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Saxapahaw Island Park (30 min west of Durham)

North Carolina, NC, USA


Saxapahaw Island Park has a lush 1.5 mile loop trail (Saxapahaw Island Loop, the trail marked with blue) high up over the river. You can loop back earlier for a shorter walk. It's nice to look down at the water rushing over the rocks, see turtles on rocks, and hear geese making funny sounds. Along the trail is a unique playground for kids, with a giant wooden fish they can climb inside, swings, baby swings, and a spiderweb rope climbey. It is in thick forest so feels a little sketchy as far as spiderwebs and bugs, and has no restrooms. 
The path is dirt and can get muddy/slippery in places. 
After, have a drink or meal at Saxapahaw General Store, a popular spot with plenty of outdoor seating. Cup 22 is a coffee shop option, in the same shopping center built in an old textile mill. It is extremely musty though, so you have to sit outside. The outside area has two tables and it is shady in the morning. The Eddy Pub is a restaurant at the top of the building, and has live music on Tuesday and Friday nights- I don't know if it's as musty as Cup 22 but it is in the same building.
After, drive 18 minutes west to Cedarock Park, a lovely spot with goats, horses, and sheep!

Photo Gallery

Rocks in the Haw River.

Toad under a stick.

Bank of the river.

Muddy bank of the river.

Fish playground!

Rock climbing on the side of the fish playground.

Inside the fish play structure.

Spiderweb climbey.

The trail.

White water by the rocks.

Arched tree.


High vantage point over the river.

Turtle on a rock.

Baby swing and regular swings.

Mushroom on a tree stump.

Outside Saxapahaw General Store.

Cup 22, a very musty coffee shop.

The musty mill building where you find Cup 22 and The Eddy Pub.

Balcony at Cup 22.

Wading in the water under the highway overpass.

Where the textiles were dyed.

Light catching the leaves.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Saxapahaw Island Park is located at 5550 Church Rd, Graham, NC 27253. There is a gravel parking lot.
Saxapahaw General Store, 1735 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Rd, Saxapahaw, NC 27340. Open every day.
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