The American Tobacco Trail stretches for more than 22 miles in North Carolina between Chatham, Durham, and Wake Counties. There are several different places to access the trail, but many visitors choose to start in Durham. This trail is easy to use and doesn't feature sharp inclines, but to walk from one point to another will take several hours. Some hikers choose to hike just a portion of the trail and head back the way the came, while others stop in towns the path crosses.
Begin your adventure in Durham at the corner of Morehead Avenue and Blackwell Street where a trail marker and kiosk with trail information marks the start. As you head south, you'll travel through the city of Durham, so keep your dog leashed throughout. As you trek along, you'll head through many other towns, and natural areas. Garbage bins line the trail, but visitors must provide their own doggie bags and bring their own drinking water, as well as any other supplies for the trail. There are some spots that offer water seasonally during warmer months for refills.
A significant portion of the trail's surface is asphalt, so it's likely you'll spot not only dog walkers on the path, but also inline skaters and cyclists. The southern portion of the trail is also open to horseback riders, so you might spot larger four-legged friends, too! The rest of the trail is crushed stone, so wherever you are on the path, it's easy to bring along a stroller or wheelchair. Restrooms can be found near the southern portion in Wake County.
During your trek, you'll see a variety of plant and wildlife species, including turtles, beavers, deer, and owls. The southern portion of the trail is used as an access point to wildlife areas, but hunters are not allowed to carry guns on the path. The southern trailhead is at 1309 New Hill Olive Chapel Rd in Apex which features a parking area and restrooms. While the trail is open during daylight hours only, sections in urban Durham can be traversed at any time. The Apex trailhead parking area is open from 8 AM to 6 PM.
Whether you walk the entire length of the American Tobacco Trail or just do a little bit at a time, you and your dog are sure to enjoy yourselves!