Further Eno River Explorations

by Mark Miles

For a while, I’ve been wanting to visit some new hiking spots. I’m already in the habit of visiting a few parks along the Eno River, so it only made sense to continue to branch out in that direction. I’ve also recently been reading about rivers in medieval England, and it’s interesting to note that they were considered some of the best assets to the traveler in unfamiliar territory because 1) they provide a constant source of fresh water, 2) they lead to the ocean when followed far enough, and 3) they frequently adjoin the sites of towns and cities. For these reasons and many others, medieval people honored and valued rivers in a way that’s largely been forgotten. Nevertheless rivers are indispensable and deserve to be honored for their contributions. For my part, visiting the Eno on a regular basis is one way in which I do that.

One of the best views of the Eno that I managed to capture was this shot near Fews Ford, facing south near a small cataract. There were people wading in the river in the distance, as you can see if you look closely. They were clearly enjoying themselves, and even though I didn’t join them due to my lack of swimming trunks, I was happy to see such simple communion between people and the river.

This is the small cataract near Fews Ford that I mentioned. It’s not very large, but it adds greatly to the ambiance of the area. It also helps to oxygenate the water, keeping it from becoming stagnant and inhospitable.

Near the southern entrance to Eno River State Park is this picturesque flight of stairs leading from the riverbank to an adjoining trail. It wasn’t the steadiest structure that I’ve ever crossed, but it was full of character and retained a sense of the contour of the land that would’ve been absent if it’d simply been a concrete eyesore.

This bench which I found near the southern extent of the park was undoubtedly one of the most artistic I’ve ever seen. From behind it looked to be nothing more than a reconnoitered log which had been hoisted on stilts. From the front it looked as if it could’ve been a piece of modern art, loosely mimicking the contours of a woman resting on her side or possibly suggesting the shape of a beached fish with his mouth open to the right. In either case, it beat any metal-and-plastic bench I’ve ever seen.

Between the artistic bench and Fews Ford, there’s a suspension bridge running over the Eno from east to west. I didn’t have enough time to go exploring in that direction when I was there since it was already near dusk, but I did see a small family crossing it with children in tow. I have no doubt the kids in this group will remember that bridge for many years to come, and I was happy to see such excitement over an experience in nature which children of a slightly older age would probably have been too disaffected to appreciate.

This was one of my last shots at Eno River State Park. The hour was rapidly approaching sunset, and I didn’t have much time before I had to leave. The light was failing, but there was just enough to illuminate this bucolic stretch of water south of Fews Ford. I took the moment to kneel in order to get a better angle on the river, and in the process I found myself saying a mental thank you to the river for an experience that I never would’ve had without it.

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21 thoughts on “Further Eno River Explorations

  1. 1nmbirder September 14, 2016 / 3:53 am

    What a beautiful place to explore. Living in New Mexico I really appreciate any water feature. I loved the bench and the last photo you took. Your story put me right on the trail with you.

    • Mark Miles September 19, 2016 / 3:20 am

      Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I really love this river. Have a good week. 👍

  2. rothpoetry September 14, 2016 / 4:02 am

    Wow! What a beautiful spot to visit. Love your photography. Really nice.

    • Mark Miles September 19, 2016 / 3:21 am

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate that.

  3. Savithri SENANAYAKE September 14, 2016 / 6:48 am

    Dear Mark it waw so interesting this article. I enjoyed it very much. Have a great day! Savi.

    • Mark Miles September 19, 2016 / 3:21 am

      Thank you so much, Savi! Glad you liked it. Have a lovely Monday! 🌅😎🌅

    • Mark Miles September 19, 2016 / 3:22 am

      Thank you! Every river has something to recommend it.

    • Mark Miles September 19, 2016 / 3:23 am

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. lisa@notesfromafrica September 22, 2016 / 5:52 am

    Beautiful area and photos. I agree that rivers are underappreciated these days.

    • Mark Miles September 26, 2016 / 3:56 am

      Thank you very much. Rivers and watersheds are so vital but so overlooked.

  5. aprilswopegreene September 22, 2016 / 7:36 pm

    First I was excited because I thought you meant Brian Eno, but Eno River and the state park look pretty cool, too 🙂 Gorgeous post!

    • Mark Miles September 26, 2016 / 3:57 am

      Haha, I was wondering if someone might think of him. I like his music as well, and I’m glad you like the river. 👍 Thank you!

  6. Miriam September 29, 2016 / 6:13 am

    What an absolutely gorgeous place. And I love that bench.

    • Mark Miles October 3, 2016 / 4:18 am

      Thank you very much. I was particularly enamored with it too.

  7. Acquiring A Taste October 1, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    Hi Mark, Awesome website with great pictures — I loooooove the picture at the top of this post with the bright red leaves. I cannot wait for autumn too! Thanks for the ‘like’ on my blog — It made me find yours!

    • Mark Miles October 3, 2016 / 4:19 am

      Thank you very much! Really appreciate your kind words.

      • Acquiring A Taste October 3, 2016 / 9:23 pm

        Thank you so much Mark! I appreciate it!

  8. alisteningheartblog November 19, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    I’ve only just come across this blog.I do like your sensitive writing about your local places. Here in England, I think John Keats and John Clare would both have been at home by your fine river Eno.

    • Mark Miles November 20, 2016 / 4:54 am

      Thank you so much. I do my best to write from the heart.

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