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Bridge on the Trail

Along the trail

American Tobacco Trail (Greenways, Trails)
New Hill or White Oak Trailhead
New Hill, NC 27562
(919) 387-2117
Park Description

The American Tobacco Trail is a recreational rail-trail located on an abandoned railroad corridor of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. Constructed in 1906, the original railroad traveled from Duncan to Durham near the New Hope River, transporting tobacco leaf from farming communities in Wake, Chatham and Durham counties for processing at the American Tobacco Company in Durham, NC. Construction of Jordan Lake in 1971 necessitated moving a section of the railroad corridor (from Bonsal to southern Durham County) several miles eastward, onto higher ground. Railroad traffic decreased after this time due to competition from interstate trucking. One of the last major uses of the railroad was to haul materials for the construction of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant near New Hill, NC. With the railroad no longer in use, the tracks were removed in 1987.

Local residents began using the rail corridor as an informal recreational trail, and in 1989, a group of citizens organized the nonprofit Triangle Rails To Trails Conservancy to promote the development of the corridor into a managed rail-trail. The N.C. Department of Transportation purchased the corridor from the railroad company in 1995, and subsequently leased the corridor to the counties to be developed and operated as a recreational trail open to the public. It was officially named the American Tobacco Trail to reflect its historical roots, and planning and construction of the trail began. The trail is being built in sections, the first of which opened in 2001 in downtown Durham. Wake County opened its first 3.75-mile section, from New Hill-Olive Chapel Road to Wimberly Road, in 2003. The remaining sections of the trail are in the planning process and will be completed as soon as possible.

New Hill Trailhead: 309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd., Apex, NC 27502 & White Oak Trailhead: 1305 White Oak Church Rd., Apex, NC 27523

Hours of Operation: Sunrise to Sunset

Fees: No entry fees for this park
Metro Region: Triangle, NC
Park Management: County

Benches   Biking-Mountain   Equestrian   Historical Structure   Open Space   Parking   Picnic Tables   Restrooms   Running/Jogging   Trails, Natural Surface   Wildlife Viewing