Haw River: Lower Haw River
Instantly we were impressed, for being such a large river it wasn’t very deep and Izabel discovered the art of jumping from rock to rock. Needless to say, we spent most of our summer on Haw River. Never making it very far as Izabel loved climbing and playing on all the rocks. Plus as an added bonus my husband Andrew and Izzy who are mosquito magnates hardly ever came home with a bite so IF my husband had to go out in the summer heat he was okay with the haw river because of this.
To help you plan ahead
There are no public restrooms. Pets are allowed. Exposed roots and rocks make the trail not stroller friendly. Pack your own lunches and snacks as there isn’t food on site.
From 15-501 north of the bridge over the Haw River, turn east on Durham-Eubanks Road and stay on it for about 0.3mi and it will turn into Bynum Church Road for another 0.2mi. You will find the parking lot on your right just past house #189.
The parking lot is rather huge and has plenty of parking.
Details: Ater parking you will find a really fun area to explore. You can enter the river just a few feet away. Izabel prefers the more rocky locations so she can leap around. So we head about 5 min downriver to the fun rocky locations. You will find the trail on the southeast of the parking lot. If you’re looking at the river, it is to your far left of the parking area. This will take you back towards a gravel road, go to the right and just a few feet away is the official start of the trailhead. You’ll see a small grey gate to keep cars off the trail and a sign for Duke Forest. Just pick your cluster of rocks to play at, we typically walk about 900 feet to Izabel’s favorite rock cluster.
Here is a screenshot from Google Maps of the parking area and trail for the Lower Haw River State Natural Area.
This is a river and all safety precautions should be considered with small children and non-swimmers. To avoid swift moving currents, we never went after hard rainfalls. Also, the youngest of Izzy’s friends wore life jackets.
The Haw River is a popular river to float. We’ve only floated it once and ended up taking the wrong fork. We started up by the Bynum Bridge and went right instead of left. It’s been recommended to float with a guide or someone that has floated before. Despite choosing the wrong way we still had so much fun and saw some of the most beautiful areas of the river.