Despite no festival, Eno River State Park still expected to be busy on July 4 weekend
Posted July 3, 2020 8:15 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — The West Point On the Eno River State Park is expected to be a very popular place to visit this 4th of July weekend.
Durham Parks and Recreation staff have increased safety measures and are monitoring ahead of the anticipated crowds. The traditional Festival on the Eno was canceled this year, due to COVID-19 concerns. Despite its cancellation, West Point staff is still gearing up for a busy weekend. Foot traffic at The West Point on the Eno is already picking up in anticipation for this weekend.
“People have been cooped up, and the children need a place to go and vitamin D,” said Stacey Johnson, a park visitor.
“It’s just fun because it’s almost the 4th of July,” said 10-year-old Sofia Rodriguez. “Just focusing on me and my surroundings and all that."
Safety and having a good time will be the top priorities for the DPR staff.
“One of the things that we did was strategically place signs around the park and letting people know to stay that six feet distance apart,” said Jeffery Ford, DPR Recreation Service Manager.
Staff modified parking with boulders and signs to maintain crowd control and traffic flow. West Point will now only accommodate 112 vehicles at a time.
Because of these limitations, staff will monitor and limit vehicular access to the park. Once the parking capacity has been reached, they will close the entrance until additional parking becomes available.
“We’ve got deputy sheriffs here and we’re really enforcing a no-parking zone around the water area,” Ford said.
The access to the river is already seeing a large number of people, but staff said that's the typical summer attraction. The only difference is many are being mindful of the spread of COVID-19.
“I think everyone ... we just came back from the river, of doing a good job of being six feet apart and still enjoying God’s creation,” said Patrick Myers, a park visitor.
“And not feeling like you have to be all up on anyone you know. It’s just a great place to do it at,” Johnson said.
In addition, those who are planning to come to the park to access the Eno River will no longer be able to unload your vehicle near the River or Mill Area.