley (2007) begins at the West Point Mill, an obvious landmark located to the north of the parking areas.
Observations - Geology Hike: The geology hike begins at the West Point Mill, a once thriving center for Durham that was in operation from 1778 until 1942. Here, one is struck by Durham's fascinating history, as well as the impact of people on the environment. Careful observers are likely to find water snakes (Nerodia spp.) and queen snakes (Regina septemvittata) swimming and basking in the rocky area next to the large mill wheel.
The next stop (stop 2) is at Turtle Rock. Turtle Rock overlooks the Eno River and from here visitors can almost always find turtles basking on fallen logs in the water. Turtle Rock itself is an outcropping of felsic tuff, composed of 600 million year old volcanic ash that has been folded and refolded over time.
Felsic tuff at Turtle Rock (Stop 2)
After passing the diabase boulders, the geology hike continues along beautiful Warren Creek and points out floodplain deposits of boulders, cobbles, sand and silt (stops 6a & 6b). The hike then continues across the creek, onto the Sennett hole trail and brings you to Sennett hole (see previous posting), a lovely place to sit with a picnic lunch.
After a brief respite at Sennett Hole, the hike heads back to Warren Creek, where you join the Buffalo Trail. Stops 8 and 9 highlight deposits of tuff and granodiorite, an igneous rock similar to granite. Stop 10 is delightful, allowing you to ponder the beauty of more hydrothermal quartz tinted red and pink by iron.
black maple (Acer nigrum)
red maple (Acer rubrum)
river birch (Betula nigra)
musclewood (Carpinus caroliniana)
mockernut hickory (Carya alba)
ironwood (Carya virginiana)
sugarberry (Celtis laevigata)
eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
dogwood (Cornus florida)
persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
American beech (Fagus grandifolia)
green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
American holly (Ilex opaca)
black walnut (Juglans nigra)
red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
red mulberry (Morus rubra)
sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata)
loblolly pine (Pinus taega)
American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
black cherry (Prunus serotina)
white oak (Quercus alba)
southern red oak (Quercus falcata)
swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii)
water oak (Quercus nigra)
willow oak (Quercus phellos)
northern red oak (Quercus rubra)
post oak (Quercus stellata)
sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
winged elm (Ulmus alata)
mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium)
arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)
Wheel bug (Arilus cristatus)