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Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill

American Tobacco Trail

Location: Southwestern Wake County near New Hill and runs North to downtown Durham.
Miles: 23 Rails to Trails
Skill Level: Beginner

Contact: Park office (919) 387-2117>

The American Tobacco Trail is a 23+ mile rails-to-trails project located in the Triangle Region of North Carolina. The route crosses through the City of Durham; Durham, Chatham, and Wake counties; the planning jurisdictions of the Towns of Cary and Apex; and passes through the Lake Jordan project land of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Park Hours and Fees:
There are no fees, Hours Sunrise - Sunset
Wake County:

From Pittsboro, Jordan Lake and points west, go east on US 64 to the NC 751 light. Turn right or south, go two miles to the gravel drive on the left shortly after the Beaver Creek bridge. From the South, take US 1 to the New Hill/Harris Lake Park exit. Go north on New Hill-Holliman Road to the intersection of Old US 1. Go straight onto New Hill-Olive Chapel Road approximately 3 miles, crossing the New Hope Valley RR tracks. About a 8/10 mile beyond the tracks, turn right into the gravel drive which leads to the parking area. If you cross the Beaver Creek bridge you've gone too far.

The other parking area on Wimberly Road is designed for only personal vehicle parking because it isn't large enough to safely accommodate equestrian trailers. If you want to park your equestrian trailer please go to the New Hill-Olive Chapel Road trailhead. To access the Wimberly Road trailhead from Raleigh, Cary or points east, take US 64 west to Jenks Road on the right. See the Citgo convenience store at this intersection. Go 1/3 mile (mileages are approximate) to the first left. Turn left onto Wimberly Road. Go approximately 1 mile passing the Cary-Apex Water Treatment plant, and crossing the White Oak Creek bridge. The trailhead is located on the right.

Please do not access the trail by parking on Goodwin Road or Olive Chapel Road. The Goodwin Road crossing is in a neighborhood and the trail is adjacent to a driveway used by several families. If you park on the driveway or the trail, you will be towed, as well as make a lot of people unhappy. Olive Chapel Road is a heavily traveled, fairly high speed, narrow road where there is no formal parking area. It is hazardous to get in and out of your vehicle here alongside the road. Please use the above mentioned parking areas which are conveniently located, safe and dedicated to trail use.

Durham County:

Maps of the Durham area

10/01/03: There is now parking for the American Tobacco Trail in a dirt lot in front of SouthPointe Crossings shopping center in Durham off of Fayettville St. in Durham near the Highway 54 and I40 intersection. From the lot there is an entrance directly on the trail which goes all the way to downtown Durham. There are also new mile markers on the trail and signs that show street names and trail maps. Right now the trail ends at Highway 54 going towards Raleigh but hopefully soon that will change.

From I-40East
Take Fayettville St Exit, turn right on Fayettville St. Go straight at Highway 54 intersection, turn left at SouthPointe Crossings shopping center, then turn right into dirt lot.

Rules of the Trail

Only portions of this trail are open. Most of the Wake county end is under construction and the Chatham county portion is in the planning phase. This will be a great, easy family ride through some rural areas in Wake/Chatham counties and ending up in downtown Durham near the Bull's athletic park. This page will be updated as the trail is built.


For the complete story, including maps and history, check out Triangle Rails-to-Trails.