Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

So, I grew up in the mountains, where quiet is the norm.  Coming to Carolina was a big change from that and I loved the excitement and activity of living in a town like Chapel Hill.  However, after a few years I have begun to realize that I miss the quiet.  I miss being able to not hear trucks or cars (or my neighbors upstairs… having a Rock Band game does NOT make you a real band), so I decided to find a way to turn off the noise and get back to the quiet.

Twenty minutes up the road is the Eno River State Park, a beautiful place to spend a day and get away from the noise of Chapel Hill.  Now, the brochure advertises 24 miles of hiking trails, and this got me excited because one of the things I miss most about the mountains is the ability to go hiking at the drop of the hat (really, if you want to go hiking at my house, you go outside and just start walking in any direction…within minutes you’ll be hiking).  However, when I got there, I realized that my definition of hiking was drastically different than central North Carolina’s definition of hiking, but they are still nice nature walking trails and you do have to cross a few wide streams along the way, so you get the general sense that you are hiking.  Along with hiking, there is a spot for swimming in the river near Few’s Ford as well as fishing; both are popular sites in the summer months to cool off.

Word of caution: you will get dirty and muddy and wet.  Also, be sure to bring your bug spray and wear the long pants/long sleeves ensemble to keep the mosquitoes and ticks off of you, and of course, bring a water bottle or two depending on how long you plan on being out there.

So, seniors, if you have a spare Saturday with no plans, check out Eno River State Park.  Located at 6101 Cole Mill Road, Durham, NC.

Enjoy the summer, Class of 2011!

– Samantha Ryan