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The American Tobacco Trail extends uninterrupted from Durham more than 22 miles south through Chatham County to its southern terminus in Wake County. In 2014, a bridge for the trail over Interstate 40 opened, linking the formerly disconnected northern and southern segments.
The trail surface is asphalt from its northern end to New Hope Church Road and has stone dust from its southern end to Scott King Road. The southern stretch of the American Tobacco Trail is open to equestrians.
The trail courses through beautiful pines, and its rural sections boast plentiful wildlife, including beavers, herons, hawks, songbirds, vultures, owls, turtles, and deer. While hunters use the southern portions to access wildlife areas, they are not allowed to carry loaded firearms on the trail.
Trail connections are becoming available to make the ATT part of a 75-mile greenway network throughout the Triangle region. For example, at the ATT’s southern end, the Black Creek Greenway and White Oak Creek Greenway extend into Cary, Apex, and Morrisville, where travelers can stop to get a bite to eat or check out local shopping and entertainment opportunities. These trails are also part of the East Coast Greenway, a growing trail network stretching from Maine to Florida.
To reach the northern trailhead in downtown Durham, take I-85 to exit 177 and 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.
Another option in Durham is to take I-40 to exit 276. Parking is available at Southpoint Crossing Shopping Center, just north of I-40 at the intersection of Fayetteville Street and NC 54. From the exit, parking is also available south of I-40 by heading south on Fayetteville Street, traveling two miles, and turning left on Scott King Road. A parking lot is just west of the trailhead. There is also a smaller lot is on the west side of Fayetteville Street, just north of a bridge over the trail. Steps provide access.
To reach the southern trailhead from Raleigh, take US 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 another access point, take US 64 west, turn right on Jenks Road, then left on Wimberley Road. Parking is on the right.
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