Nearly complete except for one small section, the American Tobacco Trail will soon extend uninterrupted from Durham more than 22 miles south through Chatham County to its southern terminus in Wake County. The trail surface varies from paved to unpaved throughout its length. In some sections it is only grass or clay. In addition, there's a short break in the trail between State Route 54 at the Southpoint Crossing shopping center and Renaissance Parkway, which are separated by Interstate 40.
As of 2013, a bridge for the trail over I-40 is under construction. For project updates, visit the City of Durham's Public Works page.
The southern segment is open to equestrians. The trail courses through beautiful pines, and its rural sections boast plentiful wildlife, including beavers, herons, hawks, songbirds, vultures, squirrels, owls and deer. While hunters use portions of the southern segment to access wildlife areas, rest assured they are not allowed to carry loaded firearms on the trail.
To reach the northern trailhead, head south on US 15/501 Business/North Roxboro Street; this will turn into South Mangum Street. At West Pettigrew Street, turn right, followed by a left on Blackwell Street. Parking is available beneath the East-West Expressway on Morehead Avenue, across from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Trail parking is also available at Solite Park off Fayetteville Street and at Southpoint Crossing Shopping Center, just north of I-40 at the intersection of Fayetteville and NC 54.
To reach the southern section, take I-40 to Exit 276 and head south on Fayetteville Street. Two miles down, turn left on Scott King Road. A parking lot is just west of the trailhead. A smaller lot is on the west side of Fayetteville Road, just north of a bridge across the trail. Steps provide access.
To reach the southern trailhead from Raleigh, take US Highway 1 south to Exit 89 toward New Hill/Jordan Lake, turn right, and drive about 4 miles up New Hill-Olive Chapel Road. Trailhead parking is on the right. To reach the other access point, take US Highway 64 west, turn right on Jenks Road, then left on Wimberley Road. Parking is on the right.