Nearly complete except for one section, the American Tobacco Trail will extend uninterrupted from Durham 22 miles south to 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 SR 54 at the Southpoint Crossing shopping center and the end of Crichton Lane.
From south to north, beginning at the New Hill Olive Chapel Road Parking area to Massey Chapel Road (about 13.5 miles), the trail surface is as follows:
Between mile 0 and 8: smoth packed cinder
Between mile 8 and 11.5: asphalt
Between mile 11.5 and 11.75: rough gravel
Between mile 11.75 and 12: smooth packed cinder
Between mile 12 and 13.5: rough gravel
For project updates
visit the city of Durham's Public Works page online.
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.
Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
P.O. Box 61091
Durham, NC 27715
The trail is mostly flat and very easy to run on. You have a cross over some back roads but there is not much trafic. If you run 10k's that have some hills, you can run at least 10 miles (5 out and 5 back)on this trail with no problems, non-stop. There ...
My ten year old son rode 23 miles on the southern part of the trail. Fall colors were wonderful. We had a great time. What a great place to make great memories with the family.
What a shame that the reviewers "Linda and Bill" ("Nice Trail, but....") missed the BEST part of the trail--the southern part. They apparently went only on the northern, much more urban section of the trail, which is split from the southern end by I-40. ...